The daily business briefing: December 30, 2016
Global stocks are mixed on final trading day of 2016, Honda recalls nearly 650,000 Odyssey minivans, and more
Markets end 2016 strong after tumultuous year
The Dow finished 2016 strong after enduring a tumultuous year, as markets struggled in the face of unpredictable global events like Brexit in Europe and the election of Donald Trump in the U.S. On Friday, the last trading day of the year, the Dow was set to close more than 4,300 points above its January 2016 low, good for a 14 percent gain. The S&P 500 also closed the year with a huge surge, with a 25 percent increase above its February 2016 low, and the Nasdaq closed the year on a 30 percent gain. The final week of the year is customarily quiet, with little to no trading; the markets will re-open Tuesday after the New Year's holiday.
Honda announces recall of nearly 650,000 Odyssey minivans
Honda said Thursday that it was recalling 633,753 Odyssey minivans from the 2011 to 2016 model years over potential failures in a seat-locking mechanism that can increase the risk of crash injury to people sitting in the second row. Another 7,549 Odysseys built between Sept. 23, 2016, and Oct. 24, 2016, are being recalled for a second seat-latch glitch. U.S. Odyssey sales fell 4.7 percent to 110,435 vehicles in the first 11 months of the year.
Amazon applies for patent of airborne distribution facilities
Amazon has filed a patent application for the use of airships to serve as distribution centers for products to be delivered by drones. According to the application, which was filed two years ago but only spotted by research firm CB Insights analyst Zoe Leavitt this week, drones launched from "airborne fulfillment centers" would use much less power than drones taking off from the ground. The airships would hover at 45,000 feet, with smaller airships restocking them. Amazon, which has plans to start using drones for some deliveries next year, was not available for immediate comment.
Sears Holdings chief extends struggling retailer $200 million lifeline
Sears CEO Eddie Lampert is putting up $200 million in financing to help keep the struggling retailer afloat. Lampert, a hedge fund billionaire, is extending Sears Holdings a letter of credit through his investment firm, ESL Investments, Sears said Thursday in a statement. Sears did not elaborate on the arrangement. Industry experts say Sears had to line up financing to soothe the fears of vendors worried they will not be paid for their goods if Sears has to file for bankruptcy protection. Sears shares jumped by nearly 9 percent on Thursday after the news, which signaled that Lampert remained committed to bankrolling Sears despite its ongoing losses.
Run-DMC sues Amazon, Walmart, and Jet.com for trademark infringement
A founder of Run-DMC on Thursday filed a lawsuit accusing Amazon, Walmart, and Jet.com of trademark infringement for allegedly selling glasses, hats, T-shirts, and other clothing and accessories bearing the iconic rap pioneers' name without permission. Darryl McDaniels, the owner of Run-DMC Brand LLC, is asking for at least $50 million in damages, calling the brand "extremely valuable." He said the retailers are misleading consumers by suggesting Run-DMC endorsed their products. The retailers did not make any immediate comment.