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MITRE gets grant to test marine robotics

The MITRE facility in Bedford is getting a $2.1 million grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to build a high-tech water tank for marine industry studies, to be called the BlueTech Lab.MITRE/Margulies Perruzzi


MITRE gets grant to test marine robotics

Nonprofit research giant MITRE Corp. is getting a $2.1 million grant from the quasi-public agency Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to create a high-tech “ocean” tank to test marine robotics, energy projects, and other water related technologies. The grant will help MITRE outfit this “BlueTech Lab” on its Bedford campus and create a national marine data network. The lab will include a camera system, an unmanned underwater vehicle, and test equipment. The network, to be called BlueNERVE, will connect labs and marine research organizations across the country, with real-time data sharing and simulation capabilities. — JON CHESTO


Value of NE defense contracts falls

The total value of defense contracts in New England fell from $66 billion in 2021 to $46 billion in 2022, though the region’s share of the US total remained relatively steady over those two years, according to a new report from SENEDIA, an industry trade group. Defense contract spending on a per capita basis in New England was roughly twice the national average in both years. Connecticut and Massachusetts are essentially tied in terms of defense spending and employment, even though Massachusetts is twice the size of its southern neighbor as measured by population. In 2022, the defense sector supported more than 400,000 jobs across New England, or 5.5 percent of the entire region’s workforce, a figure that includes direct employment as well as indirect or induced jobs. The region’s biggest defense contractors include Raytheon Technologies, General Dynamics, General Electric, and Lockheed Martin. — JON CHESTO



Uber to launch car-sharing service in Boston

Uber will make it possible to rent out your car on its app, with a peer-to-peer car-sharing service aimed at making its ride-hailing business more sustainable. Through Uber Carshare, people will have the option to list their vehicle and make money when others rent it via the Uber app. The service launches in Boston and Toronto in the coming months, expanding on Uber’s first foray into car-sharing that began with the acquisition of Car Next Door in Australia last year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


A GameStop store operates in a strip mall on March 16, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty


GameStop stock plummets after CEO is fired

Shares of GameStop plunged nearly 18 percent Thursday after the company fired CEO Matthew Furlong, the former Amazon executive who was brought in two years ago to turn the struggling video game retailer around. The company gave no reason for the dismissal and named Ryan Cohen, the company’s biggest investor, as executive chairman. Cohen sent a cryptic tweet that read “Not for long” around the time the company announced Furlong’s firing. Furlong was named GameStop’s CEO in June 2021 to head the company’s digital remake. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Budweiser to remain official World Cup beer

Budweiser will still be the official World Cup beer through the 2026 tournament in the United States, after brewer AB InBev renewed with FIFA on Thursday despite a troubled time with men’s 2022 World Cup host Qatar. Two days before the tournament began in Qatar, World Cup organizers withdrew a longstanding promise to let fans at stadiums buy beer with alcohol. The move blindsided the brewer whose Budweiser brand has been the World Cup beer since the 1986 tournament. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Euro nations slipped into mild recession over the winter

The euro area suffered the mildest possible recession during the winter after Russia’s war in Ukraine sent energy prices soaring. The 20-nation economy shrank by 0.1 percent between January and March, revised data showed Thursday, adding to a fourth-quarter decline of the same magnitude and resulting in the first six-month contraction since the COVID-19 pandemic. The outcome will come as a blow after politicians and European Central Bank officials said repeatedly that a downturn could be averted even as inflation rocketed to its highest level since the euro was introduced. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


A "For Sale" sign is displayed in front of a house in Burke, Virginia, on April 26, 2022. STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images


Rates drop slightly

The average long-term US mortgage rate eased back from a seven-month high this week, a welcome change for homebuyers navigating high borrowing costs and heightened competition for relatively few homes for sale. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year home loan fell to 6.71 percent from 6.79 percent last week. A year ago, the rate averaged 5.23 percent. The pullback follows three straight weekly increases, which pushed up the average rate to its highest level since early November, when it climbed to 7.08 percent. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Appeals court sides against woman fired for calling police on birdwatcher

Franklin Resources Inc. won’t face discrimination and defamation claims from a woman it fired after a video of her calling the police on a Black birdwatcher in New York’s Central Park went viral. The federal appeals court in New York declined to revive a lawsuit by Amy Cooper, who was fired as head of insurance investment after she became famous as the “Central Park Karen” in a confrontation with the birdwatcher while she was walking her dog. Cooper claimed she was illegally fired and falsely characterized as a racist. Franklin Resources does business as Franklin Templeton. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Carvana stock soars after a better second quarter

Shares in used-car retailer Carvana Inc. jumped more than 56 percent Thursday after the struggling company said its operations are improving in the second quarter. Carvana didn’t give guidance for net income but said adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization would be $50 million in the current quarter — way above the consensus analyst estimate of a $3.6 million loss — and gross profit per unit would be a record of more than $6,000. The forecast could be an indicator that Carvana’s cost-cutting plan is starting to trim losses. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


A Kay Jewelers store is seen in Lincolnwood, Ill. on March 14, 2018. Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press


Owner of Kay and Zales says rest of the year looks rocky

The owner of Kay Jewelers and Zales slashed its outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year as shoppers rein in their spending on jewelry and other discretionary items. Signet Jewelers Ltd. shares fell more than 10 percent Thursday. The largest US jewelry retailer had already been forecasting a slowdown in consumer spending as robust pandemic shopping patterns moderate and because of a temporary drop in the number of engagements, which the company attributes to the lack of dating during the depths of the COVID restrictions. But the drop in demand has been sharper than executives were anticipating. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Supeme Court sides with Jack Daniel’s over dog toy

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave whiskey maker Jack Daniel’s reason to raise a glass, handing the company a new chance to win a trademark dispute with the makers of the Bad Spaniels dog toy. In announcing the decision for a unanimous court, Justice Elena Kagan was in an unusually playful mood. Observers who watched her read a summary of the opinion in the courtroom said at one point she held up the toy, which squeaks and mimics the whiskey’s signature bottle. Kagan said a lower court’s reasoning was flawed when it ruled for the makers of the rubber chew toy. The court did not decide whether the toy’s maker had violated trademark law but instead sent the case back for further review. — ASSOCIATED PRESS