Latest business headlines

The latest business news from the region and nation

From heartbreak comes invention to help others

Mike and Kezia Fitzgerald turned their tragedy into a simple product that is making it easier for thousands of children around the world to undergo cancer treatment.

Children’s Hospital competition aims to support innovation in pediatrics

Boston Children’s Hospital has selected three finalists to compete for $30,000 prize in a “Shark Tank”- style event Friday.

Shirley Leung

Don’t vote for Charlie because he can cry

If Martha Coakley cries, the race is over. If Charlie Baker cries, he might win it. Noooooooooooooo. People of Massachusetts, you are better than this.

Study: Mislabeled shrimp at restaurants, grocers

US consumers are being misled about the shrimp they’re buying, according to a survey by the advocacy group Oceana.

Microsoft unveils fitness gadget, health tracking

Microsoft is releasing a $199 fitness band that also checks your e-mail and even pays for coffee.

Snapshot

Big gain in Visa drives Dow average higher

Solid quarterly results from big companies like payment processor Visa helped send markets higher.

Wal-Mart tests matching prices with online rivals

Walmart Stores Inc. is considering matching online prices from competitors such as Amazon.com.

How to avoid Amazon and still get deals

Here are ways to have an Amazon-like shopping experience while avoiding the behemoth.

Mass. movers

Web traffic jump pushes Akamai to record

Cambridge Internet content delivery company Akamai said it generated record revenue of $498 million in the third quarter.

Market movers

Payments processor up on volume jump

MasterCard’s third-quarter net income rose thanks to continued volume growth, beating Street estimates.

Menino’s tech legacy remembered

Menino put tenacity behind his vision to make Boston’s tech district a reality.

‘Proud to be gay,’ Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out

Cook’s public declaration in a Bloomberg Businessweek essay makes him the highest-profile business CEO to come out.

State economic growth slower, but solid

The Massachusetts economy grew at solid, albeit slower pace over the summer, the University of Massachusetts reported.

Yellen: Awareness of economists’ diversity needed

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen wants to raise awareness of the need for diversity among economists, with relatively few women and minorities still choosing to major in economics in college.Yellen, the first woman to head the central bank, spoke Thursday at a conference organized by the Fed and the American Economic Association.

Not so sweet: Chocolate prices are set to rise

That bowl of chocolate candy for ninjas and ghosts won’t cost you more this Halloween. But the perfect sweet for your Valentine could.

Tech community remembers Menino

Tech community remembers Menino

What Cook’s coming out could mean in the workplace

There are no CEOs of companies nearly as large or economically significant as Apple who have publicly said they are gay. And that’s important, say gay rights advocates, both to help inspire others to share their stories and to improve workplace discrimination against LGBT employees.

Chevy makes the best of exec’s nervous World Series speech

The carmaker plans to use Rikk Wilde’s new catchphrase “technology and stuff” to its advantage.

Meet the Twinkie-saving, beer-selling billionaire who has changed the way you eat

C. Dean Metropoulos has turned around Bumble Bee, Duncan Hines, and Twinkies. His latest coup: Pabst Brewing.

Investment firms buy 10 Post Office Square for $143m

Totaling 445,000 square feet across two interconnected, mid-rise towers, 10 Post Office Square is a trophy office complex.

Increased savings, lower oil prices could give boost to holiday spending

Americans’ savings may burn a hole in their pockets during the holiday-shopping season after consumer spending took a breather in the third quarter.

Homeless population in Mass. rose 28 percent in past four years

Nationwide, the number has declined by almost 10 percent, according to a federal report released Thursday.

Putnam and Great-West combine retirement services under a new brand: Empower

Great-West Financial and Putnam’s retirement business is being renamed Empower.

Market Basket celebrates the opening of its new supermarket in Revere

Market Basket held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the recent opening of its new 80,000-square-foot supermarket in Revere.

FTC sues Gerber over claims on infant formula

Federal regulators are suing Gerber, the well-known baby food maker, for claiming that its Good Start Gentle formula can prevent or reduce allergies in children.

Economy grew more than forecast in third quarter

Gains in government spending and a shrinking trade deficit made up for a slowdown in household purchases.

Mortgage rates rise after five weeks of decline

The benchmark 30-year loan remained below 4 percent.

Tim Cook: ‘I’m proud to be gay’

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he’s proud to be gay. The public declaration, in an essay written for Bloomberg Businessweek, makes Cook the highest-profile business CEO to come out as gay.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation helps launch Cambridge vaccine company

Affinivax Inc., a Cambridge biotechnology company seeking to develop vaccines, announced its launch Thursday with a $4 million investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

‘I’m proud to be gay,’ Apple CEO Tim Cook says

Cook’s public declaration in a Bloomberg Businessweek essay makes him the highest-profile business CEO to come out.

Boston condo prices up, though sales slow

Sales dropped for the first time in four years even as prices continued to march upward.

Government pushes air bag maker on replacement parts

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent letters to Takata Corp. and 10 automakers seeking information in a widening air bag recall.

Schilling, trustee reach bankruptcy agreement

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has reached a tentative agreement to settle financial claims in the 38 Studios bankruptcy case in Delaware.

Snapshot

Stocks slip after Fed statement; Dollar gains

An optimistic statement from the Fed sent the dollar up and gold down as traders prepared for rising interest rates.

Fed ends bond buying and cites brighter job market

The Federal Reserve ended its bond purchase program that was intended to keep long-term interest rates low.

On Boston’s outskirts, hopes for an industrial comeback

A Hyde Park development will offer studio-sized spaces aimed at luring small industries that have left the region in droves.

Fiat Chrysler to spin off luxury brand Ferrari

The move will unlock the luxury brand’s value and distinguish it from its mass-market parent.

What to buy in November

Many shoppers are busy plotting their approach to nabbing doorbusters on Black Friday, but the reality is, there are great deals all month long.

Tying the knot can help keep you on the road to success, study says

A recent study shows that stable, two-parent families decrease the chance of people ending up impoverished.

Mass. movers

Aspen Technology stock slips after rating is lowered

Aspen Technology Inc. was downgraded to “sector perform” at Pacific Crest Securities.

Market movers

Facebook projects ‘more difficult’ quarter as CEO spends

Facebook Inc. fell the most since March after predicting the slowest revenue growth since early 2013.

Nations sign pact to share data to fight tax evasion

BERLIN — Led by Europe’s five biggest economies, 51 nations on Wednesday signed what Germany’s finance minister hailed as a milestone in the fight against tax evasion — an agreement that commits them all to automatic exchange of tax information starting in 2017.

FDA approves vaccine to block meningitis strain

WASHINGTON — Federal health regulators have approved the first vaccine to block a strain of bacteria that has caused sometimes deadly outbreaks of meningitis in college dormitories.

Health overhaul’s subsidies at Supreme Court

Supreme Court justices have their first chance this week to decide whether they have the appetite for another major fight over President Barack Obama’s health care law.

New health care payment model lowering costs

The model aims to provide an incentive to control costs by keeping patients healthy; if providers exceed the budget, they absorb the additional expenses.

China flights added for holiday travelers

Hainan Airlines Co. plans to increase its nonstop flights between Boston and Beijing to send more Chinese college students home for the holidays.

Hainan adds more nonstop flights to Beijing during holidays

Hainan Airlines Co. plans to increase its nonstop flights between Boston and Beijing to send more Chinese college students home for the holidays.

Boston Medical Center sells three South End buildings

Boston Medical Center is selling its buildings as a part of broader $270 million construction and renovation project.

MPM Capital is relocating to Kendall Square

MPM Capital, a venture firm with a focus on life sciences, has signed a lease to relocate from the Hancock Tower to larger space in Kendall Square, said MPM’s new landlord, BioMed Realty Trust.

Hiawatha Bray | Tech Lab

Despite cord cutting, cable TV’s future looks very familiar

Industry analysts believe that most consumers will stick with cable, even as more networks offer Internet subscriptions.

Did the Fed’s bond-buying program work?

Launched during the financial crisis in 2008, the Fed began buying huge amounts of bonds in an effort to revive the US economy. It also provoked a political backlash.

Text of the Fed’s statement

The statement the Federal Reserve released Wednesday after its policy meeting ended.

Shoppers opening their wallets for Halloween

New data show that consumers are spending more money on all manner of Halloween gear.

Move over, Santa: UPS predicts 11 percent hike in holiday package delivery

UPS expects to deliver more than 34 million packages on the busiest day of the holiday season, double the amount on a normal day.

Harpoon Brewery taps Charlie Storey to be its new president

Harpoon Brewery, a Boston-based beer company founded in 1986 on the Boston waterfront, has promoted Charlie Storey to the post of president.

Fed ends bond-buying program

The Federal Reserve ended its bond purchase program that was intended to keep long-term interest rates low.

AMSC superconductor wire gets energized in smart-grid demonstration in Korea

AMSC, a Devens company that provides technology products to power grid operators, said Wednesday that a Korean firm is testing a cable that uses AMSC’s high temperature superconductor wire.

Viehbacher out as Sanofi chief executive

French drug giant Sanofi SA said its board voted unanimously to fire Christopher Viehbacher.

Wynn reports 3Q drop in Macau, rise in Las Vegas

Wynn reported Tuesday that the company’s revenue dropped 1.4 percent to $1.37 billion in the quarter as gains in Vegas were offset by a decline in Macau.

Partners HealthCare chief met a trail of resistance

Industry insiders say Gary Gottlieb’s aggressive push for change and hands-on management style alienated many.

Apple CEO Tim Cook says Apple Pay a success

Cook said Apple’s new mobile payment system had over 1 million activations in the first three days after it became available.

Google working on pill that searches for illnesses

Google is working on a cancer-detecting pill in its latest effort to push the boundaries of technology.

Shirley Leung

Barrage of criticism dents Partners HealthCare’s pride

These days, there’s a growing strain of unhappiness infecting Partners HealthCare, the state’s biggest hospital system.

Market movers

Whirlpool climbs on full-year forecast

Third-quarter net income at Whirlpool Corp. rose 17 percent to $230 million, or $2.88 per share, helped by healthy sales in North America.

Mass. movers

Cognex beats estimates but shares fall

Natick machine vision products maker Cognex Corp. beat estimates in what executives called a “spectacular” third quarter.

Grocers piling in to Fenway amid new urban competition

As unlikely as it might have seemed a few years ago, grocery wars are about to break out in the shadow of the Green Monster.

Facebook’s advertising revenue soars in 3Q

Facebook was helped by a boost in mobile ads that are becoming an increasingly large chunk of the social networking giant’s overall advertising business.

Electric-car drivers trading gas for solar power

Owners of electric vehicles have already gone gas-free. Now, a growing number are powering their cars with sunlight.

New tax rules won’t stop Pfizer from moving abroad

The US attempt to block companies from leaving the country for tax reasons would not stop America’s biggest drugmaker from moving overseas if it finds an attractive deal.

AT&T accused of deceiving consumers on unlimited data plan

The FTC charged AT&T with deceiving smartphone customers who signed up for an “unlimited” data plan.

Snapshot

Stocks rise as profits, confidence index climb

Strong earnings from Amgen, AutoNation, and engine-maker Cummins pushed stocks higher.

Employers get a warning on Net use by staffers

This year, 44 percent, or 221, of the nation’s Fortune 500 companies had their employees’ credentials exposed on public websites.

Vertex tops Street 3Q forecasts

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Tuesday reported a loss of $170.1 million in its third quarter.On a per-share basis, the Boston company said it had a loss of 72 cents. Losses, adjusted for stock-option expense and nonrecurring costs, came to 37 cents per share.Still, the results surpassed Wall Street’s expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 54 cents per share.

US consumer confidence jumps to 7-year high; job gains feed hopes for growth

Consumer confidence has rebounded strongly this month, hitting a seven-year high as job gains raise expectations for economic growth.

Lowe’s debuts customer service robots in store

Lowe’s is testing whether robots can improve customer service, like helping a shopper find a match for something as simple as a nail.

American, US Airways merging mile programs in ‘15

American Airlines and US Airways will combine their frequent flier programs early next year and, for now, still base free flights on how many miles customers fly.Delta and United plan to base awards on how much customers spend, which helps travelers who buy expensive first-class and business-class tickets.

Macy’s to head overseas with branch in Abu Dhabi

The Middle East is getting the world’s first Macy’s department store outside the United States, plus its second Bloomingdale’s.

Seven ways to save on holiday gift shopping

While we’re just weeks away from the holiday season there are steps you can take now to save money.

Two CEOs leaving Lahey-owned hospitals

The executives overseeing three community hospitals are departing as part of leadership changes as Lahey expands.

Alere Health purchased for $600 million

Alere Health will be acquired by Optum, a health services arm of insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc., for $600 million in cash.