Business briefs

2013-05-14T00:00:00Z Business briefsFrom Wire Reports From Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
May 14, 2013 12:00 am  • 

US retail sales rose in April on cars, clothing

Lower-priced gas allowed Americans to step up their spending at retailers in April, from cars and clothes to electronics and appliances. The rebound from a weak March suggests consumers remain resilient in the face of higher taxes and could continue to drive economic growth this spring.

Retail sales edged up 0.1 percent in April, the U.S. Commerce Department said Monday. That's an improvement from a 0.5 percent decline in March, the largest drop in nine months.

The April gain was stronger when taking out the effect of lower gas prices, which reduced sales at gas stations 4.7 percent. The retail sales report is not adjusted for price changes.

High court gives Monsanto a win in patent case

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court said Monday that an Indiana farmer violated Monsanto Co.'s patents on soybean seeds resistant to its weedkiller by growing the beans without buying new seeds from the corporation.

The justices unanimously rejected the farmer's argument that cheap soybeans he bought from a grain elevator are not covered by the Monsanto patents, even though most of them also were genetically modified to resist the company's Roundup herbicide.

While Monsanto won this case, the court refused to make a sweeping decision that would cover other self-replicating technologies like DNA molecules and nanotechnologies, leaving that for another day.

Businesses and researchers had been closely watching this case in hopes of getting guidance on patents, but Justice Elena Kagan said the court's holding Monday only "addresses the situation before us."

GM says supercomputers to keep recalls in check

WARREN, Mich. - General Motors Co. says a new supercomputing data center and a fledgling shift to bring software development in-house should help it limit the size of future safety recalls. The automaker formally opened the giant data storage center Monday.

The Associated Press

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