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For now, Trump bears signs of a dealmaker, not a policymaker

Sat, 3 Dec 2016 20:28:21 UT

Thursday's announcement by Carrier that it had reversed its decision to move certain jobs outside the country spotlighted Trump's inclination to personally intervene in the economy, down to a company's assembly line. Trump said the decision to preserve Carrier's factory jobs occurred after he had phoned the CEO of its parent company, United Technologies. Early in his presidency, when President Barack Obama intervened in the economy, it faced the gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression. The government launched emergency steps to infuse capital into banks and automakers, while borrowing heavily to fund an economic stimulus to galvanize growth. Mike Pence, now the vice president-elect, and Mitt Romney, the party's 2012 presidential nominee and now a contender to be Trump's secretary of state. The president-elect has promised corporate tax cuts to entice employers to stay. Trump, in fact, noted that that Carrier deal succeeded only because one of the factory workers had said in a TV news report that the president-elect would save their jobs. Federal budgeting requires meticulous planning, noted Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonprofit that favors limiting government debt. [...] outside analyses have concluded that tax cuts of the magnitude he proposes would either swell the national debt or force deep spending cuts.

Panel urges better cybersecurity to President-elect Trump

Sat, 3 Dec 2016 12:14:27 UT

The release of the 100-page report follows the worst hacking of U.S. government systems in history and accusations by the Obama administration that Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election by hacking Democrats. The panel studied sharing information with private companies about cyber threats, the lack of talented American security engineers and distrust of the U.S. government by private businesses, especially in Silicon Valley. Classified documents stolen under Obama by Edward Snowden, a contractor for the National Security Agency, revealed government efforts to hack into the data pipelines used by U.S. companies to serve customers overseas. Trump's presidential campaign benefited from embarrassing disclosures in hacked emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton's campaign staff and others, and Trump openly invited Russian hackers to find and release tens of thousands of personal emails that Clinton had deleted from the private server she had used to conduct government business as secretary of state. Under Obama, hackers stole personal data from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management on more than 21 million current, former and prospective government employees, including details of security-clearance background investigations for federal agents, intelligence employees and others. [...] the Obama administration also became more aggressive about publicly identifying foreign governments it accused of hacking U.S. victims, arrested some high-profile hackers overseas, successfully shut down some large networks of hacked computers used to attack online targets, enacted but never actually used economic sanctions against countries that hacked American targets and used a sophisticated new cyber weapon called Stuxnet against Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities.

US approves flights by Norwegian Air Shuttle subsidiary

Sat, 3 Dec 2016 01:06:59 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Discount airline Norwegian Air Shuttle has won permission from federal authorities for its disputed plan to expand flights to the U.S. Regulators said they consulted legal experts in the State Department and Justice Department and found no grounds to reject the application.

United to pay $2.4M to settle with SEC over NJ to SC flight

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 23:51:03 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — United Airlines is paying $2.4 million to settle civil charges stemming from allegations the airline reinstated a direct flight from New Jersey to South Carolina as a personal favor to an official with a nearby vacation home. United's parent company, United Continental Holdings Inc., is settling the charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Andrew Calamari, director of the SEC's New York regional office, said United started a money-losing flight just to curry favor with a public official and didn't give an accurate account of its reasons for the route and its likely financial impact.

Obama blocks proposed takeover of Germany's Aixtron

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 23:06:26 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Citing a national security risk, President Barack Obama on Friday blocked a Chinese investor's proposed takeover of Aixtron SE, a German maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, a rare move that drew objections from Beijing and complaints that the U.S. was injecting politics into the deal. China had appealed to Washington and Berlin to avoid injecting politics into the proposed takeover. Since it's a normal commercial activity, it will be carried out following the rule of markets and business.

Municipal-bond week in review: Yields climb again

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 22:13:15 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Municipal bond yields hit fresh highs again this week, continuing their strong climb since the U.S. presidential election. According to the AP Municipal Bond index, the 10-year muni yield was 2.810 percent as of 5 p.m. Eastern time Friday. Yields have jumped across the bond market since last month's election on expectations that the Trump administration's efforts to jumpstart the economy will cause interest rates to increase faster than expected. Higher yields boost interest payments for investors buying muni bonds today, but they also means lower prices for bonds that investors are already holding. [...] hurting muni bond prices are expectations that the Trump administration may seek to lower tax rates.

How the Dow Jones industrial average fared on Friday

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 21:55:24 UT

Investors made a small move back to safer assets Friday afternoon after the government's November jobs report showed continued hiring, but weak wages. Stocks finished little changed as real estate and household goods companies rose, but banks, which have soared since the presidential election, took losses. The Nasdaq composite gained 4.55 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,255.65.

Rally ebbs as investors seek safety after weak wage data

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 21:53:20 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors made a small move back to safer assets Friday afternoon after the government's November jobs report showed continued hiring, but weak wages. Indexes finished little changed as real estate and household goods companies rose, but banks, which have soared since the presidential election, took losses. Thanks to a loss from Goldman Sachs, which closed at a nine-year high on Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average dipped after closing at a record high a day ago. The jobs report called into question some of investors' hopes about the state of the economy, and they reversed some of the moves they've made since the presidential election three weeks ago. Investors have long expected that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this month, and the jobs report did nothing to dispel that notion. Lower bond yields pushed investors to buy utility and real estate companies and consumer goods makers, which are often compared to bonds because of their big dividend payments. When bond yields fall, those stocks become more appealing to investors seeking income. CEO Aneel Bhusri said some customers have recently delayed completing large deals, partly because of "global uncertainties such as Brexit, the U.S. presidential election, and pending elections in other G8 countries." In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline picked up 1 cent to $1.56 a gallon.

Business Highlights

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 21:49:33 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added a solid 178,000 jobs in November, reflecting the steady economy President-elect Donald Trump will inherit. [...] the unemployment rate hit a nine-year low of 4.6 percent, though mainly because many people stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed. [...] Friday's report from the Labor Department reflected a resilient job market that is helping drive the U.S. economy. Many experts say that Republicans who generally oppose regulation are likely to take charge at the Federal Communications Commission, the government's primary telecom regulator. SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore regulators announced Friday fines amounting to over $5.3 million for two banks that were found to have breached money laundering rules in dealings with an indebted Malaysian state fund. VELES, Macedonia (AP) — On the second floor of a noisy sports center in the Macedonian town of Veles, a teenage purveyor of fake news cracked open his laptop and laid out his case for why lying is more lucrative than the truth. BEIJING (AP) — China appealed to Washington and Berlin to avoid injecting politics into the proposed takeover of a German maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment following a report President Obama plans to oppose it as a security risk. The proposed 670 million euro ($740 million) acquisition of Aixtron SE by Fujian Grand Chip, a semiconductor maker, is "normal business activity," said a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang. The bill also bars the Pentagon from reducing the number of military bases even though senior U.S. defense officials said there is excess capacity, and it awards U.S. troops their largest pay raise in six years. Natasa Pirc Musar, director of the Pirc Musar&Partnerji law firm, said Friday that the use of the name "Melania Trump" for commercial purposes without approval of her client would be against the law in the small Alpine state and wou

FCC: AT&T, Verizon shouldn't exempt own apps from data caps

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 21:45:54 UT

The Federal Communications Commission sent letters to the country's biggest wireless carriers Thursday saying the way they handle the practice, known as "zero rating," can hurt competition and consumers. The FCC says that could harm the market for streaming services as it makes it more expensive for internet companies to compete with video services that are owned by the carriers. Adding in those costs makes it difficult for a rival to compete on price with AT&T's new online TV app, DirecTV Now, whose cheapest bundle costs consumers $35 a month, wrote Jon Wilkins, the head of the FCC's wireless bureau.

Public Storage and Ascena climb; Starbucks and Schwab fall

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 21:42:51 UT

Bond yields fell and companies that pay big dividends, including real estate trusts, traded higher. The discount retailer said its sales are off to a strong start in the holiday season. The human resources software maker gave a weak forecast and said some customers have delayed large deals.

Markets Right Now: A post-election rally runs out of gas

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 21:07:12 UT

Safe-play investments were back in favor Friday, and bank stocks gave back some of their big gains over the past few weeks. Utilities and real estate companies did well as investors stuck with slow-and-steady stocks that pay big dividends. Stocks are mostly higher in midday trading as some big technology names and high-dividend stocks bounce back from steep losses a day earlier. A slump in Goldman Sachs helped pull the Dow Jones industrial average back from the record high it set Thursday. U.S. stocks are mixed as a rally in oil prices and bank stocks fades. Before trading opened Friday the government reported that U.S. employers added 178,000 jobs in November, about what investors expected.

Jobs report shows Trump to inherit solid but uneven economy

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 20:24:54 UT

Employers added 178,000 jobs in November, the government said, extending the longest streak of hiring since World War II. [...] the unemployment rate sank from 4.9 percent to a nine-year low of 4.6 percent. "With the unemployment rate this low and wages rising, now is the real test of whether a stronger economy can bring people back into job market," said Jed Kolko, chief economist at job hunting website Indeed. "For the Fed, barring a very adverse ... development, a hike at the Dec. 14 meeting appears to be a done deal," said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan Chase. Alan Krueger, an economist at Princeton and a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, has found that nearly half of men ages 25 through 54 who are outside the workforce take pain medication. [...] Nicholas Eberstadt, an economist at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, notes that most European countries also lost manufacturing jobs, yet haven't seen a similar decline in male employment. The economy "is fundamentally underperforming, and needs structural fixes to improve its long-term growth rate," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the conservative American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office. Holtz-Eakin said the Trump administration's plans to cut corporate and individual taxes and lift many regulations should enable companies to invest in machinery and other equipment. Dave Arndt, chief executive of Pentaflex, a manufacturer in Springfield, Ohio, hopes Trump will also follow through on his promise to boost spending on roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

Recalls this week: dehumidifiers, espresso makers

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 19:23:26 UT

More than 2 million dehumidifiers are being recalled because they can overheat and catch fire. Other recalled consumer products this week include door locksets and espresso makers. Recalled model numbers and date codes can be found at . The model number and date code are printed on a sticker on the back, front or side of the unit. The dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke and catch fire, posing serious fire and burn hazards to consumers Stanley's commercial cylindrical series BMHA/ANSI Grade 1 heavy duty locksets with dead-latch components. Matrix ClimbMill stair-step exercise machines sold at Johnson Health Tech North America and its commercial fitness equipment dealers nationwide from December 2011 through September 2015. The frame serial numbers are located on the bottom front of the base near the power switch. INCIDENTS: 19 reports of incidents involving the stop/pause handgrip malfunctioning, including eight reports of injuries such as scrapes, bumps and a shoulder dislocation. Call Johnson Health Tech at 866-218-3674 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, send email to or visit and click on Safety Notice at the bottom of the page for more information. IMUSA espresso maker with model numbers GAU-18200 and GAU-18201. The caps on the recalled espresso makers have date codes "201407" to "201411" The model number and date code are printed on a rating label on the bottom of the espresso maker. The filler cap at the top of the unit can crack and allow steam to escape, posing a risk of burns to the user. [...] the cap can pop off unexpectedly as a result of pressure buildup, posing an impact injury risk to a bystander. The serial number is located on the bottom of the device and on the bottom of the product packaging. The lithium-io

BP to push ahead with big oil project in the Gulf of Mexico

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 18:53:01 UT

The UK-based oil giant announced it would continue with the second phase of its Mad Dog project off the Louisiana coast just a day after OPEC ministers agreed to cut production, a move that sparked a rally in oil prices. The slump in oil prices has led companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron to cut back sharply on investment in new major projects. Since January, however, oil prices have rebounded from under $30 a barrel.

US rig count up 4 this week to 597; Texas adds 7

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 18:40:33 UT

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by four this week to 597. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 477 rigs sought oil and 119 explored for natural gas this week.

1st US offshore wind farm to begin production within days

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 18:35:49 UT

Deepwater Wind, which owns the five-turbine farm off Block Island, Rhode Island, says one turbine is not turning. [...] spokeswoman Meaghan Wims said Friday that will not delay the start-up and the other turbines will begin delivering power for the grid within days. Wims said it's not unusual to take a turbine offline, and that one or more turbines will be turned off during maintenance and repairs from time to time, while others are operating.

Incoming Treasury Sec. Mnuchin steps down from Sears board

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 15:24:58 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Steven Mnuchin, who was nominated by Donald Trump as the next Treasury secretary, is stepping down from the board at Sears. Mnuchin, 53, has been on the Sears Holdings Corp. board for more than 11 years, according to the company. He was the Yale roommate of Sears Chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert. Mnuchin was tapped in May to head Trump's campaign finance operation, and said this week that he had been asked by Trump to head the Treasury. Sears, based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, said Mnuchin's departure reduces the number of board members to nine.

German Parliament chief to OK probe of WikiLeaks documents

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 15:01:55 UT

BERLIN (AP) — The speaker of the German Parliament is planning to approve a criminal investigation into the leak of confidential documents relating to U.S. intelligence activities in the country.

Ford recalls 680,000 cars; seat belts may not hold in crash

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 14:45:21 UT

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling more than 680,000 midsize sedans mainly in North America because the front seat belts may not hold people in a crash. Ford says heat generated when the seat belt pre-tensioners deploy can cause cables to break.

Italian vote weighs on markets despite upbeat US jobs data

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 13:57:43 UT

LONDON (AP) — More solid U.S. jobs data on Friday did little to alter the cautious mood in global stock markets as investors braced for Italy's referendum on constitutional reform over the weekend and as the oil price's rally fizzled. The figures have cemented market expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again this month. ANALYST TAKE: "These figures continue to add weight to the argument to raise interest rates at the nearest possible opportunity," said Paul Sirani, chief market analyst at Xtrade. INSIGHT: "Investors have been loath to ignore the lessons taken from other elections this year and are steering clear of European stocks and the euro before the Italian referendum," said Jasper Lawler at CMC Markets. "Crude seems to be trying to move to a new trading range each side of $55 a barrel," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.