Business Highlights


Pokemon Go’s digital popularity is also warping real life

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Pokemon Go craze has sent legions of players hiking around cities and battling “pocket monsters” on their smartphones since the game went live last Wednesday.

But its popularity has created unintended consequences in everyday life, from annoyed property owners dealing with hordes of players to store owners using the game to attract customers. It even led to a real life robbery.

Stock in Nintendo, which part owns Pokemon Go, has soared as investors assessed the breakout game.


Exceptions to rule: Big cities where homes remain affordable

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Homes in many areas of the United States have become so costly that few can afford them.

Nationally, home ownership is near a 48-year low. A key reason is that surging rents and home prices have made it next to impossible for many people to save enough to buy.

But then there are exceptions: St. Louis, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Kansas City, Missouri. In those areas, homes remain comparatively affordable relative to local incomes. An improved U.S. economy has fueled job and pay growth. Throw in historically low mortgage rates, and ownership is still within reach — even for those just entering their careers at modest salaries.


Venezuelans spend life on the line amid economic crisis

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — As Venezuela’s lines have grown longer and more dangerous, they have become not only the stage for everyday life, but a backdrop to death.

More than two dozen people were killed in line in the past 12 months, including a 4-year-old girl caught in gang crossfire and an 80-year-old woman was crushed when a line turned into a mob of looters.

The extent of the country’s economic collapse can be measured in the length of its lines. The average Venezuelan shopper spends 35 hours waiting to buy subsidized goods each month. That’s three times more than in 2014, according to the polling firm Datanalisis.


Dow Jones industrial average closes at a record high

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market reached another milestone Tuesday as the Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record high.

A day earlier, the broader Standard & Poor’s 500, a widely used benchmark for index funds, also reached a record-high close. Both indexes beat peaks set in May 2015.

The Dow, which is made up of just 30 stocks, is an older and better-known barometer of the market than the S&P 500, but professional investors generally pay much closer attention to the S&P 500.


US job openings, hiring fell in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers advertised fewer jobs and hired fewer people in May — a bad month for the U.S. labour market before a surge in hiring in June.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings slid to 5.5 million in May, the fewest since December. Employers hired 5 million people in May, down slightly from April. The number of people quitting their jobs, which can reflect workers’ confidence in their job prospects, also ticked down.

Still, the level of job openings and hiring overall “remain quite strong,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in a research note.


Starbucks hikes prices on coffee, espresso, tea lattes

SEATTLE (AP) — Starbucks has increased prices slightly on brewed coffee, espresso and tea latte beverages at company-run stores in the U.S.

The announcement comes a day after Starbucks announced it would boost the base pay of all employees and store managers at the same stores by 5 per cent or more.

The coffee chain says prices on select sizes of brewed coffee in U.S. company-operated stores are jumping 10 to 20 cents Tuesday, while prices on espresso and tea latte beverages will rise 10 to 30 cents. The amount depends on the market in which individual stores are based.


AMC Theatres buying Europe’s Odeon & UCI in $663M deal

NEW YORK (AP) — The owner of the AMC Theatre chain is buying European movie theatre operator Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group from private equity firm Terra Firma. AMC will pay 500 million pounds ($663 million) in cash and stock. It will also assume 407 million pounds ($539.4 million) in debt.

AMC said Tuesday that the transaction will make it the biggest movie theatre operator in the world. London-based Odeon & UCI has 242 theatres in Europe. The deal will give AMC a total of 627 theatres in eight countries.

Odeon & UCI will become an AMC subsidiary and continue operating under its current brand names.


Feds seek Autopilot data from Tesla in crash probe

DETROIT (AP) — Federal safety investigators are asking electric car maker Tesla Motors for details on how its Autopilot system works and why it failed to detect a tractor trailer that crossed its path in a Florida crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in a letter to Tesla posted Tuesday, also requests data on all crashes that happened because its system did not work as expected.

The agency is investigating the May 7 crash in Florida that killed 40-year-old Joshua Brown.


Feds: Warner Bros. agrees to settle charges it misled gamers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission says Warner Bros. has agreed to settle charges that it deceived consumers by not properly disclosing that it paid those with big followings on YouTube and social media to promote a video game.

The FTC says Warner Bros. paid online influencers thousands of dollars to post positive videos and reviews of the game “Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor” in late 2014.

The settlement could be finalized next month. It would bar Warner Bros. from conducting similar campaigns, but there is no financial penalty.


Industry group pushes for more stats about your suds

WASHINGTON (AP) — The group that represents major brewers is pushing for more information on labels about what’s in your beer.

The Beer Institute said Tuesday that it’s pushing members to reveal more details on labels, packaging and websites about ingredients, calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat and alcohol by volume.

It is seeking compliance for voluntary disclosure by the end of 2020.

The group is also encouraging brewers to show when a beer was brewed, to list ingredients, and also to point to a website or include a code that can be scanned with a smartphone for more information.


The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 120.74 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 18,347.67. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 14.98 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 2,152.14. The Nasdaq composite added 34.18 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 5,022.82.

Benchmark U.S. crude added $2.04 to close at $46.80 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a standard for international oil prices, rose $2.22 to $48.47 a barrel in London. In other energy trading in New York, wholesale gasoline rose 5 cents to $1.43 a gallon, heating oil rose 5 cents to $1.46 a gallon and natural gas rose 3 cents to $2.73 per 1,000 cubic feet.