Intel's acquisition of Altera, a boost in wages and saving, and an auction to lunch with Warren Buffett top our roundup of the day's top business news stories.
“San Andreas” Shakes Things Up with $53 Million Opening Weekend
The earthquake thriller “San Andreas” was no disaster at the box office, earning a better-than-expected $53.2 million in its opening weekend. “San Andreas: marks Dwayne Johnson’s highest grossing opening as the solo lead, the Los Angeles Times reports. Earlier this year, he had a prominent role in “Furious 7,” which was No. 1 at the box office for four consecutive weeks. “Pitch Perfect 2” remained at No. 2 with $14.8 million, followed by “Tomorrowland,” which earned $13.8 million for the film that earned mixed reviews. “Mad Max: Fury Road” came in fourth with $13.6 million, while “Avengers: Age of Ultron” rounded out the top five with $10.9 million. Cameron Crowe’s “Aloha,” a romantic comedy, received savage reviews and finished a tepid sixth. The director’s last hit film as “Almost Famous” in 2000.
Income is Up, Spending Flat
The Commerce Department reported Monday that U.S. consumer spending was unexpectedly flat in April due to stalled automobile sales and weak demand for utilities. But they are continuing to increase their savings, the report said. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending was unchanged in April after rising 0.4 percent in March. Personal income rose 0.4 percent in April after being flat the prior month, a reflection of the jump in wages and salaries. With income outpacing consumer spending, the saving rate increased to 5.6 percent.
Chips Ahoy! Intel to Acquire Altera
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor chip maker Intel Corp is expected to announce Monday plans to buy chip designer Altera Corp. for about $17 billion. If the acquisition goes through, it likely would be the biggest in Intel’s 47-year history, according to the Associated Press. Intel is the world’s largest maker of PC chips and sells most of the chips used in servers. Altera makes chips used in phone networks and cars, a market attractive to Intel as demand for personal computer chips slips due to the downturn in desktop and laptop computer sales.
Greece Misses Self-Imposed Aid Deadline, Talks Continue
Greece’s self-imposed Sunday deadline for reaching an agreement to unlock aid passed. The beleaguered country and its European credits, locked for months in talks on a reform agreement, are in alignment on the need to reach a cash-for-reforms deal quickly as Athens risks default or bankruptcy in weeks, Reuters reports. Athens faces a payment to the International Monetary Fund on June 5 as well as the expiration of its bailout program on June 30.
Gas Prices Continue to Climb
The average price of gasoline has increased 4 cents a gallon over the past two weeks to $2.84 a gallon, industry analyst Trilby Lundberg reported Sunday. In comparison, the average price at the pump surged 35 cents over the previous five weeks. Lundberg forecast that this is an indication gas prices may be close to peaking as the summer driving season looms, the Associated Press reports. The average national price for midgrade gas was $3.04, with premium going for $3.20. Los Angeles has the highest price recorded in the continental United States at $3.83 in Los Angeles. The lowest was $2.36, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
What Would You Bid to Lunch with Warren Buffett
Bidding commenced Sunday for the 16th annual luncheon thrown by billionaire Warren Buffett on behalf of the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco charity that helps the poor and homeless. The minimum bid is $25,000 on eBay. Last year’s winner paid $2,166,766 for a private audience with Buffett. The 2012 winning bid of $3,456,789 was the most expensive charity item ever sold on eBay. Bids will be taken until Friday. The only limit on lunch conversation is in what Buffett might invest.