Target hangs up its wireless service, U.S. job openings surge to 15-year high and the FDA approves a cholesterol drug. Read about these and more of the day's top business news stories.
Who You Gonna Call for Wireless? Not Target
After offering it for just two years, Target is shutting down its wireless telecom service. This is the second major business the big box retailer has exited in six months. Customers of Target’s Brightspot pre-paid wireless service are being notified the service will be terminated by the beginning of 2016. Consumers won’t be able to activate new service after June 24.
Target joined forces with T-Mobile in late 2013 to launch the service as an answer Wal-Mart’s successful Straight Talk wireless service. In January, Target announced it would close more than 100 stores in Canada. The company is looking to focus on core areas where it can reinvigorate growth, USA TODAY reports. Revenue grew just 2.6 percent over the past year, down from 4.9 percent growth in the year ended Feb. 2013
U.S. Job Openings Surge to 15-Year High in April
The number of open U.S. jobs at the end of April jumped 5.2 percent to 5.4 million, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. This is the most open jobs advertised since any time in the 15 years the government has tracked the data, according to the Associated Press. Though the economy has sputtered thus far in 2015, the job market has remained healthy. The steady hiring indicates that employers view the slump as a result of temporary factors such as the severe and prolonged winter. While the number of job openings surged, employers are still taking their time filling them. Total hiring in April fell to 5 million from 5.1 million. The disparity between more openings and flat hiring suggests employers are being picky about new hires, the AP notes. Many companies say they are having difficulty finding qualified workers.
Half of Facebook Ad Revenue from Overseas
Reuters reports exclusively that overseas markets bring in more advertising revenue than the United States for Facebook, amounting to 51 percent of global ad sales in the first quarter, with growth in Asia the fastest in the world at 57 percent, according to company executives. This is the first time Facebook has detailed ad sales outside the United States and Canada as a percent of worldwide sales, which the world’s largest social media platform looks toward for growth. Total advertising revenue for the quarter increased 46 percent to $3.3 billion, the vast majority of Facebook's $3.5 billion in quarterly revenue. Fifty-one percent of total ad revenue would be about $1.7 billion for international markets. International advertising revenue rose 36 percent from a year earlier, Facebook told Reuters.
Cholesterol Drug Gets Federal Approval
Federal health advisers on Tuesday recommended by a vote of 13-3 that the Food and Drug Administration approve Praluent, a highly anticipated injectable cholesterol drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Approval came with the caveat that more data is needed about its long-term ability to reduce heart attacks. The FDA is not required to follow the group's advice, though it often does, the Associated Press notes. The same expert panel will review a similar drug from Amgen Inc. on Wednesday.
McDonald’s Hires Obama Veteran to Spread McMessage
Robert Gibbs, President Barack Obama’s first-term White House spokesperson and re-election campaign advisor has been named executive vice president and global chief communication officer for McDonald’s, the company announced Tuesday. McDonald's also named Silvia Lagnado, the former chief marketing officer for Bacardi Limited and creator of Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty," as the company's executive vice president and global chief marketing officer. McDonald’s the reigning fast-food chain, has about 36,000 locations in more than 100 countries. The appointments mark the latest moves by new CEO Steve Easterbrook to reverse the company’s recent sales and marketing struggles as McDonald’s loses ground to rivals catering to Millennials with fresher, healthier options.
New York to Add Salt in the Wounds for Anti-Nanny Staters
New York could become the first U.S. city to require chain restaurants to put warning labels on high-salt dishes, the Associated Press reports. The city's Health Department will propose Wednesday that all chain restaurants add a salt-shaker-like symbol on menus next to products that contain more than the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams of sodium, about 1 teaspoon of salt. City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Travis Bassett said it would give customers important information, but others were less than enthusiastic, with some restaurateurs claiming it would needlessly mire already burdened eateries in more bureaucracy. If the city Board of Health votes Wednesday to consider the proposal, a final vote could come as soon as September and the warnings by December. Overconsumption of sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. The average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day; only about one in 10 Americans meets the 1-teaspoon guideline, the AP states.