Resumed Amtrak service, a deadly motorcycle gang gunfight and the closing of an iconic toy store top our roundup of the day's top business news stories.
“Pitch Perfect 2” No. 1—Now Max Really Mad
Girl power rocked Hollywood as “Pitch Perfect 2” zoomed past “Mad Max: Fury Road” with $70.3 million. The critically acclaimed “Mad Max” reboot grossed $44.4 million. It too features a strong female character in Charlize Theron’s one-armed rogue truck driver Imperator Furiosa. Coming in third was “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” with $38.8 million. The female odd-couple comedy, “Hot Pursuit came in fourth at the box office with $5.8 million, while “Furious 7” came in fifth with $3.6 million.
Homebuilder Sentiment Fell in April
The National Association of Homebuilders' index fell two points in April to a less-than-forecast, the association reported Monday. The index measures builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes. Despite the drop, the index is nine-points higher from the May 2014 reading of 45. The index components were mixed. The component charting sales expectations in the next six months rose one point to 64, while the component gauging current sales conditions decreased two points to 59.
Amtrak Northwest Corridor Service to Resume Monday
Train service along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor twill resume service Monday in "complete compliance" with federal safety orders following last week's deadly derailment, the Associated Press reports. Amtrak staff and crew have been working “around the clock” to restore service along the Washington-Boston route following Tuesday night’s accident that killed eight people and injured more than 200 others, company president Joseph Boardman said Sunday. Federal regulators on Saturday ordered Amtrak to expand use of a speed-control system long in effect for southbound trains near the crash site to northbound trains in the same area. The agency also ordered the company to examine all curves along the Northeast Corridor and determine if more can be done to improve safety, and to increase speed limit signs along the route.
Biker Gunfight Leaves Nine Dead in Waco
A gunfight that broke out Sunday at a Waco, TX restaurant between three rival motorcycle gangs left nine gang members dead. Eighteen people were transferred to local hospitals with gunshot and stab wounds, USA TODAY reports. No bystanders or police were injured. Police are expected to remove about 100 weapons from the crime scene. The fight began in the restroom of the Twin Peaks restaurant and escalated from fists to chains, clubs, knives and then guns.
Iconic Toy Store to Close
F.A.O Schwartz, one of the most famous toy stores in the country, will close the doors of its iconic Fifth Avenue location in New York. The store was prominently featured in the film “Big’s” most famous scene in which Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia perform a duet on a floor piano. Toys R Us, which bought the company in 2009, said the brand is not going away, but is yet to find a new place to call home, USA TODAY reports. F.A.O. Schwartz had been at its Fifth Avenue home for almost three decades. High rent is being blamed for closing the store.
Target Getting Fresh
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Minneapolis-based Target Corp has informed Kraft Foods Group and other top packaged food suppliers that it plans to devote less money to promoting their products in favor of fresher and healthier foods. This means, the Journal reports, that packaged and processed foods such as canned soup, cereals, and boxed macaroni and cheese will get less premium shelf space and promotional signage in its grocery aisles.