Now, the presidential election is expected to turn on the economy, which means that every bit of economic news takes on political significance. Trouble is, we don't always know what to make of it when we hear that unemployment claims fell again. Sounds good. Or that the trade deficit jumped. Not so good. NPR's Tamara Keith and Scott Horsley will now help us sort that out.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Whatever story you want to tell about the U.S. economy, you can find some data points to make your case.
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JPMorgan Chase has acknowledged losing at least $2 billion over the last six weeks in an investment strategy that went awry. The losses are a big embarrassment to a bank that's usually seen as one of the best-managed on Wall Street. And the incident is already prompting new calls for tighter restrictions on bank trading.
U.S. homeownership rates have fallen to their lowest point since 1997, despite the homebuyer tax credit and enduring rock-bottom interest rates. Two years ago on Morning Edition, we profiled two couples who were renting with no regrets. Have they changed their tune?
According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, mothers will be treated to a little more this holiday. All told, American consumers are expected to spend about $18.6 billion on the moms, stepmoms or grandmas in their lives.
NPR's business news starts with Sony hitting a three-decade low.
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INSKEEP: Sony shares fell to their lowest level since 1980 on Japan's Nikkei stock exchange today. That drop follows yesterday's report that the company suffered a net loss of $5.7 billion for the last fiscal year. The once dominant tech company has fallen behind other industry giants like Samsung and Apple, and has seen especially heavy losses in its TV division. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is in damage control mode after an article in The Washington Post accused the candidate of bullying in high school. Romney says he does not remember the incidents. Several of his classmates independently recall him going after students who seemed different, vulnerable or effeminate.
The Postal Service announced Thursday that it lost more than $3 billion during the first three months of the year. Post office officials are pushing Congress to give it more authority to cut some of its burgeoning costs.
The Department of Justice has announced it is suing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio because of civil rights violations. He became a controversial figure for his tough stance on immigrants. Arpaio says he will not surrender his office and will fight the suit.
For years, Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, has been polling people on the issue of gay marriage. He tells Steve Inskeep his research suggests President Obama's evolution is very much in line with national trends.
This spring and summer, we're following two minor league baseball players. We're learning about the pressures on an athlete, the emotional highs and lows, and just what their lives are like. One of the players is a young man named Tyler Saladino. He's in the Chicago White Sox organization, and fans are excited about the future for this 22-year-old.