Whole Foods to cut 1,500 jobs over 8 weeks
Grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc. is cutting about 1,500 jobs over the next eight weeks as it looks to lower prices and keep up with competition. The cuts represent about 1.6 percent of its workforce. But Whole Foods said in a regulatory filing that many of the reductions will come through attrition. It anticipates workers whose jobs are cut will find other jobs from the almost 2,000 open positions across the company or from new jobs that'll be created by more than 100 new stores in development. Whole Foods said it has added more than 9,000 jobs in the past year and created nearly 35,000 jobs over the last five years.
Apple iPhone 6s sets weekend sales record
Apple said it sold more than 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus phones in the three days since its iPhone launch, topping last year's early sales mark. Apple sold 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models during their first weekend last year. This year's results include sales in China which was included in the initial launch for the first time. Apple said previously that preorders were so strong that it expected to surpass last year's record. Piper Jaffray & Co. analyst Gene Munster said results came in at the high end of his expectations for sales of 12 million to 13 million. He estimates China added about 2 million in sales.
Carnitas are back, mostly, Chipotle says
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said carnitas are back on the menu at 90 percent of its restaurants, and that the pork's return to all U.S. restaurants should be complete by the end of November. The Mexican food chain had stopped serving pork at about a third of its restaurants in January after it said one of its suppliers violated its animal welfare standards. Chipotle has not disclosed the supplier in question, but said the violation centered on how it was housing its pigs. The restaurants that still don't have pork are in the Cleveland and Atlanta areas, as well as in North Carolina and South Carolina, the company said. Chipotle said it has been working with existing suppliers as well as Karro Food in the United Kingdom to restore supplies.
Pending home sales slipped last month
Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in August, as pending sales slumped amid broader concerns about the U.S. stock market and global economy. The National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 1.4 percent to 109.4 last month. Signed contracts to purchase homes have climbed a healthy 6.1 percent over the past 12 months, aided by steady job growth and low mortgage rates. The August figured indicate that home sales lack the stamina to keep accelerating. Uncertainty in the financial markets and rising prices for homes are stirring doubts about affordability for many would-be buyers.
Personal income, consumer spending rise
U.S. consumer spending rose at a healthy rate in August, while income growth slowed after a big jump in July. Consumer spending advanced 0.4 percent compared to July, when spending also increased by 0.4 percent, the Commerce Department said Monday. In both months, the figures reflected strong gains in purchases of durable goods such as autos. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of economic activity, and the latest result supports expectations for it to remain strong in the second half of this year. That should help serve as a buffer against a global slowdown that has hurt American manufacturers. Personal income was up 0.3 percent in August, helped by another solid increase in wages and salaries.
GE blames Wisconsin job loss on Congress
Blaming Congress for its failure to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank that finances sales of industrial equipment, GE Power & Water says it plans to stop manufacturing gas engines in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, Wis., and will move the work to Canada. The move means 350 jobs will be cut in Waukesha. The Waukesha plant builds engines for power generation applications. GE said it plans to build a $265 million factory in Canada over the next 20 months.
BMW investigated over problems with Mini
BMW may be the next automaker in the sights of U.S. safety regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it's investigating the company's Mini brand because it may have been slow to fix cars that didn't pass federal crash tests. At issue are just over 30,000 Mini Cooper and Cooper S models from model years 2014 and 2015, plus the John Cooper Works from 2015. The agency said in paperwork posted on its website that government crash tests found that a 2014 Mini Two-Door Hardtop Cooper didn't adequately protect a female dummy in side-impact crash tests done in October of last year. BMW agreed to a recall and later said it would do a "service campaign" to add padding to the rear side panels of 2015 Two-Door Hardtop Cooper models. But the campaign was never done, and BMW never told NHTSA that it wasn't, according to the documents. A Mini spokeswoman said BMW will "respond to NHTSA as appropriate."
More companies face recalls over air bags
Seven more companies including electric carmaker Tesla Motors could be facing recalls because they use air bag inflators made by Takata Corp., according to letters they received last week from U.S. safety regulators. So far about 23.4 million Takata driver and passenger air bag inflators have been recalled on 19.2 million U.S. vehicles sold by 11 different companies, including Honda and Fiat Chrysler. The inflators can explode with too much force, spewing metal shrapnel. At least eight people have died worldwide because of the problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent letters to Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar-Land Rover, Suzuki, Tesla, Volvo Trucks, Volkswagen and Spartan Motors seeking information on which models have Takata inflators.