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  • 12.27.16

Morning intel: Panasonic invests in Tesla factory, Snapchat goes shopping in Israel

• Panasonic plans to invest more than $256 million in a Tesla factory in New York that makes photovoltaic cells and modules, reports Reuters. The announcement boosted Tesla’s stock in early trading.

• On Christmas Day, it was announced that Snapchat is buying Israeli augmented reality startup Cimagine for an estimated $30-$40 million. The company’s technology enhances the experience of shopping for furniture and appliances by letting users virtually place them in their home via their smartphone or tablet.

• Is Seattle the new San Francisco? For the second straight month, it was the hottest housing market in the country. A typical single-family home across its counties cost 10.7% more in October than a year ago, the biggest increase of 20 cities measured by the Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday. In second was Portland, Oregon, with home prices rising 10.3%.

Amazon loves the holidays—it says it shipped more than 1 billion items through its Prime and Fulfillment Services over the holiday season this year, with 70% of shoppers using a mobile device to make their purchases. And they sold nine times as many Echo speakers as last year, resulting in low inventory despite “ramped-up production,” Amazon exec Jeff Wilke told Bloomberg.MB