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

Mon­day In the fore­cast: jobs

The Hous­ton econ­omy, shak­ing off the oil bust and re­bound­ing from Hur­ri­cane Har­vey, could create as many 70,000 jobs next year, said Bill Gilmer, di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute for Re­gional Fore­cast­ing at the Univer­sity of Hous­ton. “We’ve turned the corner,” Gilmer said. “Looks like we have growth in front of us.”

Tak­ing a hit from Har­vey

Ste­wart In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices Corp., the Hous­ton ti­tle and real es­tate ser­vices firm, said it is con­sid­er­ing putting it­self up for sale or seek­ing a merger part­ner as it con­tends with fall­ing prof­its blamed in part on Hur­ri­cane Har­vey.

Bono’s off­shore life

Leaked pa­pers re­veal­ing in­vest­ments in tax havens by the world’s wealthy sug­gest U2 front­man Bono used a com­pany based in low-tax Malta to buy part of a shop­ping mall in Lithua­nia. The Guardian said that the “Par­adise Pa­pers” doc­u­ment trove, ob­tained by it and other news or­ga­ni­za­tions, re­veals that the singer was an in­vestor in Mal­tese com­pany Nude Es­tates, which bought the Ausra shop­ping cen­ter in 2007.

Tues­day Backup driv­ers? Nope

Waymo has started test­ing a fleet of self-driv­ing ve­hi­cles with­out any backup driv­ers on pub­lic roads, its CEO said. The tests, which will in­clude pas­sen­gers within the next few months, mark a mile­stone that brings au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle tech­nol­ogy closer to op­er­at­ing with­out hu­man in­ter­ven­tion.

Rea­son for high stan­dards

Fed­eral Re­serve Chair Janet Yellen said the Fed’s ef­fec­tive­ness de­pends on the na­tion’s con­fi­dence that the cen­tral bank is act­ing only in the pub­lic’s in­ter­est. Yellen said it is im­por­tant for Fed of­fi­cials to “demon­strate our eth­i­cal stan­dards in ways that leave lit­tle room for doubt.”

Snap isn’t click­ing

Snap con­tin­ued to dis­ap­point with its lat­est fi­nan­cial snap­shot. The com­pany re­ported rev­enue for the third quar­ter that missed Wall Street ex­pec­ta­tions and also posted a larger-thanex­pected loss, as well as high costs. In the af­ter­math, its stock plunged in after-hours trad­ing.

Re­ver­sal by Dis­ney

The Walt Dis­ney Co. lifted its ban of Los Angeles Times re­porters and crit­ics from its press screen­ings after a back­lash prompted sev­eral me­dia out­lets to an­nounce their own boy­cotts of Dis­ney movies. Dis­ney had barred the Times from its screen­ings after the pa­per pub­lished a two-part in­ves­tiga­tive se­ries on the com­pany’s busi­ness deal­ings in Ana­heim, Calif., the home of Dis­ney­land.

Wed­nes­day Home­buy­ers are back

Lo­cal buy­ers in Oc­to­ber closed on 6,381 sin­gle-fam­ily homes, a 7.5 per­cent jump over the same time last year, the Hous­ton As­so­ci­a­tion of Re­al­tors said in a monthly re­port. The fig­ures in­di­cate that two months after Hur­ri­cane Har­vey, buy­ers are re­turn­ing to the hous­ing mar­ket in im­pres­sive num­bers.

Above the con­ges­tion

Uber said that in just over two years, it will let com­muters soar over Los Angeles’ and Dal­las’ snarled traf­fic in fly­ing taxis. The ride-hail­ing gi­ant an­nounced that L.A. and Dal­las will be the first cities served by UberAir, which is ex­pected to be­gin fer­ry­ing pas­sen­gers in elec­tric air­craft in 2020.

SpaceX seeks blast cause

SpaceX is in­ves­ti­gat­ing why one of its rocket en­gines ex­ploded dur­ing a test fire at the com­pany’s fa­cil­ity in McGre­gor, the com­pany con­firmed. The ex­plo­sion of the Mer­lin en­gine oc­curred sev­eral days ear­lier dur­ing what the com­pany called a “qual­i­fi­ca­tion test.” No one was in­jured, but now the com­pany once again has to fig­ure out what went wrong with its hard­ware.

Tough ses­sion for Equifax

Mem­bers of the Se­nate Com­merce Com­mit­tee chal­lenged Equifax’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Paulino do Rego Bar­ros, about the credit re­port­ing agency’s sweep­ing data col­lec­tion and its one-sided re­la­tion­ship with mil­lions of Amer­i­cans whose per­sonal in­for­ma­tion it har­vests for profit.

Thurs­day Ca­su­alty of Har­vey

As the East Hous­ton Re­gional Medical Cen­ter be­came one of the big­gest medical ca­su­al­ties of Hur­ri­cane Har­vey, the Texas Work­force Com­mis­sion an­nounced that the hos­pi­tal’s 479 em­ploy­ees would be laid off. How­ever, a spokes­woman for HCA Health­care Gulf Coast Divi­sion, said “well over 400” have al­ready been re­as­signed to sis­ter fa­cil­i­ties.

Seek­ing Oba­macare

De­spite Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ef­forts to take down Oba­macare, over 600,000 peo­ple signed up for cov­er­age the first week of open en­roll­ment, the gov­ern­ment said. Ex­perts said it’s hard to dis­cern a trend, but sign-ups for 2018 are on track with pre­vi­ous years.

Fri­day Beyond su­per­com­put­ers

IBM an­nounced a break­through that will in­crease the pres­sure on Google in the bat­tle to com­mer­cial­ize quan­tum com­put­ing tech­nol­ogy.

Caitlin O’Hara / New York Times

Waymo demon­strates its driverless tech­nol­ogy in Chan­dler, Ariz., this sum­mer. Waymo has started test­ing a fleet of self-driv­ing ve­hi­cles with­out any backup driv­ers on pub­lic roads, its CEO said Tues­day.


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