Latest business headlines

The latest business news from the region and nation

Innovation Economy

5 things next governor should do for innovation economy

The next Mass. governor will need to create energy, jobs, new industries, and fast-growing firms beyond the Route 495 ring.

With AbbVie merger dead, Shire focuses on future

Shire’s chief executive said he expects both the company and its Mass. workforce to grow over the next year.

Business group forms to push for expanded natural gas pipelines

The coalition is pushing for expanded pipelines in New England to increase natural gas supplies and lower energy prices.

Most expensive homes for sale in Mass.

The penthouse at Millennium Tower is the priciest residential listing in the state, but Mass. has a wealth of top-dollar real estate available.

Lower rents, wide choices draw tenants to Route 128

A mini-revival of sorts is underway along America’s original technology highway west of the city.

Ebola relief volunteer recounts a world upended

Holly Taylor, 26, was recently deployed to Sierra Leone to aid in the effort against Ebola. Here are excerpts from her diary.

Shirley Leung

Women master the art of fund-raising

If you’re wondering why so many female candidates are on the ballot this year, just follow the money.

Amazon loss exceeds forecasts, sending stock down

The retailer and entertainment company, reported Thursday that it lost 95 cents a share in the third quarter, compared with a loss of 9 cents in 2013.

Zuckerberg speaks Chinese, Beijing students cheer

The young billionaire delighted an audience of students at a prestigious Beijing university this week with a 30-minute chat.

GM third-quarter earnings exceed expectations

General Motors nearly doubled its $698 million profit from the period a year earlier as margins improved in its core North American operations.

Apple takes aim at China sales

For Apple, Greater China has been one of its fastest growing markets for iPhone sales, so the company wants to more than double its presence there.

Eurozone survey rise does not ease recession fears

A broad survey of activity in the manufacturing and services sectors by financial information company Markit rose unexpectedly in October.

Lower fuel costs help push profit at Southwest

Southwest Airlines Co. said Thursday that net income rose 27 percent to $329 million, or 48 cents per share, in the July-to-September quarter.

More college debt may not be a PLUS for parents

The PLUS loan is a federal loan families can use to finance as much as the entire cost of college at an interest rate of 7.21 percent.

Mass. movers

Dunkin’ falls as revenue comes up short

The Canton parent of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins reported third-quarter profit of $54.7 million.

Market movers

Caterpillar shares plow higher on cost cuts

The maker of heavy construction and mining equipment beat Street expectations and raised its outlook for the year.

Snapshot

US stocks jump following strong corporate earnings

A combination of strong company earnings and encouraging economic reports gave stocks another day of solid gains.

Average US 30-year loan rate falls to 3.92 pct.

Average US long-term mortgage rates continued to slide this week, raising prospects of a wave of consumers refinancing their loans. The 30-year mortgage fell further below 4 percent.

Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

Microsoft Corp.’s latest earnings report shows chief executive Satya Nadella is making progress in his push to embrace cloud computing. The company said Thursday that revenue from cloud services, including software delivered over the Internet, more than doubled in the last quarter. That helped lift quarterly profit and revenue above expectations.

US tech firm fined for underpaying Indian workers

A Silicon Valley company is paying more than $43,000 in back wages and penalties after labor regulators found eight employees brought from India were grossly underpaid and overworked while assigned to a special project in the United States.

Gauge of US economy posts solid 0.8 percent gain

A gauge designed to predict the economy’s future health posted a solid increase in September after no gain in the previous month.

Coke names new marketing chief amid struggles

Coca-Cola Co. is replacing its chief marketing officer as the world’s biggest beverage maker fights to boost flat soda sales.

Dow gains more than 200 points after strong corporate earnings

The Dow gained 217 points, driven by encouraging earnings from companies including Caterpillar and 3M.

Salem sapphire maker reaches settlement with Apple after bankruptcy filing

GT Advanced Technologies Inc. announced a settlement that involves shutting down production of the super-hard material at its Salem plant.

More than $10m set aside for affordable housing, Patrick administration says

More that $10 million in subsidies and tax credits has been allocated to projects in Boston, Amherst, and Spencer that seek to preserve or create affordable housing , a state agency said Thursday.

Uber offers flu shots on wheels

The day-long initiative was the latest experiment by Uber to extend the company’s technology beyond transportation.

Double Shot

Ogawa Coffee planning to make US debut in Boston

The popular Japanese coffee roaster is planning to open a new store in downtown Boston.

Fidelity charitable customers directed $3.8 million to Ebola aid

Donations of $875,000 through Sept. 30 soared to $3.8 million through October.

Law firms are ‘rightsizing’ their office spaces

Space reduction continues to guide the office strategy for the US legal sector, with firms giving up an average of 17 percent of their space upon relocating in 2014, according to JLL.

Quartet Medicine raises $17m to develop treatments for chronic pain and inflammation

Quartet Medicine, a Cambridge biotechnology company seeking to develop treatments for chronic pain and inflammation, said Thursday that it has raised $17 million in a Series A financing.

Dunkin’ beats 3Q net income expectations

Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., the Canton-based parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, reported third-quarter profit of $54.7 million.

Revisiting advice on inheritance, co-signing

It is not immoral for a person to accept money or possessions that were left to him or her.

Mass. movers

Pegasystems acquiring Turkish partner

Shares of Cambridge’s Pegasystems Inc. rose on a deal to acquire its partner in Turkey, Ultima IT.

Market movers

Commercial jet demand lifts Boeing results

Robust demand for commercial jets helped Boeing earn $1.36 billion in the third quarter, up 18 percent over last year.

At $37.5m, Millennium Tower condo tops most everything

The penthouse atop the tower, under construction now, is nearly triple the price of the most expensive condominium ever sold in Boston.

Online retailers found to shift offerings and prices

New research found that major travel websites and general merchandisers are testing price steering and discrimination in small doses.

Broadcom eases investor fears with solid quarter

The maker of communications chips rose the most in more than four months after reporting earnings that beat analysts’ estimates.

Solar energy discounts become employee perk

A group of major companies is set to offer employees access to cheaper solar systems for the home.

‘Silicon Beach’ brings tech boom to Los Angeles

Entrepreneurs and engineers are flocking to a place better known for wave surfing than Web surfing.

Tablets, cars drive AT&T wireless gains — not phones

The nation’s second-largest wireless carrier is facing pricing pressure from smaller rivals T-Mobile and Sprint.

Lawmakers intensify recall scrutiny

The US government is now urging owners of nearly 8 million cars and trucks to have the air bags repaired because of potential danger to drivers and passengers.

Boston firm ordered to pay $2.9M fine in commodity pool fraud case

A federal judge ordered a Boston man and his company, JBW Capital, to pay a civil penalty of nearly $2.9 million for commodity pool fraud, financial regulators said Wednesday.

Social Security benefits to go up by 1.7 percent

WASHINGTON — Millions of older Americans who rely on federal benefits will get a 1.7 percent increase in their monthly payments next year, the government announced Wednesday.

Slide in energy sector drags US stock market lower

Stocks snapped a four-day winning streak for the S&P 500, as investors shaken by recent swings in the market sold some of their holdings. A slide in oil prices dragged down energy shares. Stocks opened higher on hopes Europe’s top bank would add to its stimulus program and news that US inflation remained low last month. And a batch of good earnings reports from Broadcom and other US companies also helped. But those gains vanished later in the session as crude oil began to drop. The government also reported that consumer prices rose 1.7 percent in the year to date through September, below the 2 percent target set by the Fed.

Flex Pharma developing treatments for muscle cramps

The Boston startup’s goal is to develop treatments for a painful condition for which there are no clinically proven products.

US consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in September

WASHINGTON — US consumer prices edged up slightly in September, with the overall increase held back by a third straight monthly decline in gasoline prices. The tiny gain was the latest evidence that inflation remains benign.

Hiawatha Bray | Tech Lab

Here come the pay phones

This is no ordinary shopping spree. This is research into a quartet of digital wallets that transmit financial data to retail credit-card terminals.

Biogen Idec reports death of patient on its MS pill

The Cambridge biotech company said the patient died after getting a rare brain infection.

IBM chief discusses Watson, cloud services

Virginia Rometty spoke Wednesday to a crowded gathering of Boston business figures about the growing importance of cyber security and cloud computing for every industry.

Deal completed, Tufts, Lowell General look to expand

Tufts Medical Center and Lowell General Hospital are seeking additional health care organizations to expand their new network.

Galvin files civil fraud charges against EmGoldex

Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin alleges that the Andover group was running a pyramid scheme.

Dunkin’ Donuts gets a Halloween makeover

Dunkin’ is rolling out some doughnuts in trick-or-treat disguise for its seasonal Halloween menu.

Progress Software agrees to buy Telerik for $262.5m

Progress Software Corp., a Bedford-based company that develops business software, said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy Telerik AD for $262.5 million.

Englewood Hospital taps Iron Mountain to host its data center

Englewood Hospital will lease data center space within Iron Mountain Inc.’s underground data center located near Pittsburgh.

Biogen Idec beats Street 3Q forecasts

Biogen Idec Inc., the Cambridge biotechnology company, on Wednesday reported profit of $856.9 million in its third quarter.

New attack on iCloud is reported

News of the vulnerability came just as the new iPhone 6 arrived in Chinese stores after a monthlong regulatory delay.

Shirley Leung

Yes, Jeff McCormick is still running for governor

What about McCormick? Why is this political neophyte still running?

Staples may be the latest target in string of credit card hacks

If its breach is confirmed, Staples would be the latest of many consumer brands that has fallen prey to hackers.

Ebola causing spike in demand for protective gear

Many hospitals said they already have the proper equipment in place but are ordering more supplies to prepare for a possible new case of Ebola.

Nurses union says Brigham and Women’s cutting staff to unsafe levels

The accusations, denied by hospital officials, are being aired as a new state law on minimum nursing staff levels takes effect.

Once-booming Boston law firm struggles to survive

Bingham McCutchen LLP has watched more than 50 partners leave the firm since last year and cut 225 lawyers since 2012.

States enable costly loans to high-risk borrowers

One corner of the financial industry — lending to people with poor credit scores — has found sympathetic audiences in many state capitals.

CVS tacks tobacco payment to prescription network

CVS is planning to make some customers think twice about filling prescriptions at stores that sell tobacco.

Medical labs’ leftovers find uses elsewhere

Kerafast Inc. is helping institutions clean out their freezers and reuse biological materials for new research through an online marketplace — a sort of craigslist for biologists.

Not so fast cord cutters — cable’s not going anywhere

For all those cable haters out there, sorry: Cutting the cord won’t mean cutting out your cable provider.

2nd guilty plea in California tainted beef case

Eugene Corda entered the plea to one count of aiding and abetting in the distribution of adulterated, misbranded, and uninspected meat earlier this month.

4 banks, including JPMorgan, fined in Europe over ‘cartel’ behavior

The European Commission on Tuesday fined four major financial institutions about $119.9 million over two types of activity that it deemed as cartel behavior.

The meaning of ‘organic’ hazy for nonfood items

Absent an Agriculture Department seal or certification, there are few ways to tell if those organic claims are false.

Takata air bag warning leaves drivers looking for answers

Federal auto safety regulators urging owners of more than 5 million vehicles to “act immediately”.

Packaging error prompts recall of naproxen pills

A North Carolina company is recalling nearly 12,000 boxes of pain relief tablets because some cartons contain a different medication that could cause allergic reactions.

Kimberly-Clark to cut up to 1,300 jobs

The restructuring efforts are aimed at reducing costs and making its business more efficient.

McDonald’s CEO outlines changes as sales slide

McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said Tuesday the company hasn’t been keeping up with the times and that changes are in store for its U.S. restaurants.

Mass. movers

Higher sales make a splash at Waters Corp.

Shares of Milford-based Waters Corp. jumped Tuesday on third-quarter 2014 sales of $493 million.

Market movers

Cigarette maker climbs despite sales drop

Net income at Camel cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc. rose 2.2 percent in the third quarter.

Top mortgage firm accused of abuses

An investigation found that Ocwen Financial Corp. inappropriately backdated foreclosure warnings and letters that rejected mortgage loan modifications.

New rules adopted in hopes of spurring home loans

While banks will see relaxed guidelines for packaging and selling mortgage securities, fewer borrowers likely will need to make hefty down payments.

Mobile apps, Alibaba windfall lift Yahoo results

Yahoo’s third-quarter earnings soared as the Internet company collected a huge windfall from Alibaba’s recent IPO.

Snapshot

Stocks rally; S&P 500 has best day of 2014

Investors rallied behind an encouraging report on the Chinese economy and strong quarterly results from Apple and other big players.

Jury rules against Texas company in guardrail case

DALLAS — A jury has decided that a Texas company should pay $175 million in a case involving the safety of thousands of guardrails on highways around the country.

Strong Apple earnings help boost stocks

Apple stock rose nearly 3 percent on strong sales as the Nasdaq shot up 103 points and the Dow gained 215.