Tribune News Service

Business Budget for Friday, January 11, 2019

Updated at 11 a.m. EST (1600 UTC)


This budget is now available at www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^Comcast's new tower is Philadelphia's tallest skyscraper, but where it soars is on the ground<

REAL-COMCAST-SKYSCRAPER:PH — As Philadelphia's tallest skyscraper, the new Comcast Technology Center at 18th and Arch will inevitably be judged by how it looks among the clouds. People will debate whether its telescoping, art deco-inspired mast resembles a vulgar hand gesture or looks more like a cigarette being extracted from its box. That's what happens when you aim for the heavens; your skyscraper becomes a Rorschach for the public imagination.

Norman Foster's tower is a dynamic, elegant building that has visibly dragged the Center City skyline westward. On a foggy night, shrouded in clouds, its signature switchblade mast looks like something out of Batman's Gotham, mysterious and brooding. (The daytime views are another matter.) The 1,121-foot building has a slim, almost Gothic, profile that pleasingly echoes, but, sadly, does not surpass Foster's most important skyscraper design, the HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong.

1700 by Inga Saffron in Philadelphia. MOVED


^As the housing market slows, builders are offering buyer discounts<

REAL-BUILDER-DISCOUNTS:LA — As the housing market has downshifted, more builders are offering sweeteners to close the deal.

Companies large and small are paying closing costs, buying down mortgage rates and trimming square footage to offer a cheaper abode. Some are countering the high cost of a mortgage with a more direct method — outright lowering prices on newly built homes.

1450 by Andrew Khouri in Los Angeles. MOVED



^Sears' fate is on the line in Monday's bankruptcy auction. Here's what you need to know<

^SEARS-BANKRUPTCY-EXPLAINER:TB—<In its 126-year history, Sears grew to become the country's biggest retailer and outlasted Chicago competitors like Carson Pirie Scott, Montgomery Ward and Wieboldt's. Its future now hinges on a bankruptcy auction scheduled to start Monday.

Edward Lampert, chairman and former CEO of Sears Holdings Corp., is trying to buy the retailer with a plan to keep it in business and keep up to 50,000 workers employed. Lampert's hedge fund, ESL Investments, sweetened its offer for Sears this week, bringing the total value of its proposal to more than $5 billion.

750 by Lauren Zumbach. MOVED


^Whatever happens, Sears' legacy will endure<

^SEARS-LEGACY:TB—<For more than century, Sears has been a business icon and the place where America shopped, evolving from a mail order catalog to a department store chain anchoring malls across the country.

Now facing the possibility of liquidation — a bankruptcy judge is expected to decide the retailer's fate in the coming weeks after Chairman Edward Lampert raised his bid to keep the company in business — Sears may soon be relegated to the history books.

Whether or not Sears survives, the company's legacy is set to live on in buildings, businesses and brands that may long outlast the stores themselves.

900 (with trims) by Robert Channick. MOVED



^Detroit Auto Show: 'Sahara' bronze tapped as automotive color of the year<

AUTO-COLOR:DE — If you're a fashion-forward car shopper, get ready to accessorize around bronze, coppery colors as automakers move away from the white, black silver and grey shades that have dominated the market.

Sahara is hot, and I don't mean climate change. It's the name of the 2019 automotive color of the year, developed by Axalta, the largest supplier of automotive paint.

750 by Mark Phelan in Detroit. MOVED



^Auto review: Subaru remakes its compact Forester for 2019 with lots of new technology<

^AUTO-FORESTER-REVIEW:FT—<The Subaru Forester has been completely redesigned inside and out for its fifth generation, bringing the best-equipped, roomiest, most-capable, and most-versatile Forester ever built.

Technology upgrades include the all-new DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation system, for the first time and only on the 2019 Forester.

1400 by Emma Jayne Williams. MOVED


^2019 Audi A4 offers more than meets the eye<

^AUTO-AUDI-A4-REVIEW:PHI—<2019 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro S Tronic: The styling may not wow you but driving it just might.

Price: $51,250 as tested. The trim level starts at $40,500; Navigation and Telematics Package adds $3,000, and Black Optics Plus Package, $1,450. More is mentioned below.

Marketer's pitch: "Go on, you've earned it."

750 by Scott Sturgis . MOVED


^Auto review: Buick's Envision compact crossover has room for seven, starts at $34,990<

^AUTO-ENVISION-REVIEW:FT—<Buick added the Envision crossover utility vehicle to its U.S. lineup two years ago, a premium compact with room for up to five passengers.

Built in China, the Envision falls between the larger Enclave, assembled in Michigan, and the smaller Encore, built in South Korea.

For 2019, the Envision starts at $31,995 (plus $995 freight) for the base front-wheel-drive model, and ranges as high as $43,600 for the all-wheel-drive Premium II trim level, which we tested for this report.

1500 by G. Chambers Williams III. MOVED




Find here a daily Wall Street roundup graphic featuring Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq data.

The 1-column x 4-inch graphic, Wall Street, will be posted by 6:30 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday.

To find the graphic, visit the Graphics section of TribuneNewsService.com.

Those with questions regarding the graphic should contact the graphics team at 312-222-4131 or tydavis@tribpub.com.


These features regularly move on Friday:


^Motormouth: Squirrels love the new Chevy Traverse, but there's a way to stop them<

^AUTO-MOTORMOUTH-QA:TB—<Is there something specific in the 2018 Chevy Traverse that attracts squirrels? The car had to go to the dealer twice for repairs. The last time the car was towed because the squirrels chewed the transmission harness. I have two other cars the squirrels do not touch. We had relatives with a 2018 Traverse that stayed a few days at our house. The squirrels started attacking it the next morning.

650 by Bob Weber. MOVED


^AUTO-HOOD:MCT—<Moving later.

^Larry Printz: For 2020, Ford redesigns the Ford Explorer, its popular mobile family room<

AUTO-PRINTZ-COLUMN:MCT — Ford unveiled an all-new 2020 Ford Explorer Wednesday at Ford Field in Detroit, ahead of the 2019 Detroit auto show.

The Explorer is Ford's third most popular vehicle, having sold 7.7 million units since its launch in 1991. Trailing the F-series pickup and Escape crossover in Ford's U.S. sales, demand declined 3.5 percent to 261,571 units in 2018, although that was enough to outsell the Toyota Highlander and Chevrolet Traverse. The new design should improve the Explorer's fortunes, something that seems assured in a segment that grew 11 percent last year.

850 by Larry Printz in Detroit. MOVED


^Mark Phelan: 2020 Ford Explorer uses luxury-vehicle engineering to offer performance<

AUTO-PHELAN-COLUMN:DE — Ford threw away the rulebook when it developed the new 2020 Explorer SUV, using engineering that's more frequently seen on luxury and high-performance SUVs than family-carrying three-row vehicles.

The new Explorer's architecture has more in common with sporty SUVs and off-roaders like the Range Rover Sport and Jeep Grand Cherokee than with its predecessor and competitors such as the Chevrolet Traverse and Toyota Highlander.

600 by Mark Phelan in Detroit. MOVED


^The Week Ahead: Beyond banking profits<

^WEEKAHEAD:MI—<Few long-term investors want to relive the last three months of 2018, but they will in the week ahead.

Quarterly earnings season begins in earnest with more than a half-dozen big banks, like Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, scheduled to released their latest financial results. The stock market was abysmal at the end of the year, but not necessarily the business of banking.

350 by Tom Hudson. MOVED



EDITORS: The following are among the best Tribune News Service business stories that moved this week and are still suitable for use this weekend and beyond.



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