Latest business headlines

The latest business news from the region and nation

Microsoft’s free Windows 10 giveaway: What that means

Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system debuts Wednesday, as the longtime leader in PC software hopes that giving the upgrade away for free will help it carve out a new role in a world where people increasingly rely on smartphones, tablets and information stored online.

US consumer confidence falls to lowest level since Sept.

Consumers were worried about the job market and rattled by events in Greece and China.

Motorola refreshes Android phones, offers better cameras

The company is looking to lure customers who want lower-cost alternatives to leading smartphones.

SBA loans to resume after Congress raises lending limit

Small businesses will soon be able to get loans approved again by the federal government.

Tokyo Olympic stadium designer strikes back at critics

The architects behind the scrapped plan blamed the bidding process and building costs for the spiraling price tag.

Mass. had its best June for home sales in a decade

Real estate sales, slowed this spring by the year’s record-breaking snowfalls, bounced back with a vengeance last month.

Steven Syre | Boston Capital

How a small drug maker enters market to soaring stock prices

Last month’s widely popular IPO by Seres Therapeutics was the culmination of hard work, successful clinical tests, and good timing.

Shirley Leung

New Boston a lot like Old Boston

Given the chance to think big about our future, we tied ourselves up in the minutiae of tax breaks and traffic studies.

Snapshot: China’s fall ripples around globe

The worst drop in China’s stock market in eight years helped drag down other markets around the world Monday.

Ten things you may have missed Monday from the world of business

Genzyme to buy AstraZeneca’s thyroid cancer drug, Teva to pay $40.5b for Allergan’s generics unit, and more news from Monday.

Greece kicks off talks with creditors

Greece’s government on Monday launched complex bailout negotiations with its creditors.

Higher fees propel airlines’ profits — and travelers’ ire

The airlines’ penchant for fees is not going away any time soon in what has become a highly profitable industry.

Bold Types

Entrepreneurship center at Harvard gets a new chief

Jodi Gernon joins the Rock Center team from Launchitivity, a company she founded in 1999 that provides advice for consumer health care startups.

BetaBoston

Smart-home startup lands new investment

Ecovent Corp., a Boston startup that makes a “smart” heating vent system for homes, has landed a $6.9 million investment to help launch its product later this year.

Betaboston

Luminaries join warning against killer robots

Elon Musk, physicist Stephen Hawking, and others warned against a “military AI arms race.”

Could Olympic effort make lasting impact on landscape?

Other recent, would-be hosts continue to feel the effects of failed or scuttled bids — for good and bad.

China’s stock markets in turmoil again

Tumult returned to China’s stock markets Monday, casting doubt on the government’s measures to support share prices.

Tuesday’s business agenda

Home sales, online recruiting, and more notable events and things to know.

UMass Memorial Health Care plans big patient record upgrade

UMass Memorial Health Care will spend $700 million over the next decade to upgrade its patient records and other information technology systems.

Officials hope 1st US offshore wind farm will boost industry

Construction has begun off Rhode Island’s coast on the nation’s first offshore wind farm, a milestone that federal and state officials say will help the fledgling US industry surge ahead.

Madonna: It’s just the beginning for streaming service Tidal

Madonna, who co-owns Tidal with Jay Z, Beyonce, and others, says it’s just the beginning for the streaming service that’s had some troubles since its launch in March.

New York magazine faces tech problems as Cosby article circulates

On Sunday evening, New York magazine posted a stark, black-and-white cover of its latest issue, featuring 35 women who have accused the comedian Bill Cosby of sexual abuse.

Fiat Chrysler settlement with government could prove costly

Fiat Chrysler could be required to lay out hundreds of millions of dollars to get potentially defective Ram pickups and older Jeeps off the road under a deal with safety regulators to settle claims that the automaker mishandled nearly two dozen recalls.

Minnesota implementing Midwest’s top minimum wage

Minnesota will vault past Illinois, Michigan, and South Dakota this week to gain the highest minimum wage in the Midwestern region at $9 an hour, which also will rank among the most-generous state wage floors in the country.

Airbnb plans Africa expansion

Airbnb is hoping to spread its unique brand of hospitality throughout Africa.

Republic stock plunges on possible flight disruptions

Republic Airways warned that its operation of regional flights for the nation’s biggest airlines could be disrupted by a pilot shortage and labor standoff.

More fees propel airlines’ profits, and embitter travelers

Airlines’ penchant for fees is not going away any time soon in what has become a highly profitable industry.

Bold Types

Takeda courtyard becomes biotech playground

The lords and ladies of life sciences turned the courtyard outside Takeda Oncology’s headquarters on Landsdowne Street into a biotech playground Thursday.

Biogen seen vulnerable to takeover after sell-off

The Cambridge biotechnology giant now may have to make a bold move to reassure investors.

Pricey car insurance policies test consumers

Even though insurance regulators and pro-athlete pitchmen urge consumers to compare prices, 1 in 3 policyholders have never shopped for insurance quotes.

State Senate to review home insurance rate increases

Insurers plan to raise rates by an average of about 9 percent following last winter’s record snowfall.

Gas prices fall 2 cents a gallon in Massachusetts

Massachusetts gas prices dropped two cents last week, the third straight week of decline after rising steadily since late winter.

N.Y. board endorses $15 fast-food worker wage

The wage increase would be phased in over three to six years for the state’s 200,000 fast-food workers.

Pearson moves to close book on Economist magazine

Days after the Financial Times was sold to Japan’s Nikkei Inc., Pearson PLC said it would sell its stake in the Economist magazine.

Britain may debate legalizing marijuana as 150,000 sign petition

U.K. lawmakers may be given the opportunity to debate legalizing cannabis after a petition supporting the move received more than 150,000 signatures.

McGraw Hill Financial buying SNL Financial for about $2.23 billion

McGraw Hill Financial, owner of ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, is buying SNL Financial for about $2.23 billion.

Southern N.H. University teams up with MLS

The deal will provide full scholarships for players and internship opportunities for the school’s current students.

Orders for US durable goods jump 3.4 percent in June

Orders to US factories for big-ticket manufactured goods posted a sizable gain in June, reflecting a surge in demand for commercial aircraft. Meanwhile, a key category that reflects business investment rebounded after two months of declines.

Genzyme to buy thyroid cancer drug from AstraZeneca for $300 million

Genzyme agreed to buy a medicine called Caprelsa for as much as $300 million from AstraZeneca Plc to boost its rare disease medicine offerings.

Teva Pharmaceuticals buying Allergan’s generics unit for $40.5 billion

The Israeli drugmaker Teva also said it would end its hostile bid for Mylan NV.

Shanghai, other Asian markets continue to fall

Chinese stocks suffered a renewed sell-off despite government efforts to calm the market.

BetaBoston

DraftKings gets a boost, led by Fox Sports

Fox Sports is leading a $300 million investment that will help the Boston fantasy sports startup battle its larger competitor.

Talking Points

What you may have missed from the weekend in business

Pension fund sues Treasury securities dealers, Verizon workers vote to authorize strike, and more.

Fiat Chrysler faces record $105 million safety fine

The fines are for failing to complete 23 safety recalls covering more than 11 million vehicles, according to two people briefed on the matter.

Intel to shutter, tear down Hudson plant

The plant, built by Digital Equipment Corp. facility, was out of step with advanced technologies and was used to make relatively low-end products.

Some offshored manufacturing jobs return to US

Companies have brought nearly 40,000 manufacturing jobs back to the US in the past five years.

APP SMART

Up your grill game with these handy apps

The right recipe apps can help you cook up some mouthwatering feasts and avert a barbecue disaster.

Monday’s business agenda

Gas prices, finances for youth, and more notable events and things to know.

Markets

Earnings rally fizzles as Dow posts worst week since January

Equity investors had a chance to grab onto something other than Greece this week, and the result wasn’t pretty.

Talking Points

What you may have missed from the week in business

Biogen stock plunges, doctors challenge Vertex over cystic fibrosis drug’s price, and more.

Scott Kirsner | Innovation Economy

Cambridge company born in Internet’s ‘big bang’ has lasting impact

Viaweb played a pivotal role in the evolution of e-commerce and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

What you should know about installing solar panels

Contracts known as power purchase agreements are largely responsible for the boom in residential solar panels. But are they good deals?

Michelle Singletary | The Color of Money

Holes in the fence of identity-theft protection

The already immeasurable list of data breaches seems to continue to grow longer by the day.

State Street Financial Center IPO delayed

A deal to take the State Street Financial Center public was postponed Friday, a setback for Fortis Property Group LLC.

As markets change, clean tech industry reduces ambitions

The clean energy sector is refocusing from breakthroughs to incremental advances that can be achieved faster and for less money.

Nine things you may have missed Friday from the world of business

Banking

Dara Torres at the Olympics

Dara Torres’s Olympic highlights

On the Job

No-frills product, unexpected new markets

Steele Canvas Basket Corp. of Chelsea has made laundry baskets, tote bags, and sling chairs since 1921.

Sunday MBA

We must understand corruption to fight it

If you can’t define something, you can’t manage it when you encounter it.

Consumer Reports | Product Review

How to cut your water use in half

Two tips: replace water-wasting appliances and fixtures, and change your lifestyle and habits.

US stocks sink; S&P 500 index notches another losing week

The US stock market capped a four-day losing streak with its biggest drop of the week.

Cabot stepson, partner face criminal fraud charges

The stepson of Louis Wellington Cabot allegedly stole more than $17 million from real estate investors, prosecutors say.

Job Doc

A social media policy can save a company’s brand

Without clear parameters of what is and isn’t acceptable to post, employees’ actions can jeopardize a firm’s reputation.

Five things you should know about Ido and Roy Schoenberg

The doctors and brothers are in charge of American Well, one of the country’s biggest telehealth companies.

Mitch Lipka | Consumer Alert

With the state’s unclaimed money list, it’s better to do it yourself

Many consumers find out about whether they’re due money through opportunists trying to try take a cut of it.

US approves drug that can sharply lower cholesterol levels

The approval offers a new option for millions of Americans suffering from cardiovascular disease, the nation’s leading killer.

AT&T buys DirecTV, now biggest traditional TV provider in US

Even as TV watchers increasingly go online, AT&T has become the country’s biggest traditional TV provider with its $48.5 billion purchase of DirecTV.

Antitrust group questions Staples merger with Office Depot

The American Antitrust Institute, an advocacy group and frequent critic of mergers, targeted the proposed combination of Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc. in a recent report.

Greek invites IMF to join bailout talks, should begin Monday

Greece on Friday invited the International Monetary Fund to participate in its negotiations with European creditors over a vital third bailout — talks that are expected to start next week after a few days’ delay and must conclude before Greece faces another big repayment Aug. 20.

Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.4 million vehicles to prevent hacking

Fiat Chrysler has decided to recall about 1.4 million cars and trucks in the US just days after two hackers revealed that they took control of a Jeep Cherokee SUV over the Internet.

Cambridge company born in Internet’s ‘big bang’ has lasting impact

Viaweb played a pivotal role in the evolution of e-commerce, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Square said to file confidentially for initial public offering

Square Inc., the mobile-payments company founded and led by Jack Dorsey, the interim chief executive officer of Twitter Inc., filed confidentially for an initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Proposed label would give context to sugar in foods

Wondering if you are eating too much added sugar? The nutrition label on your food may one day help you figure it out.

Former Olympian sues in endorsement dispute

Dover resident Dara Torres, who won three medals at 41, is now in a legal battle over her endorsement of an anti-aging skin cream.

Dunkin’ CEO decries $15-an-hour minimum wage in N.Y.

The chief of Dunkin’ Brands said that the pay boost and lack of input from the industry were “absolutely outrageous.”

United Technologies: US probes Sikorsky on Navy contract

United Technologies Corp. says the Justice Department has launched a criminal probe into allegations that subsidiary helicopter maker Sikorsky and two subsidiaries overbilled the Navy on a contract.

WWE cuts ties with Hulk Hogan amid report that he used slurs

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. has severed ties with Hulk Hogan.

Visa surges after saying it may reunite with Visa Europe

Visa Inc. surged 6.4 percent after the world’s biggest payments network said it’s in talks to possibly reunite with Visa Europe Ltd.

Amazon passes Walmart as biggest retailer by market value

Amazon.com Inc. surpassed Walmart Stores Inc. as the world’s biggest retailer by market value after a surprise second-quarter profit sent the e-commerce company’s stock into record territory.

State Street profit down 35 percent as legal costs rise

State Street Corp. said second-quarter profit declined 34.7 percent as legal expenses rose and persistent low interest rates hurt revenue. Shares dropped the most in six months.