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Medford, Malden newspapers close


Medford, Malden newspapers close

Two Massachusetts daily newspapers that could trace their roots to the late 19th century have ceased publication, citing financial pressures. The Malden Evening News and the Medford Daily Mercury stopped publishing print and online editions in mid-January. They both published Monday through Friday. Patrick Horgan, a member of the family that owned the newspapers, says many of their biggest advertisers are also struggling financially and ‘‘we just didn’t know where our revenue would come from.’’ He didn’t know how many jobs were lost in the closures. The papers were bought out of bankruptcy about 20 years ago by Horgan’s father, attorney-turned-publisher Daniel J. Horgan. He was publisher until his death in 2011. Both communities north of Boston have weekly newspapers and associated websites. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Snap amends prospectus on pay to lone female board member

Last week, the parent of Snapchat took heat for appearing to pay its only female director, Joanna Coles, far less than her male peers on the company’s board. Now Snap Inc., as the company is formally known, would like to correct the record. In an amended prospectus filed Thursday, Snap disclosed the 2017 compensation for Coles, who, in her day job, is chief content editor for Hearst Magazines. The filing is intended to refute the notion that Coles was earning less — primarily through differences in the size of stock grants — than the other nonfounder directors, all of whom are men. According to that first filing, Coles had made about $110,000 in compensation as a Snap director, with $35,000 coming from an annual retainer and the remaining $75,866 coming from stock grants. In a footnote in Thursday’s amended filing, Snap makes clear that Coles’s previously reported compensation left out a new four-year contract that she signed last month, giving her more stock. In that new agreement, she will receive 52,736 restricted shares that will vest over the next four years. Those new restricted shares, added together with her previous stock grants, put her on par with the two younger male directors at 65,106 restricted stock units. — NEW YORK TIMES


Rates decline slightly

Long-term US mortgage rates eased slightly this week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans slipped to an average 4.17 percent from 4.19 percent last week. That was still sharply higher than a 30-year rate that averaged 3.65 percent for all of 2016, the lowest level recorded from records going back to 1971. A year ago, the benchmark rate stood at 3.65 percent. The average for a 15-year mortgage declined to 3.39 percent from 3.41 percent last week. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Home prices increased in 89 percent of US metro areas

Home price gains accelerated in the fourth quarter, with increases reported in 89 percent of US metropolitan areas, as competition heated up for a record-low supply of listings, the National Association of Realtors said. The median price of an existing single-family home rose from a year earlier in 158 of the 178 areas measured, the group said in a report Thursday. In the third quarter, 87 percent of metropolitan areas had price increases. Thirty-one regions had gains of 10 percent or more in the three months through December, up from 25 in the third quarter. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


General Motors recalls 107,000 older sports cars over front passenger air bags

General Motors is recalling 107,000 older sports cars worldwide because a faulty sensor can disable the front passenger air bag. The recall covers the 2006 to 2010 Pontiac Solstice and the 2007 to 2010 Saturn Sky. The two-seat cars are no longer made and both brands have been scrapped by the company. GM says in government documents that a sensor that determines if a child is sitting in the passenger seat can bend and become damaged over time. That can open an electrical circuit, causing the car to turn off the air bag. The company says it doesn’t know of any crashes or injuries caused by the problem. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Coca-Cola’s push to sell healthier drinks not a sure path to higher profits

Coca-Cola Co.’s bid to offer lower-calorie drinks and healthier options has yet to fix its daunting challenges overseas. Pushing more wholesome beverages, water, and smaller cans, especially in the United States, lets the company woo consumers and generate higher profit margins. But currency fluctuations, sluggish international economies, and pressure on its core soda business continue to cloud Coca-Cola’s future. Earnings may decline as much as 4 percent in the coming year, hurt in part by a sweeping overhaul of its operations, Coca-Cola said Thursday. In a plan underway for years, the beverage giant is offloading large swaths of its company-owned bottling operations. Coca-Cola is on track to complete spinoffs of all its US bottling in 2017. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Number seeking unemployment benefits at 12-week low

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dipped to a 12-week low at the start of February, a sign of a stable job market for US workers. Claims for jobless aid fell 12,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 234,000, the best reading since this past November, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less-volatile four-week average declined 3,750 to 244,250, which was the lowest average since November 1973. Fewer Americans are seeking and collecting jobless benefits. The number of people receiving benefits has fallen 7 percent over the past 12 months to 2.08 million. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Olive oil prices jump because of weather in Spain, Italy

First came zucchini and eggplant shortages. Then iceberg lettuce disappeared from European grocery shelves. Now erratic weather in Spain and Italy is rippling through global olive oil markets, and it’s about to get worse. Prices for extra virgin olive oil in Italy have soared almost one-third since October to $6.15 a kilogram, while Spanish costs jumped about 10 percent, according to the International Olive Council in Madrid. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Michelin gives stars to 70 new restaurants in France

The Michelin Guide has awarded one or more of its coveted stars to 70 new restaurants in France. The only new three-star restaurant in the guide’s 2017 edition is the ‘‘1947’’ at the Cheval Blanc hotel in the tony Alpine ski resort of Courchevel. Michelin praised the establishment’s chef, Yannick Alleno (left), for providing ‘‘a memorable experience’’ that ‘‘will seduce the palates of the world’s finest gastronomes.’’ Alleno previously had three stars — Michelin’s highest recommendation — for his cooking at the Pavillon Ledoyen restaurant in Paris. The addition Thursday of 70 new starred restaurants — the largest annual increase in the guide in the past decade — means France now has 616 restaurants with one or more Michelin stars. The 2017 guide goes on sale next Wednesday. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Pizza, not place settings, in Domino’s wedding registry

Forget the fine china. Domino’s Pizza has launched a wedding registry site that allows couples to order the pie of their dreams. Domino’s spokeswoman Jenny Fouracre says the company launched the site just in time for Valentine’s Day so couples ‘‘passionate about pizza’’ can ‘‘register for something they both truly love as much as their partner.’’ Visitors to the site have the option of signing up for Domino’s to be served at a bachelorette party or as a late-night snack at the end of the wedding reception. Couples who receive gifts from the site get a gift card in order to pay for the pizza. — ASSOCIATED PRESS