Money managers to meet in Boston next week

Associated Press


Money managers to meet in Boston next week

Some of the world’s biggest money managers will meet next week in Boston after joining forces to create an investor conference that cuts out Wall Street middlemen. Fidelity Investments is teaming up with rivals including Capital Group, Wellington Management, and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. to organize the inaugural buy-side conference featuring chief executive officers from consumer companies, people briefed on the matter said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. About 25 companies are expected to participate in the event, set for March 11-12. Fund managers in the past typically counted on Wall Street banks to organize such conferences, where they get access to senior executives at companies they invest in. Active managers are looking for new ways to gain an investing edge — including spending more time with corporate management — in an era of compressed fees and the shift toward index-tracking funds. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Toyota recalling 1.1 million vehicles over fuel pump problems

Toyota is adding 1.1 million vehicles to a major recall in the United States to fix possible fuel pump failures that can cause engines to stall. The company said Wednesday that the added vehicles bring the total to 1.8 million. In January Toyota recalled nearly 700,000 vehicles in the United States for the same problems. Engine stalling can increase the risk of a crash, although the company wouldn’t say if there have been any. The vehicles include trucks, SUVs, minivans and cars across the model lineups of Toyota and its Lexus luxury vehicle brand. The company says owners of vehicles not involved in the January recall will be notified in early May about when to make a service appointment. Dealers will replace the fuel pump with an improved one. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Ikea recalling 820,000 chests over tipping risk

Ikea is recalling 820,000 of its Kullen three-drawer chests due to the risk of the product tipping over and crushing children. The announcement made Wednesday, with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, comes two months after the popular Swedish retailer agreed to pay $46 million to the parents of a 2-year-old boy killed by an Ikea Malm dresser in California in 2017. The recall also comes amid a flurry of furniture products being pulled from the market because of the tip-over risk. The CPSC has announced seven recalls of chests and drawers since September because of the danger, along with a rare product safety alert for a four-drawer dresser made by Hodedah that the agency considered so dangerous that it decided against waiting for the manufacturer to agree to a recall. Most recalls are made voluntarily by a company after negotiating with regulators. The CPSC is also crafting mandatory safety regulations for furniture to prevent children from being crushed. Furniture tip-overs were blamed for 89 deaths, mostly children, from 2014 to 2018, according to the agency. The Ikea Kullen dresser is unstable if it is not anchored to the wall, posing the risk of injury or death to children, according to the CPSC recall announcement. Three-drawer versions of the Kullen chest imported after Aug. 12, 2019, also do not comply with the voluntary performance standards. Customers have the option of seeking refunds or a wall-anchoring kit for the furniture. — WASHINGTON POST



Businesses added 183,000 jobs in February

US businesses added 183,000 jobs last month, a solid gain that shows the economy was largely healthy when the coronavirus outbreak spread further around the globe. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that February’s hiring was down from 209,000 in the previous month. Manufacturing and mining firms shed jobs last month, while hiring in health care and a category mostly made up of hotels and restaurants was strong.



FDA bans electrical shock devices used in Massachusetts school

Federal officials on Wednesday banned electrical shock devices used to discourage aggressive, self-harming behavior in patients with mental disabilities. The announcement from the Food and Drug Administration follows years of pressure from patient groups and mental health experts who have called the treatment outdated, ineffective, and unethical. The agency first announced its intent ban the devices in 2016. For years, the shock devices have been used by only one place in the United States, the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center of Canton, a residential school for people with autism and other psychiatric, developmental or mental disabilities. School administrators have called the shocks a last resort to prevent dangerous behaviors, such as head-banging, throwing furniture, or attacking teachers or classmates. A woman who answered the phone at the center Wednesday morning said she could not comment on the FDA action. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


General Motors plans 13 new electric vehicles

General Motors, trying to refashion itself as a futuristic company with technology to compete against Tesla, rolled out plans Wednesday for 13 new electric vehicles during the next five years. The company touted an exclusive new battery technology that could propel some of the vehicles as far as 400 miles on a single charge as it tries to capture electric vehicle enthusiasm that has brought wild growth to rival Tesla’s share price. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



ViacomCBS to sell Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster, the publisher of such authors as Stephen King and Bob Woodward, is up for sale. ViacomCBS, fresh off a merger, is looking to sell its book publishing business as it tries to raise cash to pay down debt and please shareholders with dividends and stock buybacks. Simon & Schuster is a major publishing house, releasing nearly 2,000 books a year, according to its website. Its library includes Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea’’ and Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends & Influence People.’’ ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said the book publisher is not a “core asset” of the company since it isn’t video. But he said it’s a “marquee asset” that is “highly valuable.” — ASSOCIATED PRESS


France’s high court says Uber drivers should be reclassified as employees

France’s top court ruling opens the way for Uber Technologies Inc. drivers to be reclassified as employees, the country’s highest court ruled on Wednesday, the latest in a wave of rulings globally to grant more rights to gig workers. The Cour de Cassation in Paris said Uber drivers can’t build a clientele, don’t set rates or decide on terms and conditions, itineraries are imposed, and destinations unknown to them. The top court said the fact that Uber ‘‘unilaterally determines its terms and rules’’ are all indications that drivers are more like employees of the company than self-employed. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Twitter testing disappearing tweets in Brazil

Twitter is starting to test tweets that disappear after 24 hours, although initially only in Brazil. The company says the ephemeral tweets, which it calls “fleets” because of their fleeting nature, are designed to allay the concerns of new users who might be turned off by the public and permanent nature of normal tweets. Fleets can’t be retweeted and they won’t have “likes.” People can respond to them, but the replies show up as direct messages to the original tweeter, not as a public response, turning any back-and-forth into a private conversation instead of a public discussion. — ASSOCIATED PRESS