Talking Points


Flying planes like birds could save fuel, Boeing and NASA say


Flying planes like birds could save fuel, Boeing and NASA say

Boeing Co. and NASA have found an inexpensive way to cut airline fuel bills by borrowing a trick from the world’s greatest long-distance aviators: migratory birds. By lining up cruising aircraft in a V-shaped formation favored by Canada geese, carriers would be able to produce a leap in efficiency without investing in structural makeovers or futuristic technology. The idea is to link the flying convoys safely using navigation and collision-avoidance tools that already are widely installed in cockpits. A researcher at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration points to studies showing fuel savings of 10 percent to 15 percent, on a par with pricier options such as upgrading engines or installing winglets. But before jets can glide on vortices at 30,000 feet, carriers would need to determine how to schedule planes onto the same route with extreme precision. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Record number of jobs posted in June

US employers posted a record number of open jobs in June, a sign that the solid hiring of recent months will likely continue. Job openings jumped 8 percent to 6.2 million, the highest on records dating back to 2000, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Hiring fell, however, and the number of people quitting their jobs also dropped. The data suggest that employers have plenty of jobs to fill but are struggling to find the qualified workers they need. Typically, employers would offer higher pay to entice more applicants, accelerating wage growth. But the government’s jobs report for July, released Friday, showed that pay gains haven’t picked up yet. Job openings in construction and manufacturing rose sharply. They also increased in financial services, health care, and in state and local government. The number of open jobs in retail fell. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Nissan to pay more than $97 million in air bag settlement

Nissan Motor Co. would pay $97.68 million under a proposed settlement with vehicle owners affected by the Takata air bag recalls. The settlement would pay for a new outreach program to ensure Takata air bags are removed from 4.4 million affected Nissan vehicles. It would also compensate owners for expenses while getting their cars fixed, including rental cars. Takata’s air bag inflators can explode with too much force, hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers. The inflators are blamed for at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide. The problem touched off the largest automotive recall in US history. The Nissan settlement is similar to those reached in May with Toyota, BMW, Mazda, and Subaru. The settlement was filed Tuesday in federal court in Miami. It still needs a judge’s approval.


Ralph Lauren
and Michael Kors post profits
as they cut markdowns


Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors merchandise is less likely to be marked down these days, and that’s showing up on the bottom line for both companies. The two fashion houses posted profit that handily beat analysts’ estimates on Tuesday — a sign of progress in their efforts to get customers to pay full price — and helped send the stocks soaring. Deep discounts had squeezed earnings in recent years and eroded the prestige of the brands. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Hertz losses continue

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Hertz Global Holdings Inc. reported a quarterly loss that was deeper than analysts projected while signaling confidence it’s starting to fix operational issues that have left the rental-car company vulnerable to the encroachment of ride-hailing companies. The second quarter adjusted loss was 63 cents per share, the company said in a statement. Analysts were projecting a third straight quarterly deficit of 24 cents on average, with the lowest projection being for a 59 cent loss. Kathryn V. Marinello took over Hertz in January and has tried to turn the company around by selling down its crowded fleet of discounted car models. At the same time, Hertz and rival Avis Budget Group Inc. face major threats from the rise of ride-hailing and car-sharing companies led by Uber Technologies. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


At least 25 years for Wisconsin to break even on Foxconn deal, analysis finds

It would take at least 25 years for Wisconsin taxpayers to break even on Governor Scott Walker’s incentives to lure Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn to the state, according to a fiscal analysis released Tuesday. Walker’s bill would exempt construction materials from the state and local sales tax and hand the company up to $2.85 billion in tax credits based on the number of jobs generated. It also would exempt the company from a host of environmental regulations and borrow $252 million to rebuild Interstate 94 near the plant site. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s analysis of the bill found that Walker’s administration found the cost of the tax credits would exceed potential increased tax revenues by $1.04 billion at the end of fiscal year 2032-33. After that year, payments to Foxconn would end and increased tax collections would ring in at about $115 million annually. At that rate, the break-even point would come during the 2042-43 fiscal year. The break-even point could come even later, though. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


McDonald’s to nearly double number of restaurants in China

McDonald’s will nearly double the number of restaurants in China in the next five years, eventually surpassing Japan as the hamburger chain’s second-biggest market outside the United States. The company expects to have 4,500 restaurants in China by 2022, up from 2,500. With fewer people eating at US locations, it hopes to grow sales in China by double digits in each of the next five years. Some chains, however, have run into trouble in China. Yum Brands, the owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, spun off its 7,500 restaurants in China into a separate company after it failed to revive declining sales. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


BlackRock cuts fees on socially responsible ETFs

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, has made steep fee cuts to three socially responsible exchange-traded funds, a category that’s struggling to attract investors. The company lowered fees by as much as 20 basis points at the offerings, which total about $204 million in assets, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. It also made reductions of about 2 basis points on eight bond ETFs. The 11 funds have total assets under management of about $4 billion. The move by BlackRock is the latest in a series of fee cuts made as firms compete to win assets. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Disney to offer two streaming services with ESPN shows, family films


Walt Disney Co., once again shaking up the media industry, announced it will stop selling movies to Netflix Inc. and begin offering ESPN sports programming and family films directly to consumers over two new streaming services. Starting next year, an ESPN-branded service, which the company had said was in the works, will feature 10,000 live events a year, including Major League Baseball, hockey, soccer, and tennis, as well as college sports, Disney said Tuesday in a statement. Individual sports packages will also be available. — BLOOMBERG NEWS