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Younger investors flock to Fidelity

A man wearing a mask walked past Fidelity Investments in the New York City Financial District.
A man wearing a mask walked past Fidelity Investments in the New York City Financial District.Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images/File 2020


Fidelity sees surge in new accounts among younger investors

Fidelity Investments said on Wednesday that it saw a surge of interest among young investors in the first quarter of 2021. Of the 4.1 million accounts opened across Fidelity in the first three months of the year, 1.6 million of those were opened by investors under the age of 36. That represents a more than 220 percent increase from the number of young investors that opened accounts in the same period a year ago at the Boston-based financial services company, which manages mutual funds, oversees retirement accounts, and acts as a discount stock brokerage. Total new accounts rose by more than 150 percent over the same time. Among other efforts to attract new investors, Fidelity hosted an “Ask Me Anything” program on the Reddit social media site, and worked with thousands of employers to make financial guidance more available to women through its “Women Talk Money” virtual experience. — JON CHESTO



PerkinElmer stock jumps on earnings report

Shares in Waltham med-tech firm PerkinElmer rose 6.85 percent Wednesday to close at $136.57 after the company raised its revenue and earnings guidance for the year. On Tuesday, after the markets closed, PerkinElmer told investors that it now expects revenue of $4.4 billion for the full year, compared to a previous estimate of $4.1 billion for 2021 and compared to $3.8 billion in 2020. Most of the growth is happening in PerkinElmer’s diagnostics business, which includes products used in COVID-19 testing. In that division, revenue in the first quarter rose by more than 200 percent. However, chief financial officer Jamey Mock told investors that revenue associated with non-COVID products will still rise by about 11 percent this year. — JON CHESTO


Everett zoning board endorses new apartment building

Everett’s Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday voted 5-0 to approve two variances that will allow V10 Development to build a 210-story apartment building at 114 Spring St., nearly 1 mile from the future Chelsea commuter rail station. The 366-unit tower, dubbed “Sky Everett,” would be the second tallest building in Everett, after the Encore Boston Harbor casino. The project, which would include a rooftop restaurant, still needs to be approved by the city’s Planning Board. V10 officials hope to start construction next year. — JON CHESTO



Screaming commodities traders a thing of the past

It’s the end of an era for open outcry commodities trading, made famous by the film “Trading Places” with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. The CME Group Inc. said Tuesday that its last few remaining pits in Chicago where agricultural commodities options traders still yelled their bids will be close permanently. Futures transactions had already been fully replaced by electronic trading, while options pits had been active until March 2020, when COVID-19 measures forced them to be closed. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Employers added more than 742,000 jobs in April, most in seven months

US private employers in April added the most jobs in seven months, led by gains in industries hit hardest by the pandemic and signaling hiring will continue to improve as the economy reopens and more Americans are vaccinated. Company payrolls increased by 742,000 during the month after an upwardly revised 565,000 gain in March, according to ADP Research Institute data released Wednesday. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for an increase of 850,000. Economists expect employment to continue to improve as COVID-19-related shutdowns and health concerns subside. The ADP data precede Friday’s monthly jobs report, which is forecast to show the economy added nearly a million jobs in the month. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Jessica Alba’s company raises $413 million in IPO

The Honest Co. made its trading debut Wednesday in a further test of cofounder Jessica Alba’s pitch to would-be wellness investors. The personal-care products brand and its venture capital backers raised $413 million in an initial public offering Tuesday, selling 25.8 million shares for $16 each after marketing them for $14 to $17. An actress turned entrepreneur, Alba included a letter to potential investors in the company’s filings touting Honest Co.’s commitment to healthy products. In addition to baby products like shampoos, the company also sells cosmetics as well as cleaning supplies, a collection that was launched during the coronavirus pandemic. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Hertz likes the latest offer to buy it out of bankruptcy

Hertz said a proposal from Knighthead Capital Management and Certares Management to buy the car renter out of bankruptcy was superior to an existing offer from a rival investor group. The decision further escalates the brawl to own Hertz as travel rebounds and means the company’s current reorganization sponsor, a group led by Centerbridge Partners, would need to counter with an updated plan of their own to stay in the running to acquire the car renter. The Knighthead bid assigned Hertz an enterprise value of $6.2 billion, paid debt holders in full, and offered shareholders cash and a chance to purchase warrants that valued their holdings at around $2.25 a share, Bloomberg previously reported. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



New York Times has slowest subscription growth in 18 months

No doubt, President Biden has significantly lowered the temperature of the nation after four years under Donald Trump, a tumultuous period capped by the worst pandemic in a century. He may have also lowered interest in the news. For the first quarter, The New York Times Co. recorded its smallest gain in new subscribers in a year and a half. The Times reported a total of 7.8 million subscribers across both print and digital platforms, with 6.9 million coming for online news or its Cooking and Games apps. The company added 301,000 digital customers for the first three months of the year, the lowest increase since the third quarter of 2019. The Times is still on a path toward its goal of reaching 10 million subscribers by 2025. — NEW YORK TIMES


Shell sells Puget Sound refinery as it shifts away from processing crude oil

Royal Dutch Shell reached an agreement to sell its Puget Sound Refinery to HollyFrontier Corp. for $350 million in the latest major divestment for the European oil giant that’s moving away from processing crude. The US refiner will also pay an estimated $150 million to $180 million for the hydrocarbon inventories at the facility near Anacortes, Wash., according to a HollyFrontier statement. Shell is shrinking its refining portfolio as it adjusts its holdings to better align with a lower-carbon future. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Major wind turbine maker to raise prices over steel, transportation costs

One of the world’s biggest wind turbine makers, Vestas Wind Systems, will hike its prices as the costs of steel and transportation increase amid a global commodities boom that’s contributing to a rising risk of inflation. It’s an early sign that the surge in commodities prices and disruptions in supply chains could interrupt a trend of perpetually falling costs for green energy. Benchmark prices for steel in China, the world’s top producer, have gained 25 percent this year, pushing up the cost of one of the main materials in wind turbines. At the same time, Vestas has seen freight rates soar, increasing the cost of transporting its products to its customers around the world. — BLOOMBERG NEWS