Business briefs

December 13, 2013 

SARASOTA -- John Wilcher of DWELL Real Estate recently returned from New York, where he was filming for the Bravo show, "Million Dollar Listing New York."

The show follows three real estate agents as they give viewers an inside look into the aggressive, high-stakes world of New York's real estate market.

Wilcher was selected by the producers from thousands of participants in an online class, after responding to an email inquiry of class members. The show was filmed Saturday at an open house of one of the show's hosts, Fredrik Eklund, the No. 1 real estate broker in New York.

Wilcher has more than 10 years of real estate experience in the Sarasota area. His background includes serving as a Marine, Army sergeant and police officer, in addition to being a decorated combat veteran of the Afghanistan war. He has lived in Sarasota since 2000 with his wife, Kelly, with whom he has two young children.

Facebook to join S&P 500 of top firms this month

Facebook stock jumped close to 4 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday on news that the social media giant would join the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index at the end of next week.

The move will become official at the close of trading Dec. 20. It ends months of speculation that Facebook, based in Menlo Park, Calif., would join the index of 500 influential U.S. firms.

Facebook raised $16 billion in May 2012 through its initial public offering, which valued the company at $104 billion. It sold 421 million shares at $38 each, a price that drew criticism when the stock quickly began to slump, dropping more than 50 percent by early September 2012.

But the company's stock has slowly climbed since then, closing at $49.38 Wednesday. The company currently has a market capitalization of more than $120 billion.

One of the most common benchmarks for the U.S. economy, the S&P 500 index chooses stocks based on a company's market size, liquidity and industry grouping.

Wallenda gets LASIK to get rid of contacts

SARASOTA -- High-wire star Nik Wallenda recently went to William J. Lahners, F.A.C.S., Lasik, laser cataract and lens replacement surgeon, at the Center For Sight Sarasota location for Lasik surgery.

Internationally recognized as a record-setting acrobat, aerialist and high-wire artist, Wallenda gained worldwide attention for his 2012 tightrope walk spanning Niagara Falls. This year, the self-described "King of the Wire" was the first person to make a high-wire walk across a Grand Canyon-area gorge high above the Colorado River.

It was during his traverse across Grand Canyon that Wallenda realized the challenges of dry contact lenses impeding his vision, prompting him to seek Lasik surgery.

-- Herald staff and wire reports

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