Hyatt says 250 hotels had malware in 2015
Hyatt Hotels Corp. said Thursday that it found malicious software in about 250 of its hotels that may have exposed customers' credit- and debit-card numbers and other information to hackers. It's the first time the hotel operator has listed the hotels affected since it announced it found malware at its hotels in December. The hotel chain does not know at this time how many customers were affected, a Hyatt spokeswoman said. Hyatt said the malware was present between July and December within payment-processing systems at its restaurants, spas, front desks and other areas in its hotels. Cardholder names, card numbers and expiration dates may have been exposed, the company said. Several other hotel chains reported being hacked last year, including Starwood, Trump Hotel Collection and Mandarin Oriental.
Requests for jobless aid rose last week
More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but the level remains near historic lows that point to a healthy job market. Applications for jobless aid rose 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less-volatile four-week average rose 3,000 to 278,750. Over the past 12 months, the number of people collecting benefits has fallen 6.3 percent to 2.3 million. The stock market has suffered a tumultuous start to 2016, but U.S. employers largely appear to be confident in the economy. Consumers have stayed resilient despite global challenges as growth prospects in China have become increasingly uncertain and oil prices flirt with a low $30 a barrel.
Earnings spike for JPMorgan Chase
Banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter profits rose 9 percent from a year earlier, helped by strong performance in its consumer banking division and lower legal expenses. The largest U.S. bank by assets said it earned $4.91 billion, or $1.32 per share, after payments to preferred shareholders, compared to a profit of $4.49 billion, or a $1.19 per share, a year earlier. The results topped analysts' forecasts, who were looking for JPMorgan to earn $1.26 per share, according to FactSet.
Names will change in Yosemite dispute
The names of iconic hotels and other landmarks in the world-famous Yosemite National Park will soon change in an ongoing battle over who owns the intellectual property, park officials said Thursday. The luxurious Ahwahnee Hotel will become the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, and Curry Village will become Half Dome Village, said park spokesman Scott Gediman. The move comes in an ongoing dispute with Delaware North, the company that recently lost a $2 billion bid — the National Park Services largest single contract — to run Yosemite's hotels, restaurants and outdoor activities.
NBC reports excellent ad sales for Olympics
Television ad sales for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August are on pace to exceed the $1 billion spent during the London Olympics four years ago. NBC executive Seth Winter said several deals done over the past two months put ad sales on pace for an Olympic record. Digital ad sales are expected to rise 50 percent from London as more people watch TV on smartphones and tablets. Advertisers are coming from a range of industries including automotive, technology and health care. The Olympics open Aug. 5 and run through Aug. 21.
Southern Comfort, Tuaca labels sold
Louisville, Ky.-based Brown-Forman announced on Thursday it is selling the Southern Comfort label, as well as Tuaca liqueur to New Orleans-based Sazerac, owner of Buffalo Trace, for a combined $543.5 million. The decision to sell reflects a decision to focus resources on its highest strategic priorities, which include Jack Daniel's and premium whiskeys like Woodford Reserve, said Brown-Forman CEO Paul Varga in a news release. Rumors of the sale, possibly including the raspberry liqueur Chambord, were floated last fall but Brown-Forman declined to comment, although word leaked that Goldman Sachs had been hired to broker a deal. Brown-Forman bought Southern Comfort in 1979 and Tuaca, a brandy-based vanilla and orange liqueur, in 2002.
JetBlue computer outage troubles travelers
A major outage of JetBlue Airways' computer systems caused headaches for fliers trying to check-in for flights and delays across the airline's system. At 11:37 a.m. Thursday, power was lost at a Verizon data center hosting the airline's systems including its website, mobile app, 1-800 number, check-in systems and airport signs. Power wasn't restored until 1:50 p.m. and the airline was still suffering residual problems an hour later. JetBlue said the outage affected systems across the airline but would not say if that included the flight dispatch and fuel-planning computers. The New York-based airline said flights were still departing but advised fliers that there could be delays or cancellations.