Today’s Business Beat - Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

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Seasonal hiring could be best since 1999

Retailers are likely to hire more than 800,000 people to help out during the holiday season, making it the best year for seasonal hiring since 1999, outplacement consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. says.

Pizza Hut testing ‘skinny slice’

Pizza Hut is testing out a lighter pizza in two U.S. markets as it seeks to freshen up its menu and regain its footing against competitors. The pies use less of the same dough used for regular pies and are lighter on the toppings. Several fast-food and restaurant chains have turned to lighter offerings over the years as a way to update their images, with varying degrees of success.

Dow closes at a record high

Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record high of 17,156 after the Federal Reserve maintained its stance on low interest rates.

Gogo gets in-flight Wi-Fi deal with Virgin Atlantic

Inflight Wi-Fi provider Gogo Inc. said it has reached agreement with Virgin Atlantic, the Itasca company’s first European airline customer.

Uber leases West Loop space: report

Uber Technologies has reportedly leased office space in the West Loop that would be in line with the rideshare company’s plan to rev up hiring in Chicago, its Midwest headquarters.

Wal-Mart insurance site expanded to Illinois

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and AutoInsurance.com expanded the coverage of their comparison site to Illinois and 10 other states.

United adds E175 planes to United Express fleet

United Airlines will add 50 new E175 planes to its United Airways fleet beginning in July 2015.

Claire’s to open inside some Toys R Us stores

Claire’s Stores Inc. will open shops inside a dozen Toys R Us stores in the United States by the end of the year.

Fed signals plan to keep key rate at record low

The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low for a considerable period because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar.

Anthem, hospitals join to offer new insurance plan

Insurer Anthem Blue Cross is joining with several prominent Southern California hospitals to offer a new type of insurance plan it promises will provide high-quality care at affordable prices.

US consumer prices fall 0.2 percent in August

U.S. consumer prices edged down in August, the first monthly drop since the spring of 2013, as gasoline, airline tickets and clothing prices all fell. It was the latest evidence that inflation remains under control.

Family Dollar tells investors to reject takeover

Family Dollar is telling shareholders to reject an unsolicited, $9.1 billion takeover bid by its rival, Dollar General. Family Dollar is trying to arrange a sale to another bargain chain, Dollar Tree.

General Mills misses Wall Street expectations

General Mills Inc. on Wednesday reported profit of $345.2 million in its fiscal first quarter, falling short of Wall Street expectations.

FedEx tops Street first-quarter forecasts

FedEx Corp. on Wednesday reported profit of $606 million in its fiscal first quarter, beating Wall Street expectations.

Sony forecasts $2B loss as smartphones lag

Sony expects its annual loss to swell to $2 billion and has canceled dividends for the first time in more than half a century after writing down the value of its troubled smartphone business.

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