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Award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine on business and economics news "for the rest of us."

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  • Sustainable aviation fuel — an alternative to conventional petroleum — aims to decarbonize a carbon-heavy sector. Right now, it accounts for less than 1% of global jet fuel. Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act incentivizes aviation’s transition to SAF, but manufacturers still face big roadblocks. Plus, not all SAFs are created equal. This episode is part of our series “Breaking Ground,” where we look at how federal infrastructure spending might change the economy.
  • Overall, inflation has plummeted since June 2022, shortly after the Federal Reserve began hiking interest rates, and the Fed is getting closer to its 2% target. But consumer prices are still high. So why is it taking so long for the Fed to cut interest rates? “The Federal Reserve has been faked out before, where we thought inflation was licked, and then it flared back up again,” Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Fed, told us on today’s show. “That’s what we want to avoid.” Also: What to expect when Amazon replaces Walgreens on the Dow, how congressional budget fights threaten federal firefighters’ pay, and why the U.S. is selling its helium reserve.
  • If a $35 billion deal goes through, Capital One will purchase Discover and become the nation’s largest credit card issuer. But the bank isn’t in it for credit debt — it’s in it for Discover’s payments system. Also in this episode: why Walmart had strong sales last quarter and how states are preparing for a potentially contentious Election Day. Also, is the post-lockdown travel boom still on?
  • It’s a tough time to be a first-time buyer in the housing market. But it’s also tricky if you own a home and are looking to buy a new one, because your mortgage rate could roughly double. That “lock-in effect” is keeping housing inventory low and pushing prices higher. Then, we’ll examine why shipping costs are falling despite global disruptions and hear how steakhouses are trying to rebrand themselves.
  • Vacant offices have been tough on the commercial real estate industry, and more recently lenders that have built a big business on those property loans. But the biggest losers are cities that depend on commercial property taxes. In this episode, some municipalities face big revenue shortfalls. Also: another blow to ESG investing, the cost of big-name credit cards and our excess stuff is feeding the booming storage space industry.
  • Cisco, the communications infrastructure giant, is planning to cut lots of jobs. It’s the latest high-profile company to do so. Meanwhile, we keep getting positive indicators about the labor market, like today’s data on falling jobless claims. We’ll explain the disconnect on today’s show. Also: What rising import prices mean, tracking shipments on freight trains and why a bank created to integrate emancipated Black Americans into the economy matters today.
  • Walmart is looking to buy TV manufacturer Vizio, according to The Wall Street Journal, even though it sells its own brand of TVs. That’s because these days, a TV’s worth is tied to its streaming platform, and acquiring Vizio’s SmartCast could help the big-box retailer grow into another kind of company. Plus, split surveys on small business optimism, a map of all the country’s zoning laws, and the falling number of small farmers.
  • The January consumer price index just came out and inflation was up 3.1% year over year. That’s not awesome. But it’s not awful either. We’ll dig into the data, from lagging shelter costs to a still-hot labor market. Plus, monetary policy goes up against fiscal policy, the romance novel market flourishes, and rising prices for “inelastic” goods mean some consumers are gonna suffer.
  • Diamondback Energy said today it will buy Endeavor Energy Resources, continuing the consolidation trend in the oil industry. In this episode, why oil and natural gas companies keep merging, especially in the Permian Basin region of Texas. Plus, robotaxi vandalization may represent resentment of Big Tech, lavish quinceañeras spawn a booming industry and some streaming services struggle to provide lag-free viewing.
  • China celebrates the Lunar New Year tomorrow. With many in the country struggling financially, they’re hoping the Year of the Dragon brings a healthier economy. Also: Foreign investors are cooling on U.S. commercial real estate, Americans are looking for snack food bargains and volunteers are repairing broken appliances at pop-up Fixit Clinics.