Starwatch Consumer

Wal-Mart has dibs on new Superman movie

Updated: 2013-04-25T03:37:48Z

Super deal

Wal-Mart Stores and Warner Bros. have struck a deal making the retail chain the only place to buy tickets to the first U.S. screening of the Superman film “Man of Steel.”

The partnership, which the companies said is the first of its kind, will provide the studio with free advertising at more than 3,700 Wal-Mart stores. Tickets become available May 18.

Sparking interest

General Motors said the battery-powered version of its Chevrolet Spark mini-car can travel up to 82 miles on a single charge, putting it among the leaders in mass-market electric vehicles sold in the U.S.

The Spark EV also gets the equivalent of 119 miles per gallon in testing monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency. GM said that makes it the most efficient car available for sale to the public. The figure is for combined city and highway driving.

The tiny electric Chevrolet goes on sale in July in Oregon and California. GM hasn't released the price but has said it will be less than $32,500, excluding a $7,500 federal tax credit.

FDA surveillance

The Food and Drug Administration is creating a largely automated surveillance system to monitor the safety of high-risk medical devices and has authorized doctors to simplify reporting deaths and injuries to the agency.

The effort is design to spot early on possibly dangerous flaws in high-risk medical devices such as defibrillators, pacemakers and joint implants.

Out of stock

The U.S. Mint has temporarily stopped sales of its smallest American Eagle gold coin — weighing one-tenth of an ounce — after a buyer stampede set off by gold prices’ biggest drop in 33 years on April 15.

April’s sales of all Eagle coins have almost tripled from March.

Bigger reward

Elderly and disabled people enrolled in Medicare could earn as much as $10 million if they report health care fraud to the government under a proposal that raises the maximum payout from $1,000 now.

The Department of Health and Human Services said Medicare beneficiaries will be eligible for rewards of as much as 15 percent of fraud that the government is able to recover. The maximum reward would be capped at $10 million. Beneficiary rewards for reporting fraud are now capped at 10 percent of recoveries up to $1,000.

Mortgage activity

Mortgage applications in the U.S. climbed for a third week as lower mortgage rates spurred gains in home purchasing or refinancing.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index increased 0.2 percent in the week ending April 19 from the prior week, the Washington-based group said.

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