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In what could prove the largest-ever merger in the insurance industry, Aetna has announced a $37 billion deal to acquire rival Humana.

The agreement, announced by the Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna, "would bolster Aetna's presence in the state- and federally funded Medicaid program and Tricare coverage for military personnel and their families," according to The Associated Press.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

PODCAST: Theme park traffic

14 hours ago
David Brancaccio

On today's show, more on the shrinking stock market in Shanghai, which took a tumble today. Plus, we're headed into the thick of theme park season, and around the country-parks are adding new attractions, scarier rollar coasters, and wilder rides. We take a closer look at the role of a new ride in driving theme park traffic.

Marketplace Morning Report for Friday, July 3, 2015

15 hours ago
Marketplace

Airing on Friday, July 3, 2015: With Greeks heading to the polls on Sunday, the IMF is saying Greece needs $66 billion over the next and more flexibility from its lenders. More on that. Plus ... they’re back! And they’ve got their eyes on you. In an effort to reduce “shrinkage”, aka shoplifting, Wal-Mart brings greeters back to the front of the store. Seems that simple act of being seen and greeted as you walk into a store, may cut down on your urge to take a five-finger discount.

What's holding back wearable tech?

15 hours ago
Nova Safo

Personal health and wellness technologies are projected to be a $5 billion business this year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association

Even President Barack Obama wears a wearable wellness device — a Fitbit — on occasion.

But, as it turns out, wearable technologies have a big obstacle to overcome: sensors — the miniaturized devices that measure things like speed and motion.

Philadelphia: the largest city to legalize Airbnb

15 hours ago
Gigi Douban

Philadelphia has legalized Airbnb and agreed to tax rentals booked through the site. The city is preparing itself for two huge events — The 2016 Democratic National Convention a year from now. But first up, the pope’s visit.

According to Philadelphia’s tourism bureau, more than 1.5 million visitors are expected to descend on the city for the Papal event.

Marketplace Tech for Friday, July 3, 2015

15 hours ago
Marketplace

Airing Friday, July 3, 2015: We hear a lot about wearable technologies like the iPhone and how they will change our lives, but little on what it will take to do that. As it turns out there’s one big obstacle: sensors. Plus, how well have you kept up with the week in tech news? It's time for Silicon Tally! This week, host Ben Johnson takes on Brad Jenkins, Managing Director of Funny or Die’s DC office for a government-themed quiz.

Walmart brings greeters back to the front door

15 hours ago
Amy Scott

If you’re planning on shopping at a Wal-Mart on this holiday, you may encounter a throwback from the company’s past. The Wal-Mart greeter is making a comeback at the front of some stores. In about 300 of its 4,500 stores, the company is testing a new program to cut down on theft.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

As President Obama promised, a new rule would make 5 million more Americans eligible for overtime pay.

Many workers say it's a welcome change. But businesses say employees could see negative, unintended consequences.

Barrett Zenger has managed a music store in Corpus Christi, Texas, for the past seven years, where he oversees two dozen employees, stocks inventory and fills in for sales clerks who call in sick.

Maybe it seems like just yesterday that you were storing away your holiday decorations.

Maybe it actually was yesterday because life gets busy and tasks get put off, and before you know it, half the year is over and you're scrambling to catch up.

So in case you have been too busy to pay close attention, here's what we now know about the just-ended half of this year's economy:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now we're going to meet a young entrepreneur.

JOHN POTTER: My name is John Potter and I've been using Airbnb to rent out my tent in the backyard.

This is what has unfolded in Greece in the past week:

June 26: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announces a July 5 referendum on terms put forward by the strapped country's creditors and urges his people to vote "no."

Marketplace for Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jul 2, 2015

Airing on Thursday, July 2, 2015: One of Chicago's remaining black-owned banks is in danger of closing, a reality that's part of a national trend. Unlike the more segregated days when these banks were founded, African-American customers can now take their business elsewhere. But black-owned banks provide a link to a proud history, and research says, they may do something a lot more important. Marketplace's Dan Weissmann has the story. Next: forget the baking soda volcano.

Richard Nixon 'wanted to be a good prince'

Jul 2, 2015
Kai Ryssdal, Mukta Mohan and Daisy Palacios

Nobody includes Richard Nixon on their list of the country’s best presidents, but Nixon had a lasting impact both politically and economically. Author Evan Thomas looks at the psyche of this anxious introvert and takes readers deep into Nixon’s mind in his latest book "Being Nixon: A Man Divided."

Black-owned banks are dying. Here's why it matters.

Jul 2, 2015
Dan Weissmann

Just three years ago, Chicago had four black-owned banks. Now there are two, and regulators have told one of them — Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan— to raise more capital or risk a shutdown. The decline is part of a national trend.

Univision plans its IPO

Jul 2, 2015
Adrienne Hill

We direct your attention now to Securities and Exchange Commission form S-1, officially titled a Registration Statement Under the Securities Act of 1933, filed today by Univision Holdings. The country's biggest Spanish-language broadcaster is going public. No word yet on how many shares it'll offer or what those shares might cost.

Jobs report in 4 charts: who's working, who's not

Jul 2, 2015
Tracey Samuelson

The economy added a couple hundred thousand jobs in June — 223,000 if you’re counting — and the employment rate dropped slightly, to 5.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Bubble wrap abandoning its signature pop

Jul 2, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

Take a moment to mourn the simplest of childhood pleasures: popping bubble wrap.

The Wall Street Journal reports that there's a new version set to hit the market.

It's called — for some completely indecipherable reason — iBubble Wrap.

And sadly, it won't pop.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

BP reaches $18.7 billion settlement over 2010 spill

Jul 2, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Scott Tong

The final tab for BP — five years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history — just got a whole lot more clear. The company settled with the federal government and five Gulf Coast states for $18.7 billion dollars on Thursday. That money will go towards environmental damage, legal penalties and state economic claims.

In all, BP’s total liability will exceed $40 billion dollars. So the question is, is the oil industry safer today?

Janet Nguyen

Coding boot camp students may want to get in the financial aid line. The Department of Education is considering making Pell Grants available to them.

The experimental program, which is still in the planning stages, would enable accredited colleges to “contract out entire programs” to coding boot camps that teach programming skills, allowing their students to receive the need-based grants.

Why do some movies open early?

Jul 2, 2015
Tony Wagner

We're smack in the middle of summer movie season. Superheroes, dinosaurs and potty-mouthed teddy bears are duking it out at the box office, while rock monsters, secret agents and a vogue-ing Channing Tatum wait in the wings.

Heading into the holiday weekend, listener Erich Arabejo wrote in with this question:

"I've always wondered why movie studios release their movies on Fridays but start them on Thursdays or Wednesdays if it's a potential blockbuster hit."

The U.S. economy keeps adding jobs at a steady pace, but the Labor Department report for June also shows more people are leaving the labor force and wages are not rising.

The economy added 223,000 jobs last month as unemployment fell to its lowest rate since 2008, the Labor Department said Thursday. The jobless rate dipped to 5.3 percent from 5.5 percent in May.

What's your financial legacy?

Jul 2, 2015
Marketplace Weekend Staff

Next week, we're talking about legacies on the show. We want to hear your stories of financial legacies: what's your legacy? How will you be remebered? Maybe you have a legacy without an heir, maybe you're building something for your future....

We want to know. Tell us about the economic legacies in your life.

U.S. Army recruits young innovators

Jul 2, 2015
Amy Scott

In a hotel in suburban Baltimore, kids file into a conference room wearing Army-issued white lab coats and safety goggles. The middle schoolers are among the finalists in the U.S. Army’s annual eCYBERMISSION STEM fair—20 teams selected from more than 7,000 around the country for their problem-solving projects.

Before the big competition, they break into small groups for some training.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In the 1990s, states went on a prison-building binge. Today, millions who spent time in those prisons are back in society — and many are struggling to find work.

Jay Neal is in charge of Georgia's new office of re-entry. Its purpose is clear: "Helping Georgia's returning citizens find training, assisting Georgia's returning citizens find jobs," he reads off the website.

Returning citizens is America's new term for ex-prisoners, ex-cons and former inmates.

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