Consumer prices decline, but inflation threat rises

By Xiumei Dong Consumer prices eased in February as gasoline prices continued to fall, but prices for non-energy items maintained their upward trend, offering further evidence that inflation remains a threat. The consumer price index, which measures what Americans pay for everything from cereal to car insurance, declined 0.2 percent in February on a seasonally […]

Where dreams are made of carbon fiber

By Xiumei Dong and Iacopo Luzi Composite Envisions LLC, located in Wausau, Wisconsin, produces carbon fiber composite materials for customers around the world. As the company moves to a bigger factory, 29-year-old founder Cory Thorson, who became rich as a teen-age entrepreneur, said he is excited about the emerging opportunities. “More space, more employees, more […]

Volkswagen targets new demographic as it looks past emissions scandal

By Xiumei Dong Volkswagen AG, still reeling from a scandal that tarnished its reputation last year, is taking aim at some new demographic groups: younger drivers worldwide and Chinese car buyers. “Volkswagen is changing,” Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, told the audience at a high-profile auto show in Geneva this week. […]

Home Depot sales climbed as U.S. housing recovers

By Xiumei Dong Home improvement retail giant Home Depot Inc., helped by the improving U.S. housing market and favorable weather conditions, reported stronger-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter results Tuesday. For the quarter ended Jan. 30, Home Depot reported a net income of $1.47 billion, or $1.17 per diluted share, a 6.7 percent increase compared with net earnings […]

Hyatt’s earning land just short of analyst estimates

By Xiumei Dong Hyatt Hotels Corp. turned in fourth-quarter earnings that, while slightly below analyst forecasts, underscored how the hotel chain is currently benefiting from having a smaller international presence than its rivals. Net income dropped to $37 million, or 26 cents per share, from $182 million, or $1.20 per share, in the year-ago quarter. […]

Buenos Aires Celebrates the Money in the Year of the Monkey

By Xiumei Dong [soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /] Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a day that’s typically filled with celebrations, cultural activities and quality family times. When the traditional holiday is imported to a foreign country like Argentina, it is the golden period for small Chinese vendors to […]

Size matters at the Chicago auto show

By Xiumei Dong With the drop in oil and gasoline prices, the auto industry is increasingly betting on larger size cars including SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks. At the Chicago Auto Show Thursday, Ford, Nissan, and Hyundai all introduced new lines of SUVs or crossovers. “The trend is undeniable. Since 2010, small SUV sales have been up […]

Groupon’s new leadership sparks hope

By Xiumei Dong Groupon Inc. is stepping up big this Valentine’s Day with promotion specials that offer lovers the chance to buy land on Mars. As the Chicago company restructures its leadership team, analysts see a slight hope for the stock in 2016. Four analysts rate Groupon a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and […]

To get more out of your travel dollar, experts point overseas

By Xiumei Dong A family trip to Europe, an exploration of Canadian national parks, or a wildlife adventure in Australia: These were some of the trips Americans had in mind last weekend as the dollar is strong. The Chicago Travel & Adventure Show returned to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in suburban Rosemont,  mixing travel lovers, […]

Lower jet-fuel costs mean higher profits for Southwest Air, United

By Xiumei Dong United Continental Holdings, Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. both reported big fourth quarter earnings jumps Thursday, as the two carriers continue to benefit from falling oil prices. In the latest quarter, Southwest’s net income climbed to $536 million, or 82 cents per diluted share, from the $190 million, or 28 cents per […]