Business Briefs – July 17, 2016

U.S. Economy Looks Resilient As Retailers, Industry Surge

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans spent more money at retailers and factories revved up production in June, offering encouraging signs of the U.S. economy’s resilience in the face of global headwinds.

Industrial production shot up 0.6 percent, fueled by a big rebound in auto output. It was the best showing since last August. Meanwhile, retail sales also rose 0.6 percent last month, three times the gain in May. And inflation pressures remained modest, with consumer prices climbing 0.2 percent in June.

The new reports Friday came a week after the government’s blockbuster jobs report, which showed the economy created 287,000 jobs in June.

Buffett Delivers Annual Gifts Worth $2.86b to 5 Charities

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Investor Warren Buffett has delivered his annual donation of Berkshire Hathaway stock to five charities as part of his plan to gradually give away his fortune.

The gifts of Class B Berkshire stock that Buffett disclosed Thursday were worth roughly $2.86 billion. The biggest share went to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Buffett has been giving away blocks of Berkshire stock since 2006. This year’s donation was slightly more than last year’s $2.8 billion giveaway. Fewer shares were involved but Berkshire’s stock price has increased.

Samsung in Talks to Invest in Chinese Electric Car Maker BYD

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Samsung Electronics said Friday it is in talks to buy shares of Chinese electric car maker BYD in the latest tech-auto collaboration.

The South Korean company said that the move is aimed at strengthening its burgeoning semiconductor business for vehicles.

Samsung said it will disclose the size of the investment after finalizing the deal.

Settlement Reached With Air Bag Maker in Florida Case

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – The family of a Florida woman who became a quadriplegic after the deployment of an air bag in her car has reached an out-of-court settlement with the air bag’s manufacturer.

The attorney for Patricia Mincey’s family says the terms of the settlement are confidential. Mincey died in April at age 77.

Takata has recalled defective inflators that can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel spewing.

The recalls, as of the latest count, are likely to tally more than 100 million inflators globally. Faulty air bags are responsible for 11 deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide.

Are Stocks The New Bonds? Why Investors Are Buying Now

NEW YORK (AP) – As bond yields plunge to record lows and investors look for income, they’re pouring money into stocks, sending the market to its own record highs.

Once upon a time, if you were an investor who wanted a steady stream of income, you would probably think of U.S. Treasury bonds. Backed by the solid credit of the U.S. government, those bonds were considered ultra-dependable forms of income that wouldn’t lose value.

You couldn’t count on stocks to pay you a return like that. Now that stocks, broadly speaking, actually pay more than many bonds do, investors’ thinking has changed.

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