Is your phone listening to you?

It’s a spooky feeling: You’re discussing a TV show or a pair of shoes or whatever with a friend, then you open Instagram and see an ad for the exact thing you were just talking about. But it’s not like your phone is listening … right?

By blacklisting Huawei, the US could be shooting itself in the foot

Just 10 days ago, it looked like the trade war with China was all but wrapped up. No more. The Trump administration has effectively blacklisted Chinese tech giant Huawei, which has potential to drastically disrupt the global tech supply chain and shoot the U.S. in the foot. Plus: What American businesses get out of tariffs, and what you need to know about the SAT’s new “adversity index.”

Potholes can tell you a lot about inequality

In most American cities, road repairs can tell you a lot about the communities that are prioritized and the communities that get left out. Oakland, California, is trying to change its approach, but not without controversy. Plus: What consumer confidence can (and can’t) tell us about actual consumption and the legacy of Alice Rivlin, the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office.

When the hospital shuts down

Losing a hospital can jeopardize the health of rural community and its economy. About 100 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and today, we look at how one Georgia community dealt with it. Plus: An investment in China that feels too good to be true, and the “internet of things” comes to … diapers.

Is the trade war the new normal?

The latest escalation in the trade war between the U.S. and China has some wondering if tensions will ever end. As we do the numbers for today (and you know we will), we look at how long the trade war will last. Then: Amazon’s delivery ambitions and the potential antitrust case against Apple. Plus, we look at a West Texas community that produces fracking sand, as the market’s been drying up.

Farmers thought it was going to be a good week

American farmers thought it was going to be a pretty good week. Until President Donald Trump announced a tariff hike on Chinese goods. That hike went into effect today, so we see how farmers are feeling. Also: Uber started publicly trading today, off 7.5% on Day One, so we look at why investors seem skeptical about the ride-hailing business. Plus: a snapshot of economic life on America’s riverboats.

The cost of the American medical system

What was supposed to be a quick trip to urgent care became a lesson in how sick the medical system is for one mother and her two kids. But first: The latest trade deficit numbers are out. What do they say about ongoing trade negotiations with China? Then: How do IPOs like Uber’s impact already expensive housing markets? Also: The thirst for craft spirits.

The little word critical to the American economy

We’re talking about “jobs.” The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 50 years, but there may be something other than this economy’s tight labor market that explains why claims for unemployment benefits are so low. Then: Ride-share drivers are striking ahead of Uber’s initial public offering in search of better pay and job security. But it looks like autonomous vehicles are the industry’s future. Plus: We talk to a Los Angeles Times reporter about staffing season for TV writers after Hollywood writers fired their agents. Also: Why gender, and assumptions around gender, might play a role in your personal economy. 

2020 is all about the donors

It’s not exactly the subject of conversation in polite society, but fundraising is sure looking like a hot topic this election cycle. But first, how about some tariff talk? If the markets were any indication, traders are taking President Donald Trump’s tariff threats seriously today. So we take a look at the import-export market. Then, a look at the airplane parking lot in California where Southwest Airlines is housing its grounded Boeing 737 Maxes. Plus, the story of how one woman’s business was affected when the brick-and-mortar store that provided her referrals moved online.

Trade talk amid tariff turbulence

You could say the trade war is back on after President Donald Trump’s tweets announcing potential tariff hikes. We break down what that might mean for American trade. This week also marks the latest round of talks between American and Chinese negotiators — we heard from someone trying to run a business affected by tariffs about the reality on the ground. Also, could Uber work as a surrogate for public transit? Find out how one Canadian city tried to build a transportation network out of ride-sharing.