Latest business headlines

The latest business news from the region and nation

A new age for an old town

Boston is in the midst of a building spree whose enormity, pace, and geographic sweep are redefining the skyline.

Warren Buffett’s message to shareholders remains upbeat

Buffett in his annual message said the board had identified his successor, but did not reveal that person’s identity.

Was quantitative easing best way to boost US economy?

The Fed pumped trillions into the economy, yet there still are many unknowns about the strategy.

Consumer Reports | Product Review

Know your outpatient clinic

Doctors are doing more outpatient procedures — and not always on the appropriate patients.

On the Job

Spreading food truck access far and wide

When food trucks gather en masse, it’s a street festival, says Anne-Marie Aigner, executive producer of Food Truck Festivals of America.

Sunday MBA

Encouraging employee creativity boosts innovation, results

Hari Kumar and Satish Raghavendran detail how leaders in their organization worked to boost employee engagement, and promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

Five things you should know about Jeffrey Fuhrer

Fuhrer is senior vice president and senior policy advisor to Federal Reserve Bank of Boston president Eric Rosengren.

Talking points

What you may have missed from the week in business

Loans may help with recovery from winter; natural gas rates fall, electric prices rise; and more.

Mitch Lipka | Consumer Alert

When choosing electric supplier, do homework

There’s a rather lengthy list of supply companies to choose from and some services.

Construction projects in Boston

With Boston in the midst of a historical building boom, a look at some of the most recent developments.

Job Doc

Premium pay required for some workdays

Are companies required to pay workers more for coming in on Sundays and holidays?

Peter Post | Etiquette at work

Actions, words can return to haunt you

The image others have of you is influenced by actions you take not only at work but also away from work.

Talking points

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

Former Sanofi CEO joins PureTech, Historical Commission concerned with Fenway building, and more.

Liberty Mutual leader’s pay nears $14 million

David Long’s compensation jumped almost 27 percent increase from the previous year, the company reported.

State will offer micro-loans to storm-battered businesses

Under a program announced Friday by Governor Charlie Baker, the state would offer small businesses $5,000 to $10,000 low-interest micro-loans from a fund totaling $1 million.

Uber says database containing driver info was breached

A database containing the names and drivers’ license numbers of 50,000 Uber drivers was breached in May.

Sale of Boston Globe headquarters falters as buyer withdraws

One of Winstanley Enterprises’s financiers withdrew from the project, according to the paper.

Pagliuca says he’d pay $2 billion for the Celtics today

Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca touched on franchise valuations as part of a sweeping panel discussion of the business of sports at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston.

Historical Commission concerned with Fenway building height

The Massachusetts Historical Commission has raised objections about the height of a 30-story residential building coming to the Fenway neighborhood.

Federal health reform, drug costs drive losses for Mass. insurers

The biggest loss came at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass., which reported an operating loss of $119 million.

Massachusetts utilities look to buy renewable energy to power 136,000 homes

Massachusetts utility companies are preparing to buy enough renewable energy to power 136,000 homes as part of a major initiative announced by Governor Charlie Baker on Thursday.

SEC files fraud charges against Wings Network

The company allegedly raised at least $23.5 million in a pyramid scheme similar to the alleged TelexFree swindle.

Scott Kirsner | Innovation Economy

Drone companies entering Wild West phase

The companies are taking flight even as they wait for the Federal Aviation Administration to adopt rules for commercial use.

Which came first, Fidelity or . . . Sammons?

A Des Moines, Iowa, company begs to differ with Fidelity Investments’ recent claim of being the first to offer an IRA match.

Providence Journal names Janet Hasson publisher

The veteran newspaper executive is credited with increasing online readership and digital advertising.

Fired Sanofi chief joins Boston’s PureTech

Christopher Viehbacher has been named a senior partner and board member at PureTech.

With ‘House of Cards,’ Netflix got a winning hand

Even if it never wins another award, the series already ranks among the most influential in TV history.

German Parliament approves Greece’s bailout extension

Germany’s Parliament has given its overwhelming approval to the four-month extension of Greece’s financial bailout, despite unease over the new government in Athens.

US economy grew at moderate 2.2 percent in fourth quarter

The US economy slowed more sharply in the final three months of the year than previously believed.

Celebrities owed money from Mass. unclaimed funds list

Here are come of the big names who are still owed money, and others who were paid the money from the fund in previous years.

Mass. movers

Revenue climbs at Atlantic Tele-Network

Shares of Beverly-based Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. rose on “another strong quarter,” according to CEO Michael Prior.


What’s in a mollusk? Maybe the secret to a new generation of screens

A mollusk is inspiring engineers to design an advanced screen that would, for example, allow drivers to overlay navigation information on their car windshield.

Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push

The push is being called ‘‘FNV,’’ which is intended to be a catchier way to refer to ‘‘fruits and vegetables.’’

Talking points

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

Dunkin’ Donuts apologizes to Liverpool fans, Rocket scientists hired to figure out why air bags turned deadly, and more news from Thursday.

Market movers

Loss narrows at struggling US retailer

Sears Holdings Corp. posted a $159 million fourth-quarter loss as store closings and asset sales shrank the retailer and hurt revenue.

Some big names on Mass. unclaimed money list

Some surprising celebrities top the semiannual update of forgotten bank accounts, refunds, and safe-deposit boxes.

Uno chain putting pizza first again

Uno’s traditional fare — including its 2,300-calorie Chicago Classic individual pizza — is back near the front of the menu.


Zoombinis’ relaunch will target the iOS and Android markets

A classic, locally built educational video game from the ’90s gets a chance at a relaunch.

Market watchers wonder if biotech IPO boom can continue

Despite the slower start for biotech offerings this year, few believe the IPO market is a bubble waiting to burst.

Mitt Romney’s ties key to Boston’s Olympic push

Romney has been a quiet, but influential behind-the-scenes player, offering his connections to further the bid.


Workspace: Inspecting hotels and restaurants for AAA

She shows up unannounced to get the real scoop on that junior suite.

Boston 2024 group’s fund-raising limited to New England

It does not mean corporate donors outside of New England cannot contribute. But those big gifts will need to be run by the US committee.


US stock indexes drift mostly lower as oil prices sink

A deepening slump in oil prices and falling energy stocks pushed the Dow lower.

Former Obama press secretary takes post at

Jay Carney, who resigned as the president’s chief spokesman last spring, is joining Amazon as senior vice president for global corporate affairs.

No thanks! Companies reject ‘Shark Tank’ deals, still thrive

Dreams of investor money have induced more than 150,000 businesses to apply to be contestants on ‘‘Shark Tank.’

Friday’s business agenda

China Thinks Big, sports analytics, and other notable events and things to know.

Shirley Leung

Baker should remake transportation board

If Charlie Baker is going to take ownership of the problems at the T, he needs to take control of the wheel.


Aereo’s bankruptcy auction raises less than $2 million

The Boston streaming technology startup has crumbled swiftly since a court ruling rendered its business illegal.

Dunkin’ apologizes for promotion altering Liverpool crest

Dunkin’ Donuts posted a version of the team’s crest that replaced flames honoring fans killed in a disaster with iced coffee.

City approves 30-story Fenway tower

The Point, which will be the tallest Fenway development yet, has been cleared to break ground this spring or summer.

Activists try to breathe life into Cape Wind

Cape Wind may be dead in the water, but climate activists aren’t giving up on the ambitious offshore turbine project yet.

Dunkin’ expands K-Cups sales to grocery stores

The move will expand Dunkin’s K-Cup distribution to thousands of additional retail outlets across the country.

MassMutual posts nearly $800 million in profits for 2014

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, the Springfield-based mutual insurance giant, announced that it made a profit of $799 million in 2014 and posted record sales in both whole insurance and retirement plans for the year.

Google looks for more revenue from ads in Android app store

Google will start showing ads in its online store for mobile apps and entertainment as the Internet search leader strives to bring in more revenue from smartphones and tablets.

Automakers hire rocket firm to probe air bag problems

The auto industry, fed up with slow progress toward finding out why some air bags explode with too much force, has hired a Virginia rocket science company to investigate the matter.

Apple to show off watch at March 9 event

Apple has sent out invitations to an event on March 9 in San Francisco, where it will unveil details for the release of the Apple Watch, a person with knowledge the matter said.

Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push

What if cauliflower got the same type of marketing firepower as candy bars and potato chips?

Barnes & Noble to keep Nook digital business after all

Barnes & Noble is keeping its Nook Media digital business after all.

Coca-Cola bottle as art? Atlanta’s High Museum takes a look

The curvy Coca-Cola bottle is celebrating its 100th birthday, and an art museum is exploring the origins and influence of a bottle design that’s so recognizable, you’d know the brand if you held it in the dark.

Several Maine waterways to be closed to scallop fishing

Maine fishery regulators say they are getting ready to close several waterways to scallop fishing for the season due to the volume of catch.

Mortgage rates rise for third straight week

Average long-term US mortgage rates have edged up for a third straight week while remaining near their historically low levels reached in May 2013.

Divided FCC approves net neutrality rules

The vote banning Internet providers from ‘‘unjust or unreasonable’’ business practices is considered a victory for consumer advocates.

Spanish energy company will buy Berkshire Gas, other utilities

Iberdrola SA said it would pay $3 billion in cash and stock for Connecticut’s United Illuminating Company.

Spanish firm buys major Northeast utility for $3b

UIL Holdings Corp. owns Berkshire Gas, Central Maine Power, Connecticut Natural Gas, New York State Electric & Gas, Rochester Gas & Electric, Southern Connecticut Gas, and United Illuminating.


Bridj planning to expand its data-driven bus service to Washington, D.C.

Boston-based Bridj, an alternative transporation startup, announced plans to launch its bus service in Washington.

Safer credit cards slow in coming

Merchants and retailers have been slow to make the transition to credit cards with safer chip technology.

Quirky offices in downtown Boston reflect influx of tech firms

As tech firms migrate into the Financial District and nearby environs, they’ve done their best to put their own unique stamp on their workspaces.

Talking points

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

BRA to distribute mitigation funds to nonprofits in trial, RadioShack to sell name; bids start at $20 million, and more news from Wednesday.

Bold Types

A suitable tribute for Michael Widmer

A planned “tribute” next week to mark Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation president Michael Widmer’s career and recent retirement sounds lavish.

Worries about health care law leads tax filers to seek professional help

The vast majority of filers should be able to handle the new requirements without hiring extra help, tax specialists said

Market movers

Hewlett-Packard stock falls as stronger dollar hurts earnings

Saying a rising US dollar will hurt its results, Hewlett-Packard Co. forecast profit that would trail estimates.

Mass. movers

Boston Beer stock tumbles after earnings report

The brewer of Samuel Adams beer reported worse-than-expected results and issued a disappointing financial outlook.


TechCrunch Boston Meetup and Pitchoff features a roster of innovative startups

National tech blog TechCrunch is holding a startup pitch contest on Thursday and features a few innovative startups.

Suffolk Construction ditches South Boston move

Roxbury’s largest private employer will stay put and expand, not move to the waterfront.

NxStage to open dialysis centers in Mass.

NxStage Medical Inc., a medical device maker based in Lawrence, is best known for products that allow patients with kidney disease to treat themselves at home.


Dow gains as stocks stay in record territory

The Dow eked out its third consecutive record high, even as other indexes slipped. Utilities stocks were among the biggest decliners.

American Express raises interest rates on some credit cards

American Express’s move is unusual for the industry: Card rates have been going down, not up.

Federal agencies looking into possible money laundering at Capital One

The Justice Department is also looking into the company’s subprime auto finance business.

Thursday’s business agenda

Summer jobs, sports analytics, and more notable events and things to know.

Fidelity offers to pay customers for new IRA business

The Boston-based investment giant is offering to pay customers a dollar match for moving at least $10,000 into a new or existing Fidelity retirement account.