Global Glance: Uber settles contractor lawsuits, Sears to close 78 stores

Uber settlement keeps drivers as contractors in two states

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber has settled a pair of major class-action lawsuits in California and Massachusetts that will keep its drivers independent contractors instead of employees, the company announced Thursday night. The settlement is a major step toward the company’s keeping its current thriving business model that has been threatened as drivers have sought a more secure status and more bargaining rights. Read more

Sears to close 78 stores this summer

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears Holdings Corp. will close another78 stores -68 Kmart units, and 10 Sears stores – as it looks to restore profitability. That accounts for about 5 percent of its store base, which is nearly 1,700 stores. Read more

What to consider before investing in ‘sustainable’ funds

NEW YORK (AP) — The investment industry is unveiling ever-more options that steer money toward companies that are leaders in cutting pollution, pushing for better labor conditions or protecting shareholders’ interests. The mainstreaming of this environmental, social and governance approach, or ESG, is great for investors who want their money to do good and do well, but it also creates an even more dizzying array of choices. Read more

Alphabet spells big gains for investors, despite 1Q letdown

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Larry Page’s five-year tenure as CEO of Google – and now its new corporate parent Alphabet – is reminding investors that patience pays off, despite a letdown in the first quarter. Since Page took the helm in 2011, Alphabet’s stock has soared 163 percent, creating an additional $300 billion in shareholder wealth. The S&P 500 rose 58 percent during the same period; Apple’s stock is up 115 percent. Read more

Microsoft reports weak results despite turnaround effort

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Microsoft reported a surprise drop in sales and profit for the first three months of the year, a sign the tech giant is still trying to find its way in the post-PC era. Thursday’s report came as other industry stalwarts reported their own struggles with seismic shifts in the way people use technology. Read more

Homeowners cozy up to urban eyesores

Living near highways, train tracks and other urban eyesores has long been an unfortunate fact of life for residents of big, crowded cities around the world, including in tightly packed cities in the U.S. Now the rising popularity of urban living across the country, along with a shortage of land in desirable locations, has made these dingy corners of cities hot properties for developers and home buyers. Read more

Poor U.S. earnings weigh on Europe

Disappointing earnings statements out of the U.S. from the likes of Microsoft and Alphabet, the corporate parent of Google, are weighing on European stock markets. Read more

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