Hurricane Michael claims 2 lives; damage may reach $30B

Hurricane Michael has claimed two lives in Florida and Georgia, and damage from the storm may total as much as $30 billion, experts say. Michael struck the Florida Panhandle at Category 4 strength and has now brought tropical storm-level weather to Georgia and the Carolinas.

Schools closed following Hurricane Michael

Schools in a number of Florida school districts affected by Hurricane Michael remain closed because of extensive damage. In the Bay District Schools, officials are considering ways to get students back into classrooms, including a proposal to share campuses that are still in good condition.

Quarles: Rules won't be relaxed for foreign banks

Federal Reserve regulatory chief Randal Quarles has signaled to the Senate banking committee that foreign banking organizations will be held to the same Dodd-Frank Act requirements as comparable US banks. "We are not including any changes to the FBO regulatory scheme for FBOs with more than $250 billion in global assets as part of our implementation of tailoring mandated by the Act," according to written testimony from Quarles.

Giant, Peapod seek delivery success in Philadelphia

Giant Food is hoping its partnership with Peapod will help it compete in greater Philadelphia's growing market for grocery delivery. Giant By Peapod currently is third for delivery market share in the city, ranked behind Instacart and Walmart Online Grocery.

CMS: Medicare premiums, deductibles to increase slightly next year

The CMS announced Friday that Medicare Part B monthly premiums will increase from $134 this year to $135.50 in 2019 for those with annual income of $85,000 or less, while those with higher incomes will pay more. The annual deductible will increase by $2 to $185 for Part B recipients and by $24 to $1,364 for Part A beneficiaries. Open enrollment starts today.

Snapchat unveils users' shopping habits

Snapchat is publishing research reports titled "Retail Footprints," which break down the digital and in-store shopping habits of its users, who are 20% more likely to make mobile purchases than are those not on the platform, per Snapchat's Amy Moussavi. Insights from the report include that users who are big-box shoppers are 2.9 times more likely to be burger fans and that apparel shoppers are 2.8 times more likely to be coffee aficionados.

Target to test app that recruits neighbors for delivery

Startup Runerra is one of five graduates of the Target+Techstars Retail Accelerator that will get to test their technology in Target stores. The Runerra app lets users earn a fee for picking up and delivering orders for their neighbors in dorms or other community buildings.

Samsung exec predicts mainstream smart home use

Samsung Electronics marketing executive Rebecca Hirst anticipates that smart home technology and voice interaction will go mainstream, which could be a "game changer for loyalty." Hirst notes that adoption has been slow to start, as there's a psychological hurdle to establishing these devices in the home, but she adds that once they're over that, consumers will be able to see the opportunity.

Azar expected to announce drug pricing transparency rule

HHS Secretary Alex Azar today is set to deliver a speech addressing the administration's efforts to reduce drug prices, and sources say a rule requiring pharmaceutical firms to include drug pricing information in advertisements could be part of the plan. Drugmakers are opposed to the idea, saying it would deter patients from obtaining necessary care and raise legal issues.

Justice Dept. challenges Calif. net neutrality law in court

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against California after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that reinstates net neutrality rules the Federal Communications Commission voted in December 2017 to repeal. The department is seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the California law from taking effect Jan. 1, with US Attorney General Jeff Sessions emphasizing that "states do not regulate interstate commerce."

Construction costs expected to continue ascent over next 6 months

US construction costs have climbed for 23 months in a row, and the trend is expected to continue over the next six months, partly from trade tariffs and increased demand for construction services in the wake of hurricanes Florence and Michael. The IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index for September rose 3.2 points from August to 62.1.

US shale to remain key driver of global oil supply growth

US shale will remain the largest contributor to global oil supply growth in the coming years, with domestic production seen increasing by 1 million barrels daily through 2021, reports Goldman Sachs. However, the bank warned that shale resources are nearing a breaking point, noting that Eagle Ford and Bakken shale production has already peaked and both plays have less than 30 years of resources left.

Air travelers express varying levels of concern on Wi-Fi security

A survey by The GO Group LLC found 48% of air travelers are somewhat distressed about Wi-Fi security, and 19% are very concerned. The survey found 25% of travelers aren't concerned about Wi-Fi security, and 9% hadn't considered the issue.

Ritz-Carlton celebrates its first ship

Ritz-Carlton floated out the first ship of its Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection last week in Vigo, Spain, during a celebratory event. The still-unnamed, 298-passenger ship will officially launch in 2020.