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Stocks mostly higher...Avis teams up with Waymo...New study of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage says it costs jobs

June 26, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Utilities have led U.S. stocks mostly higher in afternoon trading as falling bond yields made high-dividend companies more attractive to income-seeking investors. Financial stocks were also headed higher. Technology companies were down the most, giving up gains from an early rally.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (AP) — Avis is teaming up with Waymo on a self-driving car program. Avis Budget Group Inc. says it will provide support and maintenance services for Waymo’s fleet and its early rider program, which has a public trial in Phoenix. Under the multiyear deal, Waymo’s cars will receive automotive services such as cleanings and oil changes from Avis and be allowed to park at its locations. Waymo is owned by Google parent company Alphabet Inc.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is spending $377 million to pick up 9.8 percent of a real estate investment trust called Store Capital. Berkshire bought 18.6 million shares of Store Capital for $20.25 per share in a private placement sale. Berkshire, a conglomerate based in Omaha, Nebraska, owns more than 90 companies, including Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Geico insurance, BNSF railroad and several major utilities.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A rocket company owned by Amazon-founder Jeff Bezos is coming to Huntsville, Alabama. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says that Blue Origin, a private spaceflight company, will build its BE-4 rocket engine in Huntsville. Ivey says the project will create 350 new jobs and be a $200 million investment. The company’s website says the powerful BE-4 engine is designed to end dependence on Russian-built engines for launching payloads into space.

SEATTLE (AP) — A new study of Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage law says it costs jobs, contrary to another new study released last week. The Seattle Times reports a University of Washington team found the law boosted pay in low-wage jobs since 2014 but that it also caused a 9 percent reduction in hours worked. For an average low-wage Seattle worker, that’s a loss of about $125 per month.

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