Microsoft awards grants to community organizations
MANATEE -- Manatee Community Action Agency received a $160,000 grant from Microsoft, when the company opened its retail store in The Mall at University Town Center on June 11.
"This grant from Microsoft is transformative, and will enable us to expand and enhance our programs and services to the benefit of our clients, and the betterment of our community," said Barbara Patten, MCAA executive director.
Other Microsoft grant recipients: MOTE Marine Laboratory and Aquarium received $500,000; Children First got $125,000; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Suncoast received $65,000; Girls Inc. of Sarasota won $60,000 and Girl Scouts of South Florida got $45,000.
Michael Saunders moving into Benderson building
SARASOTA -- Manatee County real estate magnate Michael Saunders is moving her offices in downtown Sarasota.
Her residential real estate firm located in a former fruit market on Main Street since 1988, is moving into more than 15,000 square feet in the recently remodeled space on the ground floor of the Ellis Building at 1605 Main St. The building is owned by Benderson Development, which has its headquarters in University Park.
The move will take place in early 2016. In addition to moving its Main Street sales office to the new space, the company will also put its commercial real estate division into the Ellis Building.
Tom Heatherman, a spokesman for Michael Saunders & Co., said the company will not be leaving its old location empty. The company has grown so much over the past 40 years, it will need that space to house staff members as well.
U.S. equities advance amid merger news, Greece talks
NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks advanced, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rising near a record, as Cigna and Williams Cos. jumped on merger news amid optimism over Greece debt talks.
Cigna climbed 4.7 percent after rejecting a $47 billion takeover bid from Anthem Williams surged 26 percent after turning down a $48 billion buyout offer. Bank of America and Citigroup increased more than 1.2 percent as banks rebounded. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia slumped 12 percent after Sequential Brands Group's takeover bid was below investors' expectations.
The S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent to 2,122.85 at 4 p.m. in New York, after rallying as much as 0.9 percent to within one point of its closing high set a month ago. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 103.83 points, or 0.6 percent, to 18,119.78. The Nasdaq composite index increased 0.7 percent to an all-time high. About 5.7 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, 9 percent below the three-month average.
-- Herald staff and wire reports