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Business & Money

US stocks dip as falling oil pushes energy sector lower

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NEW YORK — A slump in energy prices pushed the stock market back from record levels on Tuesday. Energy stocks slid as the price of oil resumed its descent. Traders speculated that member nations of the oil-producing group OPEC would fail to agree on production cuts at an upcoming meeting in Vienna on Thursday. Oil has now dropped almost a third from a peak in June. While lower oil prices are a long-term boon to consumers and industrial companies, they are a drag on stocks in the near term because energy companies account for about 10 percent of the overall market’s profits. Despite the losses, …

Google’s latest: A spoon that steadies tremors

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google is throwing its money, brain power and technology at the humble spoon. But these spoons (don’t call them spoogles) are a bit more than your basic utensil: Using hundreds of algorithms, they allow people with essential tremors and Parkinson’s disease to eat without spilling. The technology senses how …

BRIEFS

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

San Francisco passes LA as ‘ultra rich’ home San Francisco saw its “ultra-rich” population jump 12 percent this year, pushing it past Los Angeles as the California home to those worth $30 million or more, a survey said. The survey, by the research firm Wealth-X in partnership with Swiss banking giant UBS, says San Francisco has 5,460 ultra-rich residents in 2014, up from …

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Amherst Select Board candidates debate The Retreat student housing project
  • REBECCA EVERETT
The Peter Pan Cafe at 46 Pleasant St. in Easthampton was seized by the state Department of Revenue for nonpayment of taxes. The bar is now closed.

    REBECCA EVERETT The Peter Pan Cafe at 46 Pleasant St. in Easthampton was seized by the state Department of Revenue for nonpayment of taxes. The bar is now closed. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS

    CAROL LOLLIS Purchase photo reprints »

  • JERREY ROBERTS
Northampton DPW workers Duane Meehan, left, and Tim Crowningshield examine a plow Tuesday in preparation a snowstorm forecast for Wednesday.

    JERREY ROBERTS Northampton DPW workers Duane Meehan, left, and Tim Crowningshield examine a plow Tuesday in preparation a snowstorm forecast for Wednesday. Purchase photo reprints »

  • JERREY ROBERTS
Vanessa Lynch, who is a member of the advisory board for Arise for Social Justice in Springfield, speaks Tuesday on the steps of Northampton City Hall during a protest in response to a grand jury decision not indict Ferguson, Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson on any charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The event was co-sponsored by the Real Cost of Prisons Project and American Friends Service Committee.

    JERREY ROBERTS Vanessa Lynch, who is a member of the advisory board for Arise for Social Justice in Springfield, speaks Tuesday on the steps of Northampton City Hall during a protest in response to a grand jury decision not indict Ferguson, Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson on any charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The event was co-sponsored by the Real Cost of Prisons Project and American Friends Service Committee. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS
Written on paper made available at the Umass Ferguson discussion Tuesday afternoon.

    CAROL LOLLIS Written on paper made available at the Umass Ferguson discussion Tuesday afternoon. Purchase photo reprints »

  • JERREY ROBERTS
Second graders Travis Emerson, left, and Luke Pesce have fun using an iPad during iPad Play Day Monday at Ryan Road School. The play day gave parents and their children a chance to explore how iPads and its apps can impact social skills, play and learning. It was coordinated by Josh Dickson, who is a special education teacher at Ryan Road School. The iPads were borrowed from the New England Assistive Technology Center in Hartford.

    JERREY ROBERTS Second graders Travis Emerson, left, and Luke Pesce have fun using an iPad during iPad Play Day Monday at Ryan Road School. The play day gave parents and their children a chance to explore how iPads and its apps can impact social skills, play and learning. It was coordinated by Josh Dickson, who is a special education teacher at Ryan Road School. The iPads were borrowed from the New England Assistive Technology Center in Hartford. Purchase photo reprints »

Dow, S&P 500 edge back up to record highs

Thursday, November 20, 2014

U.S. stocks rebounded Thursday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index back into record territory. It was the second record-high close for the Dow this week and the third for the S&P 500. …

After 20-year hiatus, Alfa Romeo officially back in the US

Thursday, November 20, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Alfa Romeo is back in the U.S. after a 20-year hiatus. This week dealerships are starting to receive shipments of the low-volume 4C sports car, which starts at $53,900, said Reid Bigland, head of the brand in North America. The plan is to provide eight …

MGM, Wynn to take on $1 billion debt for casino projects

Thursday, November 20, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two Las Vegas-based casino companies announced plans Thursday to take on at least $1 billion in debt to help pay for new casino-hotel developments in Massachusetts and cover other incidental costs. MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts Ltd. disclosed their plans in separate financial …

Regional auction lists livestock prices

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Northampton Co-op Auction Inc. lists Tuesday prices: Calves: 0 to 60 lbs., $43 to $63; 61-75 lbs., $20 to $78; 76-95 lbs., $40 to $85; 96-105 lbs., $78 to $97; 106 lbs. & up, $80 to $90; farm calves, $100 to $450; start calves, $41 to $300; …

Hearing draws apology, admission in air-bag mess

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — The global quality chief of Takata Corp. apologized and an official from Honda acknowledged the automaker broke a disclosure law as a Senate committee put the spotlight on a growing problem with exploding air bags. Hiroshi …

Consumer group lists ‘10 worst toys’ for kids

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOSTON — A light-up bow whose arrows are advertised as flying up to 145 feet and the “Catapencil” — a pencil with a miniature slingshot-style launcher on its end — are on an annual list of unsafe toys …

Stocks drift lower after release of Fed minutes

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

U.S. financial markets pulled back slightly from their most recent record highs Wednesday, ending lower for the first time this week. The Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index mostly hovered slightly below the all-time …

MBTA fines commuter rail operator for tardiness

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOSTON — The new company running the MBTA’s commuter rail service has been fined $434,000 by the transit agency for failing to meet on-time targets. In the four months since Keolis Commuter Services has been running the system for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, it has failed to …

Drugmaker moving HQ to state

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LEXINGTON — Shire PLC says its plans to make Lexington, Massachusetts, its U.S. operational headquarters and will move more than 500 jobs there from its Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania, site. The drugmaker is headquartered on the British island of Jersey. It currently has about 5,000 employees globally, including 1,300 in …

JetBlue to add bag fees, cut passenger legroom

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

JetBlue will add bag fees and squeeze seats a bit closer together as it tries to boost profit. The airline said Wednesday that it will create three ticket classes beginning in the first half of 2015, and only …