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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
  • 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 »

  • JERREY ROBERTS
Dana Zartman, right, of Easthampton, who was collecting for the Salvation Army in front of winter window dressing at Thornes Marketplace, seemed a bit early during Monday's unseasonably warm weather in the mid-60's.

    JERREY ROBERTS Dana Zartman, right, of Easthampton, who was collecting for the Salvation Army in front of winter window dressing at Thornes Marketplace, seemed a bit early during Monday's unseasonably warm weather in the mid-60's. Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA
Members of the First Church prepare to bake apple pies for the Bag Day fundraising event at the First Church in Northampton, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014.

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA Members of the First Church prepare to bake apple pies for the Bag Day fundraising event at the First Church in Northampton, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA
Mary Webber, of Southampton, front, and Diane Drohan, of Leeds, back, prepare to open the center for clients to pick the food at the Northampton Survival Center, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA Mary Webber, of Southampton, front, and Diane Drohan, of Leeds, back, prepare to open the center for clients to pick the food at the Northampton Survival Center, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS
Crime scene on North Main street in Northampton Thursday afternoon.

    CAROL LOLLIS Crime scene on North Main street in Northampton Thursday afternoon. Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA
(L-R) Paul McNeil, Jill Griffin, Michael Cutler, Jeremy Bucci, Bob Gunther and Ezra Parzybok discuss about medical marijuana during the Medical Marijuana Pot Forum at the JFK Middle School, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014.

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA (L-R) Paul McNeil, Jill Griffin, Michael Cutler, Jeremy Bucci, Bob Gunther and Ezra Parzybok discuss about medical marijuana during the Medical Marijuana Pot Forum at the JFK Middle School, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. Purchase photo reprints »

YouTube joins crowded competition in music industry’s move to paid subscription services

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The music industry’s move toward paid subscription services, and away from discs and downloads, has been underway for several years. Last week, YouTube joined the party - bringing with it the world’s largest audience for popular music and …

Surviving a week without cash and credit cards to test mobile-payment services

Saturday, November 15, 2014

NEW YORK — Attempt at your own risk: For an entire week, I left all my cash and credit cards at home to see how well wallet-free mobile services work in the real world. Apple Pay has gotten …

Future of Hilltown farms topic for Monday meeting

Friday, November 14, 2014

Farmers, residents, and businesses in the Ashfield, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Worthington are encouraged to attend an informational meeting on the future of farming in the Hilltowns. The “community kick-off” event will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Cummington Community House. The Hilltown Community …

Stocks end mostly up as gains extend

Friday, November 14, 2014

NEW YORK — Stocks ended mostly higher on Friday as major indexes extended gains for a fourth week in a row, a rare stretch for this year. After flitting between tiny gains and losses for most of the …

America’s shift in attitude toward gays started at work

Friday, November 14, 2014

WASHINGTON — In the beginning, it was about money as much as rights. Long before America started rapidly changing its mind about gays, corporate America set the stage. From companies such as Marriott, founded by socially conservative Mormons, …

Executive suites seen as slower to embrace gays than rest of business

Friday, November 14, 2014

WASHINGTON — John Browne reached the pinnacle of his profession while hiding a secret that eventually ended his run as chief executive and chairman of global energy giant BP. Allan Gilmour rose to chief financial officer at the Ford Motor Co. and was thought a shoo-in to become …

New US-China visa rules seen spurring tourism, investments

Friday, November 14, 2014

A policy change that will enable U.S. and Chinese citizens to visit each other’s countries repeatedly for a decade — 10 times the length of a current visa — is expected to spur more of the tourism and …

Fracking drives growth in sand mining amid health-risk questions

Friday, November 14, 2014

WASHINGTON — Demand is exploding for the huge amounts of sand used in fracking, creating a windfall for mines from Texas to Wisconsin but leading to worries about the health impacts of breathing silica dust. Drillers are expected …

Stocks little changed, while Dow hits record

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NEW YORK — Stocks wavered between small gains and losses on Thursday to close little changed as traders weighed generally strong earnings reports against the falling fortunes of energy companies. Indexes rose from the opening of trading following …

Ex-CEO of blown W.Va. mine indicted

Thursday, November 13, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The former CEO who oversaw the West Virginia mine that exploded, killing 29 people, was indicted Thursday on federal charges related to a safety investigation that followed the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in 40 …