The Weekly Wrap: Retail’s mixed bag, Boeing’s boost

In case you missed any of Missouri’s biggest business stories this week, here’s a quick rundown of the week’s top news:

Boeing’s jet boost

A Boeing fighter jet that until recently appeared bound for the scrap heap is now experiencing a resurgence. The company is bullish on the future of its F/A 18 Super Hornet, which is produced in St. Louis County, and says it might increase production of the jet. The Super Hornet has been the beneficiary of setbacks for Boeing competitor Lockheed Martin and a spike in demand from clients including the U.S. Navy.

Monsanto sale slowdown

Bayer signaled that its $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto may encounter delays as regulators review the deal. Bayer, the German chemical and pharmaceutical company, said it still expects to complete its purchase of Monsanto, the Creve Coeur-based seed maker, by year’s end.

A mixed bag for retailers

A busy week of earnings reports for retailers brought a mixed bag of results for some of the biggest chain stores in Missouri. Macy’s and Wal-Mart both reported double-digit dips in quarterly profits. J.C. Penney posted a fourth-quarter profit but announced plans to close 130 to 140 stores nationwide. Elsewhere in brick-and-mortar retail, MC Sports filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to shutter its five Missouri stores.

Lawmakers target unemployment benefits

Missouri House Republicans are pushing a plan that would cut the duration of unemployment benefits in the state to among the shortest in the nation. The measure, which would reduce jobless benefits to 13 weeks if the state unemployment rate is under 6 percent, is the revival of a 2015 bill ultimately vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

Missouri’s audience with the White House

Missouri business will have the ear of the Trump administration twice inside the span of a week. Vice President Mike Pence visited the St. Louis area Wednesday, touring a small business and touting the administration’s commitment to cutting taxes and rolling back regulations. Gov. Eric Greitens is scheduled to visit Washington Sunday and Monday and said he will talk with President Donald Trump about policies that will bring jobs to Missouri.

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