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National Grid’s Massachusetts president to retire

Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in MassachusettsJonathan Wiggs


National Grid’s Massachusetts president to retire

Marcy Reed, one of the state’s most prominent utility executives, has announced her plans to retire as of April 1, 2021, from National Grid. Reed is National Grid’s Massachusetts president and its executive vice president of energy policy and social impact. She has also played key roles in major business groups including the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, and the Governor’s STEM Council. Reed will end a three-plus decade career at National Grid and predecessor New England Electric. She joined the business in 1988, three years after graduating from Dartmouth College and two years after getting a master’s degree in accounting from Northeastern University. Reed issued a statement about her pending departure, saying “it’s time to take a breath and focus more on my family at home.” — JON CHESTO



The go-to choice for election night — and its aftermath

If you ordered in pizza on election night, you weren’t alone. Papa John International Inc. saw a big spike in pizza sales on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, its top executive said — though not enough to skew the next quarter’s results. Normally, pizza delivery sales return to about normal the day after an election, but this year, that heightened demand for comforting pepperoni pies pushed into Wednesday as vote counting continued. The company on Thursday morning reported its fifth straight quarter of same-store sales growth as the virus boosts demand for takeout and delivery. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Rates flat to a bit lower

Long-term mortgage rates were flat to lower this week, as the key 30-year rate fell to a new all-time low for the 12th time this year. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year benchmark loan declined to 2.78 percent from 2.81 percent last week. By contrast, the rate averaged 3.69 percent a year ago. The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage stayed at 2.32 percent. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Justice Department sues Visa over Plaid deal

The US Justice Department sued to block Visa Inc.'s $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid Inc., accusing Visa of using the deal to eliminate an emerging threat to its online debit business. The Justice Department filed an antitrust complaint in federal court in San Francisco Thursday, saying the Plaid deal would illegally extend Visa’s dominant position. “By acquiring Plaid, Visa would eliminate a nascent competitive threat that would likely result in substantial savings and more innovative online debit services for merchants and consumers,” the government said. The deal would give Visa control over an important data provider to apps like PayPal and Venmo, which allows consumers to send money to friends and merchants without using Visa’s network. Visa said it strongly disagrees with the Justice Department’s lawsuit, which it said is “legally flawed and contradicted by the facts.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Baby Nancy inducted into hall of fame

Baby Nancy, the first Black baby doll to have an Afro and other authentic features, was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame on Thursday, along with sidewalk chalk and the wooden block game Jenga. The 2020 honorees were recognized for their creativity and popularity over time. They were chosen by a panel of experts from among 12 finalists that also included bingo, Breyer Horses, Lite-Brite, Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony, Risk, Sorry!, Tamagotchi, and Yahtzee. Baby Nancy was the inaugural doll for Shindana Toys, a California company launched in 1968 by Operation Bootstrap Inc., the not-for-profit Black community self-help organization that emerged in the aftermath of the Watts riots in Los Angeles. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Nintendo boosts forecast on pandemic-fueled demand

In an unusual move midway through its fiscal year, Nintendo increased its financial forecasts as consumers stuck at home during the pandemic lifted demand for games and the Switch console. The Japanese company is now projecting 450 billion yen ($4.3 billion) of operating profit for the year, up 50 percent from the previous 300 billion yen. It boosted its revenue forecast to 1.4 trillion yen, from 1.2 trillion yen, and its Switch forecast to 24 million units, up from 19 million. The Japanese developer of hit franchises from Mario to Zelda has outperformed thanks in part to Animal Crossing, which emerged as the online forum of choice for millions during the pandemic. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


GM profit soars in third quarter

General Motors is posting huge third quarter numbers, pulling in $4 billion in profit over three months, after a short money-losing stretch as the spread of COVID-19 shut down all US auto factories. Automakers have sprinted out of their pandemic lockdowns, and GM’s big quarter follows similar performances at crosstown rivals Ford and Fiat. All three blew past Wall Street’s sales and profit projections. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


NYT tops more than 7 million subscribers

As The New York Times operated at full tilt through a fraught election the company announced a milestone: As of last week, it topped 7 million paid subscribers, a high. The New York Times Co. has bet on digital readers as the future engine of its business since 2011, when it started charging for online content — and it has largely been a good gamble. In the three-month period ending in September, for the first time, the revenue from digital subscribers was greater than the money the company brought in from print subscribers, The Times said Thursday as part of its third-quarter financial report. — NEW YORK TIMES



Productivity increased at slower rate in third quarter

US productivity increased between July and September, but at a slower pace than in the previous quarter. Productivity advanced 4.9 percent in the third quarter, following an even larger 10.6 percent surge in the second quarter, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Labor costs fell by 8.9 percent after rising by 8.5 percent in the second quarter. Productivity measures the amount of output per hour of work and is a key component in rising living standards. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Alibaba’s revenue growth slows in the third quarter

Alibaba’s revenue grew at the slowest pace on record for the July-September quarter, underscoring how the e-commerce giant’s post-pandemic rebound is starting to plateau. Revenue for the three months ended September rose 30 percent to 155.1 billion yuan ($23.4 billion), meeting the 154.8 billion yuan average of estimates. Profit fell 60 percent to 28.8 billion yuan from the year-earlier period, when it booked a one-time gain from the acquisition of its stake in Ant Group Co. The sales gain may not be enough to reassure investors worried about the derailment of Ant’s IPO, which sparked a $64 billion sell-off Wednesday. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Canada Goose warmed by revenue report as winter approaches

Parka maker Canada Goose posted better-than-expected revenue, showing the pandemic slump is easing just in time for the crucial winter period. The COVID-19 crisis forced Canada Goose to temporarily close stores from Paris to Toronto earlier this year, and sales haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels as department stores who sell the brand continue to languish. In an echo of luxury brands like Moncler and LVMH, Canada Goose is getting a boost from China, which has been more successful in containing the virus and turned into one of the few bright spots of the world economy. — BLOOMBERG NEWS