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Putnam gets into ETF business

Putnam CEO Bob Reynolds


Putnam gets into ETF business

Boston fund manager Putnam Investments is jumping into the exchange-traded funds business, with the launch of four active ETFs that are similar to four of its most popular mutual funds. ETFs are similar to equity-based mutual funds in that they represent a basket of various company stocks but shares in ETFS are traded in real time, like stocks. Until recently, they were the province of investment managers that tracked a specific index and didn’t allow for much deviation. Active managers such as Putnam steered clear, out of fear that the information made public with ETFs on a daily basis would allow investors to front run, or make trades based on the stock choices of the fund managers. But last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission decided to allow active managers to not disclose the full extent of their holdings on a daily basis, which gave Putnam the confidence to go forward with its own launch. Putnam CEO Bob Reynolds said the ETFs will be managed by the same teams that manage the mutual funds with corresponding investment strategies — such as investing in large, fast-growing companies, or those that offer sustainability solutions. “We made the decision to take four of our most popular funds, with excellent long-term records, to put those out first as active ETFs, to make a statement that we’re very serious about this,” Reynolds said. — JON CHESTO



JetBlue returns to Worcester airport

JetBlue is back in business at Worcester Regional Airport, which has not had any commercial air service since last fall due to the air travel slowdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. JetBlue is restarting daily, nonstop service between Worcester and New York’s JFK International Airport starting Aug. 20. JetBlue will add a second daily flight to JFK and daily nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in October. — JON CHESTO



Boston Arts Academy Foundation elects Avid Technology CEO chairman

The Boston Arts Academy Foundation board has elected Avid Technology chief executive Jeff Rosica to the position of board chairman. Rosica takes over for longtime chair Lee Pelton, who steps down on June 1 and will switch to the role of chairman emeritus. Pelton’s change is taking place because he is leaving the Emerson College presidency to become chief executive of The Boston Foundation. Rosica has served on the school foundation board since 2018, and Avid has donated Pro Tools software to the school. The foundation raises essential funds for the public high school, which is dedicated to visual and performing arts. It is in the midst of a $32 million fund-raising campaign, and has raised more than $12 million so far, while a new BAA school building is scheduled to open in 2022. — JON CHESTO


Ford anticipates 40 percent of sales to be electric vehicles by 2030

Ford expects 40 percent of its global sales to be battery-electric vehicles by 2030 as it adds billions to what it’s spending to develop them. The automaker said in a presentation for investors Wednesday that it will add about $8 billion to its EV development spending from this year to 2025. That would bring the total to nearly $20 billion as Ford begins to develop and build batteries in a joint venture with SK Innovation of Korea. CEO Jim Farley said the company’s financial performance hasn’t been acceptable in recent years, but it has accelerated its turnaround plan and made progress in the past few quarters. The company is now generating cash flow so it can grow the scale of its electric and commercial vehicle businesses, he said. The company also announced it would create a separate business called Ford Pro that will focus on commercial and government fleet buyers. It also expects to have about 1 million vehicles capable of getting over-the-internet software updates by the end of this year. Ford says it will have more vehicles capable of this than Tesla by July of 2022. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Facebook to punish individual users for spreading false posts

Facebook will begin doling out harsher punishments for individual accounts that repeatedly share false or misleading posts, an expansion of the social network’s efforts to crack down on misinformation. Under the new system, Facebook will “reduce the distribution of all posts” from people who routinely share misinformation, making it harder for their content to be seen by others on the service. The company already does this for Pages and Groups that post misinformation, but it hadn’t previously extended the same policy to individual users. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Dick’s sales soar as teams take to the field again

A year after safety fears led to the cancellation of baseball and other team sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods is having a comeback year as bats, balls, and jerseys fly off shelves. First-quarter sales more than doubled to $2.92 billion and the company raised its expectations for sales and profits in 2021. Sales at established stores surged 115 percent. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


WhatsApp sues Indian government over new rules

The messaging app WhatsApp has sued the Indian government seeking to defend its users’ privacy and stop new rules that would require it to make messages “traceable” to external parties. WhatsApp filed the lawsuit Wednesday in the Delhi High Court. It is arguing that government rules regarding the traceability of messages are unconstitutional and undermine the fundamental right to privacy. The company currently uses end-to-end encryption for its messaging service, which encrypts messages in such a way that no one apart from the sender and receiver are able to read the messages sent between them. The lawsuit follows sweeping regulations for technology companies announced in February that hold them more accountable for content shared on their platforms. A 90-day grace period for complying with the rules ended Wednesday. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Instagram and Facebook to allow users to hide ‘likes’

Facebook’s Instagram, as well as the company’s main social network, will let users choose whether to hide “likes” on posts, after years of deliberation and testing. Users can decide whether to hide their own like counts from themselves or from others on a per-post basis, or can decide not to see anyone else’s likes as they scroll through their feeds, Instagram, the photo and video-sharing service, said Wednesday in a blog post. Tests showed that providing an option on “likes” hasn’t had a big impact on how much people use the product; some are on the platform more after hiding likes because they feel less pressure to perform, while others are less active because it’s harder to see what’s trending. — BLOOMBERG NEWS