Chicago company makes batteries cool again

AllCell battery material

By Kaitlin Schuler A battery production line and warehouse lives in a small building on Chicago’s Southwest Side. It features a main production floor with individual work stations dedicated to creating each product, with storage for shipments and a laboratory where new design ideas and compositions are tested and created. Workers in each area are focused […]

Want to store more gasoline in your tank? Startup hopes to help


By Kaitlin Schuler What if there was a way to make vehicles’ gas tanks more efficient and safer for the environment? A way to make portable oxygen tanks more practical and manageable for those who need them? NuMat Technologies Inc., a startup in Skokie, is engineering a way to make both a reality. The company aims […]

US producer prices dip as energy and food continue to slide


By Kaitlin Schuler United States wholesale prices fell slightly in February, pulled down by lower energy and food costs, in a performance that suggests inflationary pressures remain under control. The producer price index dipped a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Tuesday report, matching economist expectations. The […]

Vera Bradley shares climb on firming growth prospects


By Kaitlin Schuler Vera Bradley Inc. shares jumped Wednesday after the handbag and accessories retailer offered an upbeat forecast in its fourth quarter report. In the latest quarter, the Fort Wayne, Indiana-based company posted net income of $15.7 million or 41 cents per diluted share, down 9.4 percent from $17.3 million or 43 cents per […]

Millennials’ sustainability attitudes contrast with actions


By Kaitlin Schuler Although millennials grew up surrounded by conversations of sustainability and conservation, do their actions now reflect what they have learned? Jenni Corcoran, 22, grew up in Evergreen Park, Illinois, but now lives in a Bridgeport apartment with two roommates and works for AmeriCorps. Growing up, her parents pushed the habits of turning […]

Construction spending rise tops expectations


By Kaitlin Schuler Spending on construction in the United States rose by the largest amount in eight months in January, with growth in nonresidential projects counteracting a slight drop in residential construction spending. According to a report issued Tuesday by the Department of Commerce, construction spending increased 1.5 percent from December to a seasonally adjusted $1.14 trillion […]

Franklin Electric reports record Q4 earnings

old water pump

By Kaitlin Schuler Franklin Electric Co. Inc. said fourth-quarter earnings strengthened despite falling revenues and soft prices for oil and other commodities. In the latest quarter, Fort Wayne-based Franklin Electric posted net income of $16.2 million or 33 cents per diluted share, up from $3.1 million or 6 cents per share in the year ago quarter. […]

DTE Energy profits down, but top forecasts


By Kaitlin Schuler DTE Energy Holding Co., hurt by weakness in its non-utility operations, reported fourth quarter earnings which, while down from last year, nonetheless slightly topped analyst forecasts. In the latest quarter, Detroit-based DTE Energy posted net income of $80 million or 45 cents per diluted share, down from $299 million or $1.68 per […]

Exelon turns in lower than expected profit, plans to increase dividend


By Kaitlin Schuler Exelon Corp., hurt by weak energy prices and unfavorable weather in its service areas, reported fourth quarter profits that fell short of forecasts Wednesday. But the company’s shares nonetheless moved higher, after Exelon hinted that it is planning to begin boosting its quarterly dividend payout. In New York Stock Exchange trading, Exelon […]

U.S. jobless claims down, trend expected to continue

Dept. of Labor

By Kaitlin Schuler The number of initial jobless claims made by Americans declined last week, indicating continued stability in the country’s labor market as unemployment remains at 5 percent. According to a report Thursday by the Department of Labor, initial claims decreased by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 278,000 in the week ended Jan. 23. […]