All posts by bonniedu

Restaurants benefit from improving economy

By Siyuan Du

Restaurant sales are projected to rise nearly 4 percent to a record high in 2015, but gains continue to be subdued in the post-recession period.

The National Restaurant Association projects 2015 restaurant industry sales will hit a record $709.2 billion, up from $683.1 billion in 2014. Adjusted for inflation, sales are projected to increase just 1.5 percent.

The gains are a sign that Americans are feeling good enough about the economy to eat out, but remain below what would be expected during a normal post-recession period.
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Ulta shares drop despite earnings surge and upbeat outlook

By Siyuan Du

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. reported a 34 percent increase in quarterly net income, driven by strong growth in both retail and online traffic and sales. Continue reading

Analysts see opportunity in Macy’s shares

By Siyuan Du

Macy’s Inc. struggled with falling sales and slim profits in the first quarter, but analysts see opportunity in the shares.

Since reporting quarterly earnings that fell short of Wall Street estimates and an unexpected 0.7 percent drop in sales last week, shares of the department store retailer have climbed 7 percent to $68.11 at Friday’s close.

Over the past year, Macy’s stock has risen 20.7 percent, compared with a 13.5 percent increase for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

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Farm slump hits profit at Deere & Co.

By Siyuan Du

Deere & Company reported a 30 percent decrease in second-quarter net income because of a slowdown in the global farm economy, but its stock rose more than 4 percent as the company raised its profit forecast for the full year.

The Moline, Illinois-based agricultural manufacturer earned $690.5 million, or $2.03 per diluted share, for the second quarter ended April 30, compared with $980.7 million, or $2.65 per diluted share in the year-earlier quarter. Continue reading

Macy’s posts weak quarterly earnings

By Siyuan Du

Macy’s Inc. reported quarterly earnings and revenue that were below Wall Street expectations as the retailer coped with bad winter weather, the West Coast port slowdown and weak tourist spending.

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March rebound in retail sales driven by autos

By Siyuan Du

Retail sales for March increased for the first time since November, driven by strong auto sales, but the results fell short of expectations.

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Young musicians compose their dreams amid changing classical music scene

By Siyuan Du

After practicing with his cello for almost six hours alone in the small rehearsal room, Michael van der Sloot picked up the bow to play music he composed himself. No matter what happens, he disciplines himself to spend at least four hours every day with his cello.

“I mean it really is my life,” said van der Sloot, a graduate student at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. “I met my girlfriend through music. My entire family is musical and it’s want I want to do for a career.” Continue reading

Consumer spending likely picked up in March

By Siyuan Du

Less money spent at the gas pump and bad weather depressed consumer spending at the beginning of the year, but economists say conditions have improved.

Retail sales are expected to increase 1 percent in March, according to Economists surveyed by Bloomberg. If so that would be the first monthly increase since November. Continue reading

VIDEO: Students with a music major facing challenges

By Siyuan Du

The classical music industry is facing finance and marketing challenges. Chicago Symphony Orchestra, one of the top orchestras in the world, ran a small deficit in fiscal year 2014. The situation makes it more difficult for students who graduate with a music major to find a job.

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CBOE announces fourth quarter earnings

By Bonnie Du

CBOE Holdings Inc., the holding company for Chicago Board Options Exchange, the CBOE Futures Exchange and other subsidiaries, today reported an 8 percent increase in net income in the fourth quarter 2014, driven by an increase of transaction fees and regulatory fees. However, the stock closed at $62.46, down 4.12 percent with its earning missing the Wall Street expectation.

The company earned $49.1 million, or 58 cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter, compared with $145.6 million, or 52 cents per diluted share in the year-earlier quarter. But it missed the expectation of 66 cents per diluted share.

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