WEEK IN REVIEW
$120 million, but no plant
Electric car maker Faraday Future said it is deserting its plan to construct a $1 billion manufacturing plant in southern Nevada eight months after suspending the project and sinking at least $120 million into it. The company said in a statement that it will now look for an existing facility to produce its electric vehicles in California or Nevada
A blow against arbitration
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau adopted a rule that would pry open the courtroom doors for millions of Americans by prohibiting financial firms from forcing them into arbitration in disputes over their bank and credit card accounts. The action could free consumers to band together in class-action lawsuits that could cost the institutions billions of dollars.
No deal as retailers flail
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. announced that it failed to reach a deal with potential acquirers, sending the stock plunging as much as 22 percent, the biggest intraday decline in more than five year. It also dragged down the shares of other chains that target young apparel shoppers, such as Express, Urban Outfitters and American Eagle Outfitters.
A payoff for going green
In Texas, buying a home built to high standards of environmental friendliness may cost more than a conventional one. But when it’s time to sell, the more efficient home stands to bring in $25,000 more, on average. That’s the conclusion of a University of Texas and U.S. Green Building Council study.
Positives for economy
U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in May. But hiring picked up and more people are quitting their jobs — both positive signs for the economy, the Labor Department said.
Rural broadband push
Microsoft said it is aiming to take broadband internet to millions of rural Americans within the next five years through what is now unused TV spectrum. Texas is among the states Microsoft is targeting.
Houses up, offices down
Houston homebuyers increasingly are putting the oil slump behind them, snapping up houses in record numbers and paying more for them than ever, according to new sales figures. But economic trauma in the region’s signature energy industry continues to haunt real estate’s office market, pushing the local vacancy rate higher than it’s been in decades.
Monkey see, monkey snap
A curious monkey with a toothy grin and a knack for pressing a camera button was back in the spotlight as a federal appeals court heard arguments on whether an animal can hold a copyright to selfie photos.
Wind and solar on block
The Houston power company NRG Energy said that it planned to sell most, if not all, of its wind and solar power projects around the country as part of plan to divest $4 billion in assets in a bid to cut costs, slash debt and elevate its stock price.
Google off hook in France
Google emerged as the victor in its latest legal battle in Europe, after a French court said the technology behemoth did not have to pay $1.3 billion in back taxes.
American-Qatar rift grows
After Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker found himself in the hot seat for disparaging U.S. flight attendants as “grandmothers” and boasting that his own cabin crews had an average age of 26, he said he was sorry. The apology came after a rebuke by labor unions and American, which called the remarks “both sexist and ageist.” Hours after the apology, American announced the end of its code-sharing agreement with Qatar Airways because of a longstanding dispute over whether Persian Gulf carriers use government subsidies to compete unfairly.
Progress for Orion capsule
NASA’s Orion, carrying the nation’s hopes and dreams for reaching the Red Planet, completed an important test as a group of astronauts safely exited a mock-up of the spacecraft’s crew module in conditions they might experience after an ocean splashdown. Flood insurance costs The likely privatization of some segments of the flood insurance market has the potential to bring down premiums for 92 percent of Texas homeowners, research from actuarial services provider Milliman showed.
S&P 500, Dow hit highs
U.S. stocks and bonds rallied, with both the S&P 500 index and Dow Jones industrial average reaching new highs, as U.S. inflation data came in short of Federal Reserve expectations, spotlighting the concerns of some central bankers about additional interest rate hikes.
Bridal gown chain closes
Alfred Angelo, a bridal gown chain with more than 60 stores nationwide and partnerships with more than 1,400 retailers, suddenly closed all of its store locations without any warning, leaving brides-to-be wondering if they’ll receive their wedding dresses or get refunds.
Astronauts Daniel Burbank, left, Stanley Love, Mike Fincke and Victor Glover wait on Thursday to board the Orion capsule during a recovery test 4 miles off Galveston Island.
Naruto is a crested macaque who snapped perfectly framed selfies in 2011 that would make even the Kardashians proud. An appeals court is weighing whether he owns the photos.