Stock in Alaska Air flies after Gates’ ownership revealed

Herald staff

Shares in Alaska Air Group rose nearly 10 percent on Friday after it was revealed that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates owns 1.4 million shares of the group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

The stock closed Friday up $2.13 to $24.63.

Gates’ shares represent 5.3 percent of the company and are worth more than $31.4 million.

  • Economy slows: The economy shifted into a much lower gear during the summer, registering its slowest speed in more than a year and reflecting a drop in government spending and weaker business investment. The latest reading on the economy’s pulse showed the gross domestic product grew at a dramatically slower 2.7 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

  • Compaq batteries could spark fire: Compaq Computer Corp. is voluntarily recalling about 55,000 battery packs used in its Armada E500 and V300 notebook computers, citing a possible fire hazard. The battery packs were distributed worldwide and sold with the laptops and as replacement spares, the computer maker said in its recall notice Friday.

  • Friday prices: Gold sold for $263.80 a troy ounce, silver sold for $4.785 and platinum sold for $566.50.

  • Rocket rollout: Boeing Co. has rolled out the first Delta IV booster core made at its new $450 million rocket factory in Alabama. It produces rocket cores measuring 125 feet in length and 16 feet in diameter — roughly the size of a wide-body airplane fuselage.
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