Low interest rates should drive lower rents — But not in hot Chicago nieghborhoods

By Katie Murar The Federal Reserve backed away from an April rate hike, meaning there’s still time for consumers to take advantage of low borrowing costs. With the benchmark level for interest rates remaining between 0.25 and 0.5 percent, individuals can expect the cost of homeownership to stay low along with rental prices. But this […]

Community comes first at Lakeview’s wineHouse

By Katie Murar Lakeview East’s wineHouse is not a corner liquor store. It’s a boutique shop that serves a dose of education with every bottle. The small store, opened on Nov. 17, 2014, had a successful first year, despite the abundance of competition in Lakeview. In its first year, wineHouse sold in excess of 40,000 bottles of wine, […]

Why Millennials Are Drinking More Wine Than Their Parents

By Katie Murar Wine is enjoying a surge in popularity among millennials, bolstered by an increase in availability and variety, though it has not yet overtaken beer in popularity or consumption. According to a recent report by the Wine Market Council, 42 percent of all wine drunk in the U.S. in 2015 was by millennials, […]

Fitbit-like wearable devices can help malnourished children

By Katie Murar At the fourth annual Global Health Symposium in downtown Chicago, public health advocates explained how innovative technologies such as wearable devices are improving access to health care in third world countries. The event, hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs at the Standard Club on Friday, brought together three women involved […]

Banks Aren’t Holding Their Breath for March Interest Rate Hike

By: Katie Murar It’s the beginning of March, and that means more than nice weather is on the way. It’s almost time for the Federal Reserve to decide whether or not to raise interest rates. For America’s banks, the decision will play a big role in near-term profits. On the 15th and 16th of this month, […]

Wintrust Analysts Optimistic Despite Consistently Low Stock Price

By Katie Murar Analysts maintain a positive outlook for Illinois bank holding company Wintrust Financial Corp. despite its lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings released last month and consistently low stock price. “Loans were up almost 5 percent which is better than expected, and credit quality was also good,” John Rodis, senior vice president and research analyst for […]

Ice Cold Warehouse to Tech Hot Spot: Google’s New Chicago Home

By Katie Murar Jim Lecinski, head of Google in Chicago, predicted the company’s new West Loop location will help create a tech hub in the Windy City. “If you were to draw a triangle from 1871 at Merchandise Mart out west to Fulton Market District, north to Goose Island, and then back down on the […]

Workers quitting their jobs like it’s 2007

By Katie Murar A government report issued Tuesday signaled that employers and their workers grew more confident in the health of the labor market in December — and raised the possibility that wages may be due for an increase. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, released each month by the U.S. Labor Department to […]

U.S. house prices continue to rise

By Katie Murar Housing prices, fueled by lower interest rates and a strengthening economy, continued to rise in November, two reports released Tuesday show. The November 2015 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index for 20 cities, released by S&P Dow Jones Indices, show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. […]

Wintrust Earnings Miss Mark

By Katie Murar Wintrust Financial Corp. shares dropped 5 percent after the Chicago-area bank holding company reported significantly lower-than-expected fourth quarter earnings due to increased operating costs. In the final quarter, the company posted net income of $35.5 million, or 64 cents per diluted share, down 6.8 percent from $38.1 million, or 75 cents per […]