WEEK IN RE­VIEW

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - BUSINESS - Naruto From staff and wire reports

MON­DAY

$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.

Tues­day

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.

Wed­nes­day

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.

Thurs­day

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.

Fri­day

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.

Mark Mul­li­gan / Hous­ton Chron­i­cle

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.

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