DELIVERIES

Amazon within months

of deploying its drones

Amazon said Wednesday that it plans to use self-piloted drones to deliver packages to shoppers' homes in the coming months.

The online shopping giant did not give exact timing or say where the drones will be making deliveries.

Amazon said its new drones use computer vision and machine learning to detect and avoid people or clotheslines in backyards when landing.

Jeff Wilke, who oversees Amazon's retail business, said the drones are fully electric, can fly up to 15 miles, deliver in 30 minutes and carry goods that weigh up to 5 pounds, like a paperback or toothpaste.

INVESTING

New SEC rule targets

conflicts of interest

Stockbrokers will have to divulge their potential conflicts of interest to clients when they give them investment advice under action taken Wednesday by federal regulators.

The regulation adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission will also require brokerages to eliminate sales contests and quotas that reward brokers who generate the highest sales of certain investment products.

Still, critics say the SEC's new measure, which the financial industry supports, doesn't go far enough to protect investors from abuses. They say a stricter standard that advanced under the Obama administration should apply to brokers. This standard, called a "fiduciary duty rule" required all financial professionals, including brokers, to act as trustees who must put their clients' interests above their own.

ECONOMY

Service companies grow

at stronger pace in May

U.S. service companies expanded at stronger pace in May, driven in part by an increase in employment and business activity.

The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, reported Wednesday that its service index rose to 56.9 last month, up from 55.5 in April. Readings above 50 point toward continued growth.

Companies surveyed for the index reported a 4.4-point gain in employment to 58.1, while business activity increased 1.7 points to 56.9. Still, some of the companies said they're monitoring the tariffs that President Donald Trump imposed on China for possible negative impacts on the economy.

JOBS

Survey finds U.S. adds

fewest jobs in nine years

U.S. companies added the fewest jobs in nine years, a private survey found, as manufacturers, construction firms and mining companies cut workers.

Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added just 27,000 jobs in May, the fewest since March 2010.

The figures come just after ADP reported strong hiring in April, when companies added 271,000 jobs, the most in nine months. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, which helps compile the data, said the broader hiring trend is probably closer to the average of the two month's gains, at around 150,000.