Latest business headlines

The latest business news from the region and nation.

Black Friday draws the familiar lines

It was the familiar Black Friday drill: eager shoppers began queueing in the dark of night.

DraftKings says most disputed fees didn’t come from banned states

New York’s attorney general has accused Boston’s DraftKings of lax enforcement of its own list of banned states.

Toys ‘R’ Us CEO sees slower sales growth for toys

Chief executive Dave Brandon said the toy industry isn’t putting up the kind of growth numbers that some predicted this holiday season.

Fattest-ever US cattle herd signals end to record beef prices

Cattle in the US are now the fattest they’ve ever been, signaling an end to the seven-year run of record beef prices.

From eccentric scholar to oracle

Yale’s Robert Shiller predicted the dot-com and housing busts. His new book takes aim at the financial industry.

Transforming the workplace for a digital world

Most companies acknowledge they need to revise the way they work. But many are finding this very difficult to do.

Tips to help you donate to charity

Got questions about giving? Here are places to get answers.

In this season for giving, it’s good to know the rules

Whether you are cleaning out the basement, making donations to charity, or looking for gifts for the kids,

Art, medicine, and capturing the intricacies of the human body

Joanne Haderer Müller is one of an elite group certified medical illustrators.

Boston Scientific device recalled after patient dies

The artery-clearing tool made by Boston Scientific Corp. killed one patient and seriously injured two others.

Does all-wheel drive protect you from icy roads?

All-wheel drive might be insufficient to get you through a grueling storm.

Getting a job reference from your current boss

Through negotiations, you can avoid a difficult situation that might leave you out of work and no place to go.

S&P 500 little changed

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed little changed for a fourth straight day amid declines in energy and Walt Disney Co. shares, while a gauge of small-cap stocks posted its longest winning streak in eight months.

Five things you should know about Susan Nguyen and Marcy Ostberg

Susan Nguyen and Marcy Ostberg are co-leaders of the city’s Housing Innovation Lab, a project to lower housing costs.

Is it time to cut the cord?

Going a la carte and “cutting the cord” from the cable company (or its equivalent) is no longer novel.

Stocks inch higher in quiet trading, but Disney stumbles

Stocks finished mostly higher Friday as they wrapped up a quiet week of trading.


Consumers spend Thanksgiving shopping on their phones

Shoppers didn’t wait for the stores to open on Black Friday. They just pulled out their phones.

Local shoppers hit stores around Boston on Black Friday

After the frenzy that followed store openings, local retailers were taking a breather during the mid-morning lull.

Are shoppers’ losing their holiday spirit?

More than 20 years of retail sales data suggest it’s a distinct possibility.

Gold falls to five-year low as likelihood of Fed rate-increase grows

Bets that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month increased, curbing the metal’s appeal.

Online sales surge on Thanksgiving ahead of Black Friday

The online rush is raising questions about how many shoppers will show up for brick-and-mortar promotions today.

Partners enters a genetics market

Partners is moving to sell software, called GeneInsight, that digests genetic data and breaks it into bite-sized information.

Everyone loves same-day delivery, until they have to pay

The logistics and costs of same-day delivery have been a difficult challenge to surmount for retailers.

Lunch Break

New Boston Public Market fills appetites, coffers

Since the market opened July 30, over 500,000 visitors have checked it out.

Carpenters union targets Braintree school project

The group has embarked on a campaign involving multiple levels of government in its protest of alleged wage law violations.

Chip-ready credit card machines hard to find

Three in five Americans are now carrying a chip-embedded credit or debit card. The only problem? Where to use it.


Taking on drug-resistant bacteria

Cambridge-based Spero Therapeutics is developing new treatments for so-called gram-negative bacteria, a class that includes E. coli.

Preparation is key to not drowning in a sea of holiday sales

Retailers hope this is the most wonderful time of the year, but the endless stream of snap sales often leaves customers confused.

Black Friday becoming less vital to retailers

The relentless race for holiday dollars has blunted the day’s oomph, as stores offer deep discounts weeks before Thanksgiving.

Markets snapshot: Stocks end the day little changed

The market was positive most of the day, but the gains dissipated in the final minutes.

Joanne Chang’s sticky buns coming to a Pinkberry near you

Pinkberry New England is collaborating with Flour Bakery + Cafe to offer “Joanne Chang’s Sticky Bun,” a flavor based on the chef’s iconic sticky bun.

Deflect and redirect awkward holiday office party conversation

The bright side is you may end up building new relationships not just during the party but ones that will benefit you in the future.

Massport shipping terminal bucks industry trend

If an industry-wide slump is starting, you couldn’t tell from what’s happening at the Conley Terminal in South Boston.

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage slides to 3.95 percent

Average long-term US mortgage rates slipped this week after they climbed recently expectations that the Federal Reserve may soon raise its key short-term interest rate.

E. coli tied to Costco more dangerous than Chipotle outbreak

The strain of E. Coli linked to Costco chicken salad has sickened 19 people in seven states.

Baxalta shares up on report that Shire may sweeten its $30 billion bid

Shares of biopharma company Baxalta Inc. rose Wednesday morning as investors gauged a report that Shire PLC may be readying a sweetened takeover bid for Baxalta.

US new-home sales rebound in October after September plummet

Sales of new homes recovered in October after suffering a steep drop in September, returning to this year’s trend of an improving market for real estate developers and builders.

On list of America’s priciest streets, Boylston ranks 7th

A mix of iconic landmarks, pricey retail, and desirable office space make the street one of the hottest commercial real estate locations.

Judge promises ruling ‘soon’ in bid to shut down DraftKings in N.Y.

A judge in Manhattan declined to rule immediately on the New York attorney general’s shutdown request.

Toyota recalls vehicles in Japan, Europe for air bag defect

Toyota is recalling 1.6 million vehicles for defective air bags supplied by embattled Japanese manufacturer Takata.

More jobs, lower gas prices mean rise in Thanksgiving travel

All major transportation sectors – airlines, trains, buses and automobiles – are projecting an uptick in holiday travel.

Shirley Leung

Lauren Baker practices patience as she defines her role

Baker is still deciding what causes she will champion as first lady of Mass., though she says she is unlikely to get behind just one.

Multifamily owners in Boston hit hard by new tax bills

The higher tax bills reflect not only how much more valuable those properties have become, but also the soaring rents they command.

Affordable Care Act linked to earlier diagnoses of cervical cancer

The health law allowed dependents to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 and the number of uninsured young adults fell substantially.

Renault van pollution higher than stated

A German environmental group said a Renault diesel passenger van produces up to 25 times as much pollution as allowed.

Volkswagen faces another emissions inquiry

Volkswagen is facing a new criminal investigation after publishing incorrect emissions data that gave some drivers tax breaks that may have been unjustified.

US economy grew 2.1% in last quarter

Nearly all of the improvement was because of revised data on inventories, which showed businesses restocking shelves at a faster pace.

Markets snapshot: Investors shake off the worries

Stocks finished modestly higher as investors shook off concerns about heightened tensions in the Middle East and a drop in consumer confidence.

Firms earn $3.4b from California pensions

Private-equity firms have been investing on behalf of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System since 1990.


Somerville ready to try out a car that parks itself

The city took a step towards a driverless future recently, partnering with Audi to test a variety of self-driving car technologies over the next few years.

Wednesday’s business agenda

Stock market closed, Uber, and more notable events and things to know.


Placester raises another $27 million

The marketing platform for real estate agents plans to use the latest investment to further build its engineering team and sales and marketing capabilities.

Somerville brewer Pretty Things announces its closure

Dann and Martha Paquette, owners of Pretty Things beer company, had said they were being shut out of area bars and restaurants.

Amazon inks deal on fulfillment center in Fall River

The company said Tuesday it closed on a deal to buy land in Fall River for a 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center.

Healey settles with two student debt firms

The two companies have agreed to stop doing business in Mass. to settle allegations that they misled more than 200 borrowers.

Fast-growing craft brewers aim to maintain quality as they satisfy demand

Nationwide, both the number of craft breweries and volume of craft beer production grew by nearly 20 percent from 2013 to 2014.

Scott Kirsner | Innovation Economy

Boston’s brand is the future

Our city isn’t about the past. It’s the place where the future happens first.

Analog Devices gains most in a month as earnings beat estimates

Analog Devices Inc. gained the most in more than a month after the chipmaker reported sales and profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates, helped by demand for consumer device components.


Comcast’s Stream TV has ‘cracked the code’ for cord-cutters

For $15 a month, customers get a “skinny bundle” of 28 channels, including all the broadcast networks and HBO channels.

Free tolls, Dunkin’ gift cards for some in Allston/Brighton

Plymouth Rock Assurance will sponsor the eastbound and westbound tolls for its fourth annual “Turkey Toll” event.

Patrick not to blame for state’s credit woes, ex-spokesman says

The Baker administration blamed his predecessor for the state’s dwindling rainy day fund and concerns expressed by a bond rating agency.

Amazon head’s space company reaches milestone with reusable rocket

Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin achieved a key milestone: sending a rocket into space and then landing it safely back on Earth.

Number of women outearning their husbands rises

In the last 15 years, the percentage of wives who earn $30,000 more than their husbands increased, data show.

For DraftKings, the stakes are high in N.Y. court case

The firm on Wednesday will try to convince a judge that its daily fantasy sports contests are not illegal gambling under N.Y. law.

Microsemi agrees to buy PMC-Sierra after Skyworks drops bid

Microsemi Corp. agreed to buy PMC-Sierra Inc. for about $2.5 billion after rival Skyworks Solutions Inc. withdrew its takeover bid, ending a monthlong bidding contest for the maker of semiconductors for network drives.

Mass. home sales surge for the fifth straight month

The state’s housing estate market continued one of the hottest streaks since the boom of the late 1980s.


Tipping feature added to Handy app

A rising star in the “on-demand” world, the housecleaning and handyman app is making it easier for customers to express their gratitude for a job well done.

Volkswagen chief says emissions inquiry may take months

The company is months away from identifying who was responsible for installing emissions-cheating software in millions of diesel vehicles.

STAT | Pulse of Longwood

How a bike-a-thon raised half a billion for cancer

The Pan-Mass Challenge, which supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has grown from 36 people in 1980 to 6,000 cyclists.


More online shoppers are using cellphones

In the online shopping ecosystem, the phone has become the device of choice.

While Big Pharma gets bigger, local biotechs innovate

Overshadowed by the Pfizer-Allergan merger was a much smaller deal that highlights what makes the Mass. biotech industry tick.

Yellen says low rates help Americans

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Americans would have been worse off had the central bank not kept rates near zero since 2008.

Ford to stop using Takata air bag inflators in future vehicles

The move is another blow to the troubled Japanese parts supplier as the auto industry continues to shun its product.

Mayor gauges business about convention center expansion

As he plans his priorities for the new year, Marty Walsh is apparently trying to figure out how high a convention center expansion should be on that list.


A low-maintenance friend to keep you company

The $99 robotic cat from Hasbro is programmed to roll over and purr when it’s petted and stroked.

New York to investigate fake online stock bids

New York’s attorney general is in the early stages of investigating manipulative tactics in the electronic trading of emerging markets currencies.

In US, ground delays at airports on the rise

According to an Associated Press analysis, airplanes spent 23 minutes and 32 seconds, on average, taxiing between gates and runways.

Bold Types

Weather Co. CEO back in Boston

David Kenny will be coming home to Massachusetts to work for IBM in Cambridge once the sale of his firm’s digital assets closes in 2016.

In turnaround, McDonald’s focuses on accuracy

The burger chain has adopted an “ask, ask, tell” policy that involves repeating the customer’s order to ensure that no detail is incorrect.


Pfizer-Allergan deal is about pumping up revenue

The merger could cause scientists to lose their jobs and consumers to pay more for their medicines.