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    TALKING POINTS

    Grand penthouse at Millennium Tower sold

    REAL ESTATE

    Grand penthouse at Millennium Tower is sold

    $35 million. That’s how much the grand penthouse at the top of Millennium Tower sold for, apparently to billionaire investor Jonathan Grayken. A deed filed Wednesday in Suffolk County indicates that a holding company called Kilda LLC paid Millennium $35 million for the 13,000-square-foot condo, which, on the 60th floor of the new condo tower, is the highest residence ever built in Boston. Real estate industry sources told the Globe in June that Grayken was the buyer. His name appears on neither the deed nor incorporation paperwork Kilda LLC filed with the Secretary of State. But Kilda’s state paperwork lists the address of Grayken’s home in Cohasset and a Dallas office that also houses Hudson Advisors, an arm of Grayken’s Lone Star Funds. Two Hudson executives were listed as corporate officers. A Lone Star spokeswoman declined comment. Grayken, who grew up in Cohasset and earned a fortune trading distressed real estate, denounced his US citizenship for tax purposes nearly two decades ago and now runs his business from the United Kingdom. That makes it unclear how many nights a year he can legally stay at his new digs in Downtown Crossing without making his income subject to US taxation. Either way, he got a bit of a bargain. Millennium had listed the penthouse for sale at $37.5 million. So he paid 6.7 percent below the asking price. And according to the deed, his place comes with six parking spaces. Four of them are even reserved. — TIM LOGAN

    RETAIL

    Barnes & Noble stock struggles after CEO ousted

    Barnes & Noble Inc. suffered its worst stock decline in more than eight months after ousting chief executive Ron Boire, saying he wasn’t the right person to revamp a bookstore chain struggling to compete with Amazon.com Inc. Management duties will be handed over to 75-year-old founder Leonard Riggio and other executives while Barnes & Noble searches for a new CEO. As part of the shake-up, Riggio will postpone his retirement as executive chairman, the New York-based company said late Tuesday. Boire was on the job less than a year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    RETAIL

    Urban Outfitters, Children’s Place are bright spots in apparel industry

    Shares of Urban Outfitters and Children’s Place rose Wednesday after the companies gave an optimistic view of the beleaguered US apparel industry. Urban Outfitters topped analysts’ estimates for second-quarter sales and profit, while Children’s Place raised its earnings forecast for the year. The results helped brighten the outlook of a sector suffering from sluggish mall traffic and a shift of young shoppers online. Aeropostale, American Apparel, Quiksilver, and Pacific Sunwear of California have all filed for bankruptcy over the past year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    INVESTMENT BANKING

    Banker convicted of insider trading for tipping off father

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    A Yale-educated investment banker was convicted of insider trading charges Wednesday after a jury concluded he gave tips about mergers and acquisitions to his father, enabling over $1 million in illegal profits. Sean Stewart, 35, testified during the two-week Manhattan federal court trial, insisting he had no idea his father was sharing secrets with a broker to make trades ahead of public announcements on five separate deals that he oversaw while working at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Perella Weinberg partners LP. The father, Robert Stewart, was sentenced to one year of home detention after pleading guilty to an insider trading charge. Prosecutors said evidence, including the timing of pivotal meetings regarding the corporate deals and subsequent trades in securities by the father and communications between the father and son soon afterward, made it obvious the son tipped his father intentionally. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

    HOME IMPROVEMENT

    Lowe’s falls behind Home Depot

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    Lowe’s Cos. is losing ground to Home Depot in its bid to capitalize on the US home-renovation boom. The company reported disappointing second-quarter sales growth and earnings that fell well below analysts’ estimates, a sign Lowe’s isn’t containing expenses as well as its larger rival. Profit was $1.37 a share, excluding some items, in the quarter ended July 29. Analysts had estimated $1.42 on average. The results contrasted with those of Home Depot, which met analysts’ expectations and boosted its annual profit forecast on Tuesday. Home Depot said it remained confident that rising home values would keep pushing people to spend on their properties. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    EDUCATION

    Bard College sinks further into junk bond status

    Steely Dan’s old school isn’t getting better with age, as Moody’s Investors Service cut Bard College credit rating further into junk given its increasing debt and depleting liquidity. The two-man-band’s alma mater of 3,000 students, located 90 miles north of New York City in the Hudson River Valley, was cut to B1 — four levels into speculative grade territory — from Ba3, with a negative outlook. Bard has become increasingly dependent on operating lines of credit, even as it expects to have violated financial covenants in the bank agreements again for fiscal 2016, Moody’s analysts said in a report. The 1973 song ‘‘My Old School’’ describes a police raid at Bard where Steely Dan co-founders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker were arrested as students. While charges were dropped, Fagen vowed never to return. He was later awarded an honorary degree by Bard. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    TECHNOLOGY

    Cisco Systems to lay off 5,500

    Cisco Systems says it will lay off 5,500 employees as the Internet gear maker scrambles to adapt to technology changes that have reduced demand for its main products. The shake-up announced Wednesday means about 7 percent of Cisco’s roughly 74,000 workers will lose their jobs beginning this summer. The purge is the latest fallout by a relentless march of innovation that has forced some of the world’s biggest and oldest technology companies to head in new directions in search of revenue growth. In Cisco’s case, its business has been hurt as more of its corporate customers rely on remote data centers for their computing needs instead of online networks maintained on their own premises. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

    GOVERNMENT

    Social Security drops requirement that seniors use text messaging

    It’s good to keep up with the times, but the Social Security Administration found itself too far in front of many people it serves. Seeking to enhance online protections, the agency required ‘‘my Social Security’’ account holders to use a password sent to them via text message. That was a problem for some older folks who don’t text message and don’t plan to. Text messaging remains an authentication option and the agency continues to ‘‘highly recommend the extra security’’ it provides, but it is not mandatory. SSA is developing an alternative method that will be available within six months. — WASHINGTON POST

    AGRICULTURE

    Unit of Monsanto to develop sensors
    for crops

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    Climate Corp., the technology unit of seed giant Monsanto, plans to create what it says will be the first network of in-field sensors to relay data on crop conditions back to farmers. The San Francisco-based Monsanto subsidiary is one of the biggest players in an emerging industry known as precision agriculture, which aims to harness weather and crop data along with cloud computing to offer improved yield. Climate Corp.’s software is offered on mobile devices, allowing farmers to assess crop conditions in real time. — BLOOMBERG NEWS