Marketplace PM for February 11, 2005

Episode Description 

Sharper Image

Demand for laser pointers and two thousand dollar massage chairs may be slipping. Last night the Sharper Image company predicted a dull 2005. Today shares fell as much as sixteen percent. As tempting as it is to blame it on gadgets that people have grown weary of, there's more to this story. Marketplace's Amy Scott tells us not even the hot-selling iPod could pump up the volume for Sharper Image.

Cell phone wars

More rumors today that Verizon is now a serious suitor for MCI. It's a sign of more consolidation in the fiercely competitive telecom industry. From South Dakota, Curt Nickish looks at how cell phone carriers are trying to sell advanced features -- like a video streaming technology called V-Cast -- to win the cell phone wars.

Christo in Central Park

At 8 o'clock Saturday morning, workers will stream across New York City's Central Park. They'll hang thousands of yards of saffron-colored fabric from trestles spanning more than 20 miles of walkways. The result will be a "visual golden river" -- according to the artists Christo and Jeanne - Claude. You may remember 10 years ago the duo wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin in silvery fabric. The price tag for this new work of outdoor art -- 21 million dollars. But not a penny came from the City of New York, or from any of the other usual grant-making foundations. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports.

Wal-Mart singles

Unions for thousands of Canadian workers have organized a boycott of the world's largest retailer. This week, Wal-Mart announced plans to close its first unionized store in North America, a store in Quebec. Little love is lost between organized labor and Wal-Mart. But at a Wal-Mart in Germany, one might find the love of one's life. Kyle James reports on a strategy to win over folks 'in the market'.