November 16, 2013

Briefcase

The Associated Press

NEW YORK

JPMorgan Chase reaches $4.5 billion settlement

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Friday it has reached a $4.5 billion settlement with investors over mortgage-backed securities.

The deal covers 21 major institutional investors. The mortgage-backed securities were issued by JPMorgan and Bear Stearns between 2005 and 2008. New York-based JPMorgan acquired the failing investment bank Bear Stearns in March 2008.

As the housing market collapsed between 2006 and 2008, millions of homeowners defaulted on high-risk mortgages. That led to billions of dollars in losses for investors who bought securities created from bundles of mortgages.

McDonald’s testing option to ‘build your own burger’

McDonald’s is looking to give people a little more wiggle room to customize their orders, as they can at chains such as Chipotle, Five Guys and Subway.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain says it’s testing a “build-your-own burger” concept in Laguna Niguel, Calif., that lets customers pick from a variety of toppings. Its new Dollar Menu and More also features five sandwiches with different sauces and toppings.

McDonald’s is equipping its kitchens with new “assembly tables” that can accommodate more ingredients. The tables will also help improve the speed of service, which has become an issue for McDonald’s as it has expanded its menu.

BEIJING

China promises to open markets in new reform plan

China’s leaders pledged Friday to open state-dominated industries wider to private competition and ease limits on foreign investment in e-commerce and other businesses in a sweeping reform plan aimed at rejuvenating a slowing economy.

The changes promised in a report issued after a closely watched Communist Party conference could be China’s most significant economic overhaul in at least two decades. State media have compared the effort to market-style reforms in 1978 that launched China’s economic boom. Chinese leaders are trying to replace a growth model based on exports and investment that has run out of steam after delivering three decades of rapid growth.

WASHINGTON

Factory production rises 0.3 percent in October

U.S. factories increased production for a third straight month in October, as stronger output of primary metals and furniture offset declines in auto production.

Manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent last month, up from 0.1 percent in September, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Factory output is the biggest component of industrial production, which also includes mining and utilities.

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