Google Seeks to Dominate OS for Wearable Devices

Morning Money Memo…

The market for wearable devices could be technology's next goldmine, and Google wants to be a big part of it. Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android and Chrome, says Google will soon release a free software development kit to firms making watches, fitness gadgets and other wearable devices.

The kit would enable wearable software to communicate with the Android operating system. "Google wants to standardize how those sensors send their data to Android - and that standardization in turn should allow device manufacturers to opt for Android instead of a custom OS," reports

"We want to develop a set of common protocols by which they can work together," Pichai told the SXSW conference. Most of the world's smartphones run with Android. Google is hoping to do the same thing with the emerging market for wearables. But it may face stiff competition from Apple, Samsung and LG Electronics.

Comcast also has big growth plans. Days after announcing plans to buy Time Warner Cable, Comcast is planning to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in California and Florida theme parks, stepping outside its core business of telecommunications. The Philadelphia Inquirer said recent moves by the Philadelphia-based cable-TV company represent a challenge to Disney's tourism business in Orlando. Comcast took over Universal Orlando Resorts as part of its NBCUniversal acquisition in 2011.

What's good for Amazon may be bad for mall developers. Thursday's retail sales report may be this week's most closely watched economic survey. The findings will give more clues on whether consumers are spending more. Recent store closure announcements by Staples and RadioShack are the latest signs of stress in some parts of the brick-and-mortar retail industry as more shoppers switch to online purchases. The changes may have negative implications for the commercial real estate market

This is the 5th anniversary of the start of the bull market. Since stocks hit their recent bottom in March 2009, the Dow Jones index has gone up nearly 150 percent. The high-technology Nasdaq has more than doubled. The S&P index is at an all-time high after gaining for the past two weeks in a row. As a new week of trading starts, investors will be closely watching the latest developments in Ukraine. The stock market ended mixed on Friday, despite a mostly positive February jobs report.

Americans are boarding public buses, trains and subways in greater numbers than any time since the suburbs began booming, according to new ridership numbers. Transit passengers took nearly 10.7 billion trips in 2013 - the highest total since 1956, says the American Public Transportation Association. The biggest gain was in New York City, with a 3.6 percent annual gain in trips.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio Twitter: daviesnow

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