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Editorial Results (free)

1. US Factory Output Increases 0.2 Percent -

U.S. manufacturing output grew modestly in October, as autoworkers churned out fewer cars and trucks.

Output at manufacturing plants rose 0.2 percent in October, the Federal Reserve said Monday. Gains came from the rising demand for machinery, plastics, clothing and furniture. Factory output has risen 3.4 percent over the past 12 months.

2. Fed Sees Solid US Economy, Despite New Threats -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve policy-makers discussed a variety of economic threats at their October meeting – from turbulent financial markets to overseas weakness – but decided to move forward with plans to end their landmark bond buying program.

3. US Factory Output Increases 0.2 Percent -

U.S. manufacturing output grew modestly in October, as autoworkers churned out fewer cars and trucks.

Output at manufacturing plants rose 0.2 percent in October, the Federal Reserve said Monday. Gains came from the rising demand for machinery, plastics, clothing and furniture. Factory output has risen 3.4 percent over the past 12 months.

4. Jobless Aid Applications Climb to 290,000 -

More people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, but the increase wasn't sharp enough to disrupt the job market's positive momentum.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications rose 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 290,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 6,000 to 285,000, up slightly from what had the lowest average in more than 14 years.

5. Hagerty Works Toward Better Air Connection -

In its second term, Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration hopes to draw even more foreign-based business investment to Tennessee by building international air travel in a state that currently has no hub airports.

6. US Consumer Sentiment Reaches Seven-Year High -

U.S. consumers expect better economic growth and rising incomes in the coming months, pushing a measure of confidence to a seven-year high in October.

The University of Michigan said Friday that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 86.9 from 84.6 in September. That's the highest since July 2007, five months before the Great Recession began. Still, the index regularly topped 90 before the downturn.

7. China’s Growth Gut Check -

The global economy is a symphony of regional and local economies interconnected by trade, interest rates and currency movements. We can generalize the influence of our leading instrumentalists in the following ways.

8. Schools, Development Dominate Germantown Races -

Germantown will have a new mayor once all of the votes are counted Nov. 4 in the city’s municipal elections on the ballot.

But the race between former Germantown Community Services director George Brogdon and alderman Mike Palazzolo likely won’t completely settle the community’s discussion and debate about development and the future of the Germantown Municipal Schools district.

9. GOP Governors Don't See 'Obamacare' Going Away -

WASHINGTON (AP) — While Republicans in Congress shout, "Repeal Obamacare," GOP governors in many states have quietly accepted the law's major Medicaid expansion. Even if their party wins control of the Senate in the upcoming elections, they just don't see the law going away.

10. Survey: Pay Raises Rarer Despite Strong US Hiring -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses were much less likely to boost pay in the third quarter than in previous months, even as hiring remained healthy, a sign that wage gains may remain weak in the coming months.

11. Canadian Pacific Ends CSX Deal Talks -

Canadian Pacific Railway has ended talks with U.S. counterpart CSX about a possible combination and plans no more discussions.

The railway operator did not say on Monday why it ended talks, but it did note in a brief statement that regulatory concerns appear to be a major deterrent for railroads considering combinations.

12. This week in Memphis history: October 17-23 -

2013: Standing at the corner of Farrington Street and Hollowell Avenue in Riverside, District Attorney General Amy Weirich announced the city’s first no gang zone aimed at the Riverside Rolling 90s Crips gang.

13. Long-Term Success -

Insurance products by definition tend to be long-term oriented, providing value over an extended period of time. No surprise, then, that Memphis insurance agency Lipscomb & Pitts, which opened its doors with one employee in 1954, all of a sudden finds itself celebrating 60 years in business.

14. Thinner iPads, Sharper iMacs in Apple's Lineup -

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) – Apple unveiled a thinner iPad Thursday with a faster processor and a better camera as it tries to drive excitement for tablets amid slowing demand. The company also released an update to its Mac operating system and introduced a high-resolution iMac model that might appeal to heavy watchers of television over the Internet.

15. Ailing Global Economy Could Lead Fed to Delay Hike -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Just as the U.S. job market has finally strengthened, the Federal Reserve now confronts a new worry: A sputtering global economy that's spooked investors across the world.

16. IMF Trims Forecast for Global Economic Growth -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund slightly lowered its outlook for global economic growth this year and next, mostly because of weaker expansions in Japan, Latin America and Europe.

17. Is This the Year the Vols Stomp the Chomp? -

KNOXVILLE – Much has happened since Tennessee placekicker James Wilhoit booted a 50-yarder with seven seconds remaining and the No. 13-ranked Vols beat No. 11 Florida 30-28 at Neyland Stadium.

18. 5 Mysteries of US Job Market Waiting to be Solved -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Just how healthy is the U.S. job market?

Despite steady hiring and falling unemployment, the question has provoked sharp debate and considerable uncertainty on the eve of the September jobs report.

19. Economy's Q2 Rebound Was Even Faster Than Thought -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy's bounce-back last quarter from a dismal winter was even faster than previously thought, a sign that growth will likely remain solid for rest of the year.

20. US New-Home Sales Soar in August -

U.S. sales of new homes surged in August, led by a wave of buying in the West and Northeast.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales climbed 18 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000. The report also revised up the July sales rate to 427,000 from 412,000.

21. HipD: Donelson Finds Its Cool Side -

The tag “Hip Donelson” evoked plenty of snickers, eye rolls and snarky comments when it first appeared. After all, the local joke goes, Donelson’s known for hip replacements – not hipsters.

22. US New-Home Sales Soar in August -

U.S. sales of new homes surged in August, led by a wave of buying in the West and Northeast.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales climbed 18 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000. The report also revised up the July sales rate to 427,000 from 412,000.

23. US Unemployment Benefit Applications Fall Sharply -

The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped by a sharp 36,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 280,000, a sign that the job market is strengthening.

The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 299,500, the Labor Department said Thursday. The total number of people collecting benefits during the first week of September was 2.43 million, the fewest since May 2007.

24. Brighter Economy Driving Up Holiday Hiring Plans -

NEW YORK (AP) – UPS will hire up to 95,000. Kohl's plans to take on 67,000 and FedEx 50,000. Wal-Mart will add 60,000.

One after the other, a flurry of major U.S. retail and transportation companies announced sharp increases this week in the number of temporary workers they plan to hire for the holiday season. Collectively, such hiring could reach its highest point this year for stores since 1999, when the economy was roaring and the Great Recession was still eight years away.

25. Volatile Apartment Sector Reduces US Home Building -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home construction plunged in August, led by steep decline in the volatile apartment category. But single-family house construction, a larger and more stable portion of the market, fell only modestly.

26. Fed Keeps Rates Low, But Brace for the Inevitable -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Record-low interest rates will be around for at least a few more months, the Federal Reserve made clear Wednesday.

Enjoy the easy money while it lasts.

By mid-2015, economists expect the Fed to abandon a nearly 6-year-old policy of keeping short-term rates at record lows. Those rates have helped support the economy, cheered the stock market and shrunk mortgage rates. A Fed rate increase could potentially reverse those trends.

27. US Unemployment Benefit Applications Fall Sharply -

The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped by a sharp 36,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 280,000, a sign that the job market is strengthening.

The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 299,500, the Labor Department said Thursday. The total number of people collecting benefits during the first week of September was 2.43 million, the fewest since May 2007.

28. Fed Increases Estimate for Key Rate at End of 2015 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve policymakers have slightly increased their estimate of what the Fed's benchmark interest rate should be at the end of 2015 compared with their estimate three months ago.

29. US Factory Output Drops 0.4 Percent in August -

U.S. manufacturing output declined in August for the first time in seven months, reflecting a sharp fall in production at auto plants that was due mainly to seasonal adjustment problems.

Output at manufacturing plants fell 0.4 percent in August after a 0.7 percent rise in July, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. Total industrial production was down 0.1 percent in August, also the first setback for the overall figure since January. Output was up in mining and utility production but these gains were not enough to offset the decline in manufacturing.

30. Sharpe, HealthNet Find Success in Changing Industry -

As banking has changed in recent years, it’s caused consumers to take another look at the conventional wisdom – including coming to the realization that banking is not limited to, well, banks.

Credit unions tend to be overshadowed by their more traditional brethren, but they generally provide the same services in a way that consumers probably couldn’t even spot the differences between those firms and larger, traditional banks.

31. American Recovery Drives the Dollar Sharply Higher -

NEW YORK (AP) – In the world of currencies, the dollar is starting to look like a safe home in a tough neighborhood.

A strengthening American economy, combined with a gloomy outlook for growth elsewhere, is pushing the U.S. currency sharply higher.

32. College Savings on the Rise as Plans Average $20,000 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The good news is that Americans are saving more than ever for college. The bad news is that the average amount wouldn't come close to getting a person a degree.

In a report released Tuesday, the College Savings Plans Network found that the average college savings or prepaid tuition account known as a "529" plan is now worth about $20,671 – almost double what these accounts were worth during the dog-days of the recession.

33. Brand Voice – Ultimate Competitive Advantage -

Your brand is more than your logo. In fact, customers view brands through three distinct lenses – verbal, visual and experiential.

Your logo and the broader look and feel of your brand identity certainly drive a customer’s visual interpretation of your brand. How they are treated when engaging with your brand drives their experiential impression of your brand. That leaves the verbal lens, which is all about your brand’s spoken and written voice.

34. US Economy Grew at 4.2 Percent Rate in Second Quarter -

WASHINGTON (AP) – After a bleak start to the year, the U.S. economy grew at a brisk annual rate of 4.2 percent in the April-June quarter, the government said Thursday, slightly faster than it had first estimated.

35. US Home Price Gains Slow in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices increased at a slower pace in June – a cooldown that could continue for several more months.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 8.1 percent in June from 12 months earlier, according to a Tuesday report. That's down from 9.4 percent a month earlier and the smallest annual gain since December 2012.

36. Fight to Save Printers Alley a Family Affair -

“How does it feel to be on your own?” Fritz Hester turns Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” into a surging blues tune that spills out of the Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar into the thick, cigarette and beer-flavored humidity stifling Printers Alley

37. Reshaping a City, One Lot at a Time -

John G. Brittle Jr. doesn’t have an office. He has a war room. The space, crowded with maps, charts, books, piles of paper and marked-up spreadsheets, is ground zero for InfillNashville, the 10-person team of site selection specialists that Brittle leads at Village Real Estate Services.

38. US Businesses Boosted Stockpiles 0.4 Percent in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. businesses added to their stockpiles at a slightly slower pace in June compared with May, possibly reflecting weaker sales in the past two months.

Business stockpiles increased 0.4 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis after a 0.5 percent gain in May, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Sales rose 0.3 percent in June, matching the May increase. Sales have slowed after rapid gains from February through April.

39. US Budget Deficit Running 24.2 Percent Below 2013 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal government ran a lower deficit this July than a year ago, keeping it on course to record the lowest deficit in six years.

The July deficit was $94.6 billion, an improvement of 3.1 percent from a year ago, the Treasury Department reported Tuesday in its monthly budget statement.

40. US Wholesale Inventories Rise 0.3 Percent in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. wholesalers restocked their warehouses at a modest pace in June for a second straight month, a sign they may anticipate slower growth ahead.

The Commerce Department said Friday that wholesale inventories rose 0.3 percent, the same as the previous month. May's inventory gain was revised down from 0.5 percent.

41. US Productivity Recovers After Steep First-Quarter Fall -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. workers were more productive in the April-June quarter and labor costs rose slightly, a sharp turnaround from grim first-quarter figures.

The Labor Department said Friday that that productivity increased 2.5 percent at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, after plummeting 4.5 percent in the first quarter. That was the steepest drop in 31 years, and reflected a sharp 2.1 percent contraction in the economy. Economists blamed most of that shrinkage on temporary factors, such as harsh weather and a cutback in stockpiling by businesses.

42. More Vigorous US Economy Appears to Be Emerging -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy has rebounded with vigor from a grim start to 2014 and should show renewed strength into next year.

That was the general view of analysts Wednesday after the government estimated that the economy grew at a fast 4 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter. Consumers, businesses and governments joined to fuel the second-quarter expansion. The government also said growth was more robust last year than it had previously estimated.

43. Across US Job Market, Layoffs are Becoming Rare -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The risk of losing your job is getting smaller and smaller.

As the U.S. economy has improved and employers have regained confidence, companies have been steadily shedding fewer workers. Which is why applications for unemployment benefits have dwindled to their lowest level since February 2006 – nearly two years before the Great Recession began – the government said Thursday.

44. IMF Sees US Growth at Weakest Since Recession -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. economic growth this year will likely be at the weakest pace since the Great Recession ended, the International Monetary Fund said, mostly because of a sharp, weather-related contraction in the first quarter.

45. Retail Sales Tick Up 0.2 Percent in June -

U.S. retail sales increased slightly in June, evidence that consumers remain cautious despite steady job gains this year.

Retail sales rose just 0.2 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, held back by a sharp drop at building and garden supply stores. Sales also fell at restaurants and at auto dealers.

46. US Unemployment Aid Applications Drop -

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week, a steady decline that suggests a strengthening job market.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid dipped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

47. US Unemployment Aid Applications Drop to 302,000 -

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week, a steady decline that suggests a strengthening job market.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid dipped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

48. Retail Sales Tick Up 0.2 Percent in June -

U.S. retail sales increased slightly in June, evidence that consumers remain cautious despite steady job gains this year.

Retail sales rose just 0.2 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, held back by a sharp drop at building and garden supply stores. Sales also fell at restaurants and at auto dealers.

49. Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that the economic recovery is not yet complete and for that reason the Fed intends to keep providing significant support to boost growth and improve labor market conditions.

50. US Records $71 Billion Budget Surplus in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government ran a monthly budget surplus in June, putting it on course to record the lowest annual deficit since 2008.

The Treasury Department said Friday that its June surplus totaled $71 billion, following a $130 billion deficit in May. The government also ran a surplus in June 2013, bolstered by dividends from Fannie Mae, the mortgage giant under federal conservatorship for the past six years.

51. Economists Lower Forecasts for US Growth -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. business economists have sharply cut their growth forecasts for the April-June quarter and 2014, though they remain optimistic that the economy will rebound from a dismal first quarter.

52. US Unemployment Aid Applications Fall to 304,000 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, driving down the level of applications to nearly the lowest in seven years.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's not far from a reading of 298,000 two months ago, which was the lowest since 2007, before the Great Recession began.

53. Contracts to Buy US Homes Up Sharply in May -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes shot up in May. But the pace of buying this year remains slower than in 2013, in part because of sluggish sales during winter.

54. Durable Goods Orders Drop 1 Percent in May -

Orders for U.S. durable goods tumbled 1 percent in May as demand for military equipment fell sharply. But excluding defense-related goods, orders actually rose, and orders in a key category that signals business investment also increased.

55. Unemployment Aid Applications Dip -

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits declined last week, the latest evidence that a sharp economic slowdown earlier this year hasn’t caused employers to cut jobs.

Weekly unemployment benefit applications fell 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 2,000 to 314,000.

56. US Unemployment Aid Applications Dip -

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits declined last week, the latest evidence that a sharp economic slowdown earlier this year hasn't caused employers to cut jobs.

Weekly unemployment benefit applications fell 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 2,000 to 314,000.

57. Economy Shrank at Steep 2.9 Percent Rate in First Quarter -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy shrank at a steep annual rate of 2.9 percent in the January-March quarter as a harsh winter contributed to the biggest contraction since the depths of the recession five years ago. But the setback is widely thought to be temporary, with growth rebounding solidly since spring.

58. Durable Goods Orders Drop 1 Percent in May -

Orders for U.S. durable goods tumbled 1 percent in May as demand for military equipment fell sharply. But excluding defense-related goods, orders actually rose, and orders in a key category that signals business investment also increased.

59. Health Choice Selects Jones to Lead Provider Engagement -

LaTasha Jones has been named director of provider engagement at Health Choice LLC, where she will be responsible for directing and managing the implementation of a clinical integration database for Health Choice providers and practices.

60. Economy Set for Rebound After First Quarter Contraction -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy took a beating from an especially harsh winter during the January-March quarter, skidding into reverse for the first time in three years. But spring has arrived and along with it, signs that the chill was just a temporary setback in the long road to recovery.

61. US Consumer Confidence Moved Up in May -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumers were slightly more confident in the economy in May than in April, partly because of strengthening optimism about future hiring and income gains.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its confidence index rose to 83 from a revised 81.7 in April. That's the second-highest reading since January 2008, just after the Great Recession began. Only March was higher at 83.9.

62. AstraZeneca Rejects $119 Billion Offer From Pfizer -

LONDON (AP) – The board of AstraZeneca on Monday rejected the improved $119 billion takeover offer from U.S. drugmaker Pfizer, a decision that caused a sharp slide in the U.K. company's share price as many investors think it effectively brings an end to the protracted and increasingly bitter takeover saga.

63. US on Track for Narrowest Budget Gap Since 2008 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. government ran a big surplus in April, thanks to a flood of tax payments that helped keep the budget on track for the lowest annual deficit in six years.

The Treasury Department said Monday that April's surplus totaled $106.9 billion, down slightly from last April's $112.9 billion surplus. The government typically runs a surplus during April, when individual tax returns are due and corporations make quarterly tax payments.

64. Average US 30-Year Mortgage Rate Falls to 4.21 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for a second straight week as the spring home-buying season has gotten off to a slow start.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan declined to 4.21 percent from 4.29 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.32 percent from 3.38 percent.

65. Bayer to Buy Merck Consumer Business for $14.2 Billion -

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Germany's Bayer plans to buy U.S.-based Merck & Co.'s consumer health business, creating a combined medicine cabinet of household names from Bayer's aspirin to Merck's Claritin allergy pills.

66. Slowing Chinese Economy Likely to Pinch US, Too -

WASHINGTON (AP) – After watching China narrow the U.S. lead as the world's largest economy, Americans might be tempted to cheer signs that the Chinese economy might be stumbling.

Any schadenfreude would be short-sighted.

67. US Economy Slows to 0.1 Percent Growth Rate -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy slowed sharply in the first three months of the year as a harsh winter exacted a toll on business activity. The slowdown, while worse than expected, is likely to be temporary as growth rebounds with warmer weather.

68. Venture Investments Highest Since 2001 -

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into a growing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

69. Venture Investments Highest Since 2001 -

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into a growing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

70. House Passes Ryan Budget With Big Cuts -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Republicans rallied behind a slashing budget blueprint on Thursday, passing a non-binding but politically imposing measure that promises a balanced federal ledger in 10 years with sweeping budget cuts and termination of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

71. Obama Signs Actions Taking Aim at Gender Pay Gap -

WASHINGTON (AP) – In a concerted election-year push to draw attention to women's wages, President Barack Obama signed directives Tuesday that would make it easier for workers of federal contractors to get information about workplace compensation. He seasoned his move with a sharp rebuke of Republicans whom he accused of "gumming up the works" on workplace fairness.

72. Manufacturing Grew More Quickly in March -

U.S. manufacturing grew at a slightly faster pace in March compared with February as factory output recovered from disruptions caused by severe winter weather. Manufacturers also received more orders, suggesting that production could strengthen a bit in the months ahead. The Institute for Supply Management, a group of purchasing managers, said Tuesday that its manufacturing index increased to 53.7 from 53.2 in February. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

73. US Trade Deficit Hits $42.3 Billion in February -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit climbed to the highest level in five months in February as demand for American exports fell while imports increased slightly.

The deficit increased to $42.3 billion, which was 7.7 percent above the January imbalance of $39.3 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

74. US Manufacturing Grew More Quickly in March -

U.S. manufacturing grew at a slightly faster pace in March compared with February as factory output recovered from disruptions caused by severe winter weather. Manufacturers also received more orders, suggesting that production could strengthen a bit in the months ahead.

75. School Board Approves $52.6 Million Capital Ask -

Shelby County Schools board members have approved 25 sets of attendance zone changes for the first school year of the demerger and sent a $52.6 million capital “ask” for the current fiscal year to the Shelby County Commission for consideration.

76. US Factory Output Rebounds in February -

U.S. factory output rebounded strongly in February after harsh winter storms caused a steep drop-off in production in January. Manufacturers produced more autos, home electronics and chemicals.

The Federal Reserve said Monday that factory production surged 0.8 percent, nearly reversing a 0.9 percent plunge in January that was due mainly to weather. February’s gain was the largest in six months.

77. US Home Construction Falls for 3rd Month in Feb. -

U.S. home construction fell for a third month in February, but in a hopeful sign, applications for building permits rose to their highest level in four months.

Builders started work on 907,000 homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in February, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was down a slight 0.2 percent from January, when construction had fallen 11.2 percent. The declines have been blamed in large part on severe winter weather in much of the country.

78. ‘Memphis Message’ -

During the recent Trans-Pacific Maritime conference in Long Beach, Calif., Memphis business leaders like Neely Mallory and Buzz Fly extolled the virtues of doing business in the Bluff City.

When FedEx founder, chairman and CEO Fred Smith addressed the crowd, the Greater Memphis Chamber’s logo was featured prominently on the large screen to his left.

79. US Home Construction Falls for 3rd Month in February -

U.S. home construction fell for a third month in February, but in a hopeful sign, applications for building permits rose to their highest level in four months.

Builders started work on 907,000 homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in February, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was down a slight 0.2 percent from January, when construction had fallen 11.2 percent. The declines have been blamed in large part on severe winter weather in much of the country.

80. US Homebuilder Confidence Edges Higher in March -

U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market edged higher this month, reflecting improved demand for new homes as the traditional spring home-selling season ramps up.

But the outlook for sales of single-family homes over the next six months dimmed slightly as builders continue to grapple with a shortage of skilled workers, ready-to-build land and rising building materials costs.

81. US Factory Output Rebounds in February -

U.S. factory output rebounded strongly in February after harsh winter storms caused a steep drop-off in production in January. Manufacturers produced more autos, home electronics and chemicals.

The Federal Reserve said Monday that factory production surged 0.8 percent, nearly reversing a 0.9 percent plunge in January that was due mainly to weather. February's gain was the largest in six months.

82. Producer Prices Dip 0.1 Percent in February -

The prices companies receive for their goods and services fell slightly in February, the latest sign that inflation is tame.

The producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, dropped 0.1 percent in February, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s the first decline since November. A sharp fall in the price markups by wholesalers and retailers pushed down the index. Producer prices rose 0.9 percent from 12 months ago. That’s the smallest 12-month increase since last May.

83. Blast of Winter Weather Can't Faze US Employers -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Brutal winter weather snarled traffic, canceled flights and cut power to homes and factories in February. Yet it didn't faze U.S. employers, who added 175,000 jobs, far more than the two previous months.

84. US Home Prices Rose at Solid Pace in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose in January after three months of declines as a tight supply of properties likely supported prices despite slower sales.

Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices rose 0.9 percent in January after dipping 0.1 percent in December. Over the past 12 months, home prices have risen 12 percent, the biggest year-over-year gain in more than eight years.

85. US Manufacturing Boosted by Orders and Stockpiles -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing expanded more quickly last month as companies received more orders and boosted their stockpiles.

A measure of production fell to its lowest level in nearly five years, likely a casualty of severe winter weather. But the rise in orders raises the possibility that factory output will rebound in coming months, economists said.

86. Next Step: Innovate Open Young Minds -

Our last Let’s Grow column focused on an outgrowth of our efforts with some sharp peers, the Memphis Innovation Bootcamp.

One objective of the Bootcamp is to build a community of innovators. The more we socialize these methods and tools, the larger the social and business problems can be met with creativity, empathy and the widest range of possible solutions.

87. How to Fight the Flat -

Markets have regained their composure after a sharp, but necessary, sell off in early January. Sentiment has now retreated from the euphoric levels reached toward the end of last year, to more neutral levels.

88. Shelby Forest Parents Applaud Rezoning Proposal -

The first reviews of the tentative Shelby County Schools rezoning plan for students were positive, with the plan winning applause Monday, Feb. 24, from parents in the Shelby Forest area.

The set of public hearings moves Wednesday, Feb. 26, to nearby Woodstock Middle School.

89. Transcripts Show Fed at Times Slow to Grasp Crisis -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve agonized in 2008 over how far to go to stop a financial crisis that threatened to cause a recession and at times struggled to recognize its speed and magnitude.

90. Women Prove Mettle in Tough CRE Industry -

When Rosemarie Fair first entered the world of commercial real estate in the early 1980s, it was still a largely male-dominated profession and she felt the biting sting of disrespect.

“When you’re in property management as a female and you’re developing a Downtown mixed-use project, when you walked into a construction site the contractors and subcontractors just assumed here comes the owner’s wife, or the secretary,” said Fair, owner of One Source Commercial Inc. “The old adage back then was you had to work twice as hard to be thought of half as much and back then it was absolutely true. I had to start below zero and prove myself. And I did, and I was successful.”

91. US Consumer Prices Rose 0.1 Percent Last Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer prices barely rose last month as a sharp increase in energy costs was offset by cheaper clothing, cars and air fares. The figures indicate inflation remains mild.

92. Lenders Repossessed Fewer US Homes in January -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Lenders repossessed fewer U.S. homes in January, bringing the number of completed foreclosures down to the lowest level in more than six years.

Even so, many states posted sharp increases in the number of homes entering the foreclosure process for the first time, a trend that raises the likelihood that those states will see a surge in foreclosed homes later this year.

93. Late-Payment Rate on Mortgages Falls in 4th Quarter -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – U.S. homeowners are doing a better job of keeping up with mortgage payments, a trend that has reduced the rate of late payment on home loans to the lowest level in more than five years.

94. Fears of Slowdown Sharpen Focus on US Jobs Report -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fears of an economic slowdown are heightening anticipation of what Friday's U.S. jobs report for January might reveal.

Stock markets have sunk after signs of weaker growth in the United States, Europe and China. Turmoil in developing countries has further spooked investors. The upheaval has renewed doubts about the Federal Reserve's next steps.

95. Survey: US Companies Add 175,000 Jobs in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A private survey shows that businesses added jobs at a modest pace in January, a sign that hiring may have rebounded after a disappointing figure in December.

Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 175,000 jobs last month. That's down from 227,000 in December, which was revised lower. But it was much better than the government's official figure of just 74,000 new jobs in December.

96. US Consumer Spending Up 0.4 Percent in December -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans increased their spending at a solid pace for the second straight month in December even though their income was flat.

Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in December, compared with November when spending had increased an even stronger 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday. That was the best gain in five months.

97. January 31-February 6: This week in Memphis history -

1974: A nine-member delegation from the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce began a visit to four cities in Japan at the invitation of the Japanese government. The visit to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Nara led to the opening of the Sharp manufacturing plant in Hickory Hill four years later.
The four-city visit was billed as a chance to exchange opinions “on a broad range of matters and problems of mutual interest.” But Chamber chief executive officer Ronald E. Leigh also had talks scheduled, according to The Daily News, “with one corporation that has had representatives here on four occasions,” including the week before the Memphis delegation left for Japan.
That corporation was Sharp Corp. The plant, which in the beginning made color televisions, was a breakthrough for direct foreign business investment in Tennessee and Memphis.

98. Empowering Programs -

On a recent Thursday night in January, 10 young girls enjoyed assorted cheeses, crab cakes, fruits and desserts at Napa Café in East Memphis.

While the girls, all members of Girls Inc. of Memphis, loved the food, it was their discussions with female employees from CB Richard Ellis Memphis that nourished their imaginations and ambitions.

99. Sharp’s Exit From Solar Part of Industry Trend -

Sharp Corp.’s announcement last week that it would end solar panel production at its Memphis plant is the latest indication of how volatile the solar energy industry has become.

100. Sharp to End Solar Panel Production in Memphis -

Sharp Corp. will stop making solar panels at its Memphis manufacturing plant by the end of March, leaving more than 300 employees out of a job.

The company's notice to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development says 311 workers will lose their jobs as of March 22.