Talking Points

TALKING POINTS

New leader for MassEcon

NONPROFITS

Abair to become executive director of MassEcon

Peter Abair will take over for Susan Houston as executive director of MassEcon, a nonprofit that helps companies relocate or expand in the state, as of Jan. 1. Abair is leaving his current job as executive director of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation to join Houston in November and work on the leadership transition. Abair is perhaps best known for his work as a top corporate recruiter for the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, which is affiliated with the education foundation. While working directly for MassBio, he helped the likes of Baxalta, GE Healthcare Life Sciences and Shire expand in Massachusetts. He left his job as economic development director for MassBio in 2015 to run the foundation. — JON CHESTO

ENERGY

Staying warm this winter will cost you more

The Energy Information Administration says the cost of staying warm is going to grow this winter for the average American — and especially those who rely on heating oil. The federal agency is predicting a 20 percent increase in spending for heating oil but more modest increases of 3 percent for electricity and 5 percent for natural gas. It says propane expenditures are expected to be roughly on par with last year. The figures, which vary by region, are based on both projected fuel costs and temperature forecasts by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There’s some good news for people who struggle to heat their homes. Congress has increased spending for federal aid with $3.7 billion available this year. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

MORTGAGES

Rates jump to highest levels in seven years

Long-term mortgage rates leaped this week to their highest levels in seven years amid global anxiety over rising interest rates that has gripped financial markets. Costs for would-be homebuyers are climbing. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages jumped to an average 4.90 percent this week from 4.71 percent last week. That’s the highest level for the benchmark rate since April 2011. A year ago, it stood at 3.91 percent. The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose to 4.29 percent this week from 4.15 percent last week. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

HIGHER EDUCATION

Tufts, graduate students reach agreement on first labor contract

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Graduate students at Tufts University say they have reached their first labor deal with the Massachusetts school’s administration. A tentative contract announced Thursday provides raises from 12 to 19 percent over the next four years for graduate workers in Tufts’ School of Arts and Sciences. It also provides graduate workers with 12 weeks of paid parental leave. Peter MacKinnon, president of SEIU Local 509, the union representing Tufts students, says the parental leave benefit is ‘‘an unprecedented victory.’’ University spokesman Patrick Collins says Tufts is pleased by the agreement and values the contributions of graduate students. The school joins a growing number of colleges where graduate workers have voted to unionize since federal officials began allowing it in 2016. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

INTERNATIONAL

African’s youngest billionaire abducted on his way to the gym

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Police in Tanzania say a man who has been described as Africa’s youngest billionaire has been abducted from the country’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. Regional Police Commander Lazaro Mambosasa says 43-year-old Mohammed Dewji was seized Thursday morning by two masked gunmen who fired into the air before driving away from the hotel where he was going to work out. Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda says police have tightened security at all border points and airports to ensure that the two white men who were seen on surveillance video were not sneaking out of the East African nation. Forbes magazine in 2016 put Dewji’s wealth at $1.5 billion. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

SECURITIES

Tesla and SEC ask judge to approve settlement with Musk

Tesla Inc. and the Securities and Exchange Commission have put aside an insulting tweet by Elon Musk and asked a judge to accept a settlement of the fraud suit against the electric-car maker and its outspoken chief executive. The proposed deal — paying a combined $40 million to resolve claims that Musk misled the public by tweeting about his plan to take Tesla private — includes “significant” penalties and changes at the company that are in the best interest of investors, the parties said in a joint filing Thursday. US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan must now decide whether to approve the deal or send the SEC, Tesla, and Musk back to the drawing board. In addition to the monetary penalties, the settlement requires Musk to resign as chairman of the board of Tesla for three years and a majority of shareholders must vote to allow this return. A few days after the Sept. 29 settlement, Musk dubbed the SEC the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” in a tweet and sarcastically praised the agency’s work. That risked jeopardizing the hard-fought deal, which also requires Tesla to add two new independent directors. Meanwhile, Musk denied a report in the Financial Times that James Murdoch is poised to replace him as chairman. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

INVESTMENTS

Yale endowment may exit private equity, hedge funds that it considers socially irresponsible

Yale University, facing pressure to address ethical issues like gun violence, may consider exiting private equity and hedge fund investments that it deems socially irresponsible. Yale, which has about 60 percent of its $29.4 billion endowment in such alternative assets, made the statement as part of its ethical investment policy. The Ivy League school said it will work with its outside managers to adhere to its standards. Students across the country have demanded schools reconsider investments in everything from polluters to private prisons. But limited partners like Yale in private equity funds don’t have influence over particular investments and typically need permission from general partners to exit early, which can come at a significant discount. Hedge fund investments can be locked up for several years. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

ECONOMY

Consumer prices up slightly in September

Consumer prices edged up a slight 0.1 percent in September as energy prices retreated after a big gain in August. The Labor Department said Thursday that the September gain in its closely watched consumer price index followed a 0.2 percent rise in August. It was the smallest monthly gain since June. Inflation has been on a slight rise this year after a prolonged stretch when prices kept falling below the 2 percent target set by the Federal Reserve. For the 12 months ending in September, consumer prices were up 2.3 percent. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

CORPORATE BOARDS

Women take more seats on boards

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It’s shaping up as a good year for gender parity at the largest US companies — but there’s still a long way to go. Wednesday’s appointment of Jami Miscik as a General Motors Co. director brings the number of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies with women in half or more of their board seats to at least 11 this year, from about six at the end of 2017, according to Bloomberg data. Auto-salvage company Copart Inc. is the only company in the S&P 500 with no women on its board, the data shows. — BLOOMBERG NEWS