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 Amazon to launch 'try before you buy' clothing box; Prime Wardrobe will give customers seven days to return items
USA TODAY, June 23, 2017 Friday

 Amazon wants to make clothing purchases easier with a new program it plans to launch called Prime Wardrobe, a service that allows customers to order clothes, keep them for a week and return whatever they don't like for free.
 Whole Foods may have other bidders; Sale to Amazon isn't a done deal yet
USA TODAY, June 23, 2017 Friday

 Amazon may have made an offer to buy Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion, but that doesn't close the door to other potential suitors -- including, perhaps, Walmart.
 Toyota Takes Another Stab at a Plug-In Hybrid. You May Need Sunglasses.
The New York Times, June 23, 2017 Friday

 As otherworldly as the Prius Prime looks, it's not the offspring of the Transformers leader Optimus. It's Toyota's plug-in hybrid variant. The concept is simple: Charge the battery and it drives like an electric car. Once the battery is spent, the Prime drives like any other Prius. Easy peasy.   It's not Toyota's first plug-in. My neighbor has the first one, based on the third-generation Prius, and she has been disappointed with its real-world all-electric range of 11 miles. Prime, riding on...
 Buffett Bails Out a Troubled Canadian Mortgage Lender
The New York Times, June 23, 2017 Friday

 When big financial companies have needed a rescue over the years, one man has often stood at the ready: Warren E. Buffett. Mr. Buffett, the billionaire investor and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, has proved time and again that he is willing to help -- for a price.   The latest company to turn to Mr. Buffett, following the likes of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and General Electric, is the Home Capital Group, a Canadian mortgage lender that spent the last month shoring itself up after...
 Europe's Car Giants Race to Outsmart Apple and Google
The New York Times, June 23, 2017 Friday

 FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen is delving into quantum computing. BMW is building a giant new data center. And Bosch this week announced plans to construct a factory to build chips for self-driving cars. The moves are part of an expanding effort by European carmakers and suppliers to build the computing capacity -- so-called big data -- they will need as vehicles digitize and become driverless.   Cars will need to constantly communicate, absorbing and analyzing information from thousands of vehicles...
 Indexes Flatten Out As Oil Prices Rise
The New York Times, June 23, 2017 Friday

 Wall Street stock indexes held steady Thursday after the price of oil halted its slide, at least for now. Energy stocks fell again, but not by nearly as much as earlier in the week, after the price of crude rose for the first time in four days. Big gains for health care stocks also helped to offset losses for financial companies and in other areas of the market, leaving indexes close to flat.
 Ten Years After Going Public, Blackstone Stock Hasn't Budged
The New York Times, June 23, 2017 Friday

 In a sense, Blackstone is back where it started. On June 22, 2007, at what turned out to be a market peak, Steve Schwarzman and Pete Peterson took their private equity firm public in a ballyhooed transaction that inspired rivals to do the same. A decade on, the firm's units are trading just above their $31 price ahead of their New York Stock Exchange debut. A better result over the next 10 years could require Blackstone to financially re-engineer itself. Even including dividends, assumed...
 Qatar Airways wants to buy 10 percent stake in American Airlines; Transportation
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas), June 22, 2017 Thursday

  Qatar Airways wants to purchase a 10 percent stake in American Airlines, a move called "puzzling" by the Fort Worth-based airline's top executive and criticized by union leaders. In a memo to employees, CEO Doug Parker noted that American has repeatedly criticized the state-owned Persian Gulf airlines for violating trade agreements and vowed to continue lobbying the Trump administration to restrict their expansion in the U.S. American's labor unions said they are opposed to the proposed...
 GE Appliances CEO to leave at end of 2017
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), June 22, 2017 Thursday

 Chip Blankenship, the chief executive at GE Appliances, said Tuesday that he is leaving at the end of 2017. The departure, by all indications, was Blankenship's decision, slightly over a year after General Electric closed the sale of its appliances division to China-based Qingdao Haier. Workers at Appliance Park in Louisville were told then that executives and other managers would remain in place for at least a year after the June 2016 transaction.
 Wayfair's founders achieve billionaire status
The Boston Globe, June 22, 2017 Thursday

BODY Steve Conine (left) and Niraj Shah cofounded Wayfair. SAN FRANCISCO — The once-frugal founders of Wayfair Inc. have become billionaires after a revenue surge helped the online retailer's value rise to a record. Investors embracing the Boston company's expansion strategy pushed the stock to a record high last week, giving cofounders Niraj Shah and Steve Conine a net worth of $1.37 billion each, as of noon Wednesday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Together, they hold 40...
 Health care stocks brace up market
The Boston Globe, June 22, 2017 Thursday

BODY The role of sector rotation in restraining market volatility has been on display since technology stocks turned turbulent two weeks ago. When one sector falls, another compensates, and the VIX holds at 10.
 Toshiba picks bid for microchip business
The Boston Globe, June 22, 2017 Thursday

BODY Steep losses in its US nuclear power division, Westinghouse Electric, have put Toshiba in a struggle to survive. HONG KONG — As Toshiba, the embattled technology giant, battles for survival, it has turned to a group led by the Japanese government to buy its prized microchip business, although its plans still face a legal challenge by a US business partner.
 Turnover in self-driving technology now hits Tesla
The Boston Globe, June 22, 2017 Thursday

BODY SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla Inc.'s team developing self-driving car capabilities lost a top engineer hired just six months ago from Apple Inc., adding to a spate of executive shakeups at tech companies competing to put autonomous-vehicle technology on the road.
 With two top hires, BJ's looks to catch up on the digital front
The Boston Globe, June 22, 2017 Thursday

BODY BJ'S Wholesale Club isn't exactly known for its e-commerce. But Chris Baldwin (below) is hoping to change that. The BJ's chief executive just hired two top digital executives as part of a strategy to build online revenue. Scott Kessler, who was most recently chief information officer at the North Carolina-based department store chain Belk Inc., joined BJ's as CIO. Kessler replaces Peter Amalfi, who plans to retire later this year after 16 years with the Westborough-based company.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 22, 2017 Thursday

 After a bankruptcy auction where four bidders vied for battery maker Aquion Energy Inc., an entity called Juline-Titans LLC had the winning $9.16 million bid. The firm, which registered in Delaware on May 30, is an affiliate of the China Titans Energy Technology Group. According to Bloomberg, Titans is an investment holdings company that "engages in research, development, manufacture and sale of electric products and equipment" in China. Aquion, the Lawrenceville-based saltwater battery...
 With Whole Foods in its cart, Amazon eats into physical retail; With Whole Foods, Amazon seeks to conquer physical retail
The San Francisco Chronicle (California), June 21, 2017 Wednesday

 Make no mistake:'s proposed $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market is not just about organic fruits and veggies.  Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods poses a monumental threat to regular grocery chains, whose shares were decimated Friday. Once completed, the deal will make Amazon a major physical retailer overnight. And that means Amazon will have breached the last line of effective defense protecting traditional chains like Target, Sears, and Gap in San Francisco from the...
 Uber needs CEO to set a new course; Help wanted at Uber: $69 billion company has no CEO
The San Francisco Chronicle (California), June 22, 2017 Thursday

 Now what? The brash founder has been ousted. The board, which still includes the ex-CEO, must right a company that's veered seriously off course. That was the situation in 1985 with Apple and Steve Jobs, and it's today's reality for Uber and Travis Kalanick, who resigned Tuesday under pressure. But there are crucial differences - most of them to the San Francisco ride-hailing company's detriment. Apple was already a profitable public company, albeit struggling with slumping sales. Uber loses...
 Toshiba Picks Preferred Bidder for Microchip Business
The New York Times, June 22, 2017 Thursday

 HONG KONG -- As Toshiba, the embattled technology giant, battles for survival, it has turned to a group led by the Japanese government to buy its prized microchip business, although its plans still face a legal challenge by an American business partner.
 Amid Tumult at Uber, Bill Gurley Is Said to Be Leaving Board
The New York Times, June 22, 2017 Thursday

 Uber's board of directors is undergoing more changes, a day after the resignation of the company's chief executive, Travis Kalanick. Bill Gurley, a longtime Uber board member who is an investor at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Benchmark, is leaving the ride-hailing company's board, according to a person familiar with the move who asked to remain anonymous because the details are confidential. Mr. Gurley will be replaced by a fellow Benchmark partner, Matt Cohler, this person said.
 Succession plan at 3M takes shape with moves
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), June 21, 2017 Wednesday

 3M Co. announced a slate of leadership changes Tuesday and disclosed that its board of directors has waived the mandatory retirement age of 65 for CEO Inge Thulin. Thulin is currently 63.
 Uber CEO Kalanick quits under pressure
The San Francisco Chronicle (California), June 21, 2017 Wednesday

 Travis Kalanick stepped down Tuesday as chief executive of Uber, the ride-hailing service that he helped found in 2009 and that he built into a transportation colossus, after a shareholder revolt made it untenable for him to stay on at the company.
 Lower prices in store for Whole Foods Market?
Orlando Sentinel (Florida), June 20, 2017 Tuesday

 When completes its acquisition of Whole Foods Market, Chief Executive Jeff Bezos will try to keep the grocer's reputation for premium fresh foods while cutting prices to shed its "Whole Paycheck" image, a source said.
 UPS adds new fee for holiday delivery
Orlando Sentinel (Florida), June 20, 2017 Tuesday

 ATLANTA - UPS is adding a new charge of under $1 for shipments to residential customers during peak delivery periods in November and December. United Parcel Service Inc. said Monday it will add 27 cents for residential deliveries from Nov. 19 to Dec. 2 and Dec. 17-23. UPS will add a fee of between 81 cents and 97 cents to overnight, second- or third-day deliveries for residential deliveries Dec. 17-23. It will also add a new peak surcharge of $24 for oversize packages and $249 for packages...
 SoftBank plans $100m investment in Cybereason; Infusion doubles funding for digital security provider
The Boston Globe, June 21, 2017 Wednesday

BODY SoftBank president Ken Miyauchi, in a statement, called Cybereason's products "truly amazing." Digital security provider Cybereason is poised to announce Wednesday that it received a $100 million investment from SoftBank Corp. of Japan, an infusion that more than doubles the Boston company's funding and gives it new prominence among the region's technology startups.
 Cisco decodes the balance between privacy, security; Cisco wants to balance privacy with security
The San Francisco Chronicle (California), June 21, 2017 Wednesday

 It's a common trade-off in cybersecurity: Do you want privacy, or do you want protection? To be more secure, businesses typically have to accept some level of surveillance, inviting third-party companies to track traffic and monitor network data for intruders, threats or malicious software.  Cisco wants to do away with that choice.

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