In brief: Gold curved coins are going, going ... gone!

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Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 12:00 am

The U.S. Mint’s first-ever curved coins are a home run with the public. All 50,000 of the $5 commemorative gold baseball coins that went on sale Thursday had been sold by Monday, a mint spokesman said. The coins are part of the mint’s program to benefit the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. The “heads” side, the part that curves inward, shows a baseball glove. The “tails” side shows a baseball. The gold coins, with a face value of $5 and which included a $35 surcharge that will go to the hall of fame, are proof coins and not intended for circulation. Demand also was strong for the $1 silver coin and the clad half-dollar coin, but those coins remained available. The surcharges are $10 for a silver coin and $5 for a half-dollar. Coins can be ordered at www.usmint.gov/catalog.

Home prices rising despite slowing sales

U.S. home prices rose in February from a year earlier at a solid pace, suggesting that a tight supply of available homes is boosting prices despite slowing sales. Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices for existing homes rose 12.2 percent in February from a year ago. That was up slightly from January's year-over-year pace of 12 percent. On a month-to-month basis, prices in February rose 0.8 percent from January.

Zuckerberg gains $3.3 billion from stock options

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reaped a $3.3 billion gain last year by exercising stock options in the social networking company. The windfall saddled Zuckerberg with a huge tax bill, even though he limited his Facebook salary to just $1, according to regulatory documents filed Monday. Zuckerberg, 29, now has exhausted his supply of stock options after exercising 60 million of them last year. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, also donated 18 million Facebook shares to a Silicon Valley nonprofit. The December gift was valued at nearly $1 billion. Zuckerberg still owns 426.3 million Facebook shares currently worth $25.7 billion.

Microsoft readies more changes to Windows 8

Just months after the release of its Windows 8.1 update to its Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft is preparing changes to make it easier for people to use Windows with traditional keyboard and mouse controls. Among other things, Microsoft will add search, power and settings buttons to the Start page, so people don't have to figure out how to pull those functions from the right side of their screens. The update also promises easier ways to close apps.

Sliced cake loaves coming back to Starbucks

Starbucks says it will bring back its sliced cake loaves in response to customer feedback. The company had been getting rid of the slices that came in banana, iced lemon and pumpkin flavors as part of a staggered rollout of its pricier new baked goods. In their place, Starbucks offered what looked like miniature sweet loaves that cost a little more. Lisa Passe, a Starbucks spokeswoman, said the company realized that “people really like the familiar, sliced cake.” She noted that the cake slices will still be made with new recipes and carry the higher prices. She said the slices will return “in coming weeks.”

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