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After Facebook scrutiny, is Google next?

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 10:12:28 UT

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Facebook has taken the lion's share of scrutiny from Congress and the media for its data-handling practices that allow savvy marketers and political agents to target specific audiences, but it's far from alone. YouTube, Google and Twitter also have giant platforms awash in more videos, posts and pages than any set of human eyes could ever check. Their methods of serving ads against this sea of content may come under the microscope next. Advertising and privacy experts say a backlash is inevitable against a "Wild West" internet that has escaped scrutiny before.

DOJ looks into how AT&T, Verizon handle defecting customers

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 06:03:52 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into whether AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group worked together to stop consumers from easily switching wireless carriers. The companies confirmed the inquiry in separate statements late Friday in response to a report in The New York Times. The U.S. government is looking into whether AT&T, Verizon and telecommunications standards organization GSMA worked together to suppress a technology that lets people remotely switch wireless companies without having to insert a new SIM card into their phones.

California regulators investigating worker safety at Tesla

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 04:26:32 UT

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — Workplace safety regulators say they are investigating two incidents at automaker Tesla's factory in Northern California. The New York Times reported Friday that the investigations come after the Center for Investigative Reporting catalogued a series of workplace injuries at Tesla. California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health said Friday that it had opened an investigation into an unspecified incident. The agency earlier said it was investigating an incident that resulted in a 30-year-old subcontractor breaking his jaw. Tesla officials say the center incorrectly counted injuries that occurred away from the factory in Fremont, which is 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of San Francisco.

Business Highlights

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 22:01:51 UT

___ Wells Fargo fined $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo will pay $1 billion to federal regulators to settle charges tied to misconduct at its mortgage and auto lending business, the latest punishment levied against the banking giant for widespread customer abuses. The regulators penalized Wells for improperly charging fees to borrowers who wanted to lock in an interest rate on a pending mortgage loan and for sticking auto loan customers with insurance policies they didn't want or need. ___ Big banks saved $3.

Southwest sends apology, $5K, to passengers on damaged jet

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 21:39:23 UT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Southwest has sent a letter of apology, a $5,000 check and a $1,000 travel voucher to passengers who were on a flight that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia after an engine exploded. "Please accept our deepest apologies," Chairman Gary Kelly wrote in a letter dated April 18, a day after the accident. An engine on a Southwest jet exploded Tuesday while the plane was flying from New York to Dallas, and debris hit it, causing extensive damage. Banking executive Jennifer Riordan, 43, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was fatally injured when she was sucked partway through a shattered window, sending passengers scrambling to help her as the aircraft shook violently and went into a rapid descent.

The Latest: FAA orders inspections of more jet engines

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 21:25:10 UT

The Latest on the plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia (all times local): 5:18 p.m. The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered inspections of more jet engines like the one that blew apart at 32,000 feet in a deadly accident aboard a Southwest Airlines plane. The agency says its order affects 352 engines in the U.S. and another 681 worldwide on "new generation" Boeing 737 jets. Each aircraft has two engines. The requirement from the agency comes after the engine maker, CFM International, issued a service bulletin recommending that more engines be inspected. At issue are the engine fan blades on Boeing 737-600, 700, 800 and 900 jets.

Texas gains 8 rigs as US rig count rises to 1,013

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 21:16:41 UT

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by five this week to 1,013. At this time a year ago there were 857 active rigs. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday that 820 rigs drilled for oil this week and 192 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas added eight rigs while Louisiana and New Mexico each added one. Colorado and North Dakota each declined by two rigs while Ohio, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania dropped one apiece. Alaska, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming were unchanged. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May of 2016 at 404.

FAA orders inspections of more jet engines like the one in fatal Southwest accident.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 21:05:01 UT

AP () — — FAA orders inspections of more jet engines like the one in fatal Southwest accident.

Slumping tech companies weigh on US stocks

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:51:03 UT

A steep slide in technology companies weighed on U.S. stocks Friday, pulling the market lower for the second day in a row. Losses among retailers, packaged food and beverage makers and other consumer goods companies also helped weigh down the market. Banks rose as bond yields continued to climb, reflecting increasing investor concerns of higher inflation in the wake of rising oil and other commodity prices. "Higher commodity prices, a little bit more inflation pressure and higher interest rates, that sort of takes some wind out of the sails for equity markets, at least short-term," said Edward Campbell, senior portfolio manager at QMA, a business unit of PGIM. The S&P 500 index fell 22.99 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,670.14.

Mattel and Stanley Black & Decker skid while GE jumps

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:43:03 UT

Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Friday: General Electric Co., up 55 cents to $14.54 The industrial conglomerate had a better first quarter than analysts expected. Mattel Inc., down 49 cents to $12.96 The toymaker's CEO, Margo Georgiadis, left after a little more than one year on the job. LM Ericsson Telefon AB, up $1.14 to $7.78 The telecommunications equipment company said its profit margins improved and it's saved money by cutting jobs. Stanley Black & Decker Inc., down $10.36 to $144.21 The tool company said commodities costs rose in the first quarter and sales of outdoor products got off to a slow start. Kroger Co., down 6 cents to $24.

How major US stock indexes fared Friday

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:41:11 UT

Stocks closed broadly lower Friday, extending the market's modest losses from a day earlier. A slump in big technology stocks, consumer goods and health care companies weighed on the market. Banks eked out gains, getting a boost from rising bond yields. On Friday: The S&P 500 index fell 22.99 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,670.14. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 201.95 points, or 0.8 percent, to 24,462.94. The Nasdaq composite lost 91.93 points, or 1.3 percent, to 7,146.13. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 9.69 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,564.12. For the week: The S&P 500 is up 13.84 points, or 0.5 percent. The Dow is up 102.80 points, or 0.4 percent. The Nasdaq is up 39.48 points, or 0.6 percent.

SunTrust says ex-worker may have stolen data on 1.5M clients

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:18:02 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential case of data theft. The Atlanta bank said Friday that a former employee may have stolen the data and an investigation is ongoing. Compromised information could include names, addresses, phone numbers and account balances. SunTrust says it will offer identity protection for all consumer clients at no cost on an ongoing basis. The company says it has not yet identified any fraudulent activity related to this incident. It also says that the compromised contact lists did not include Social Security numbers, account numbers, PIN, User IDs, passwords, or driver's license information.

Markets Right Now: Slumping tech stocks weigh on US indexes

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:10:51 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local): 4 p.m. A slump in big technology stocks helped pull U.S. indexes lower on Wall Street, extending the market's modest losses from a day earlier. Apple lost 4.1 percent Friday, its third loss in a row. Health care stocks and consumer goods companies also declined. Mattel dropped 3.6 percent after the struggling toy maker said its CEO was leaving. General Electric jumped 3.9 percent after reporting results that were better than analysts were expecting. The S&P 500 index fell 22 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,670. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 201 points, or 0.8 percent, to 24,462. The Nasdaq composite fell 91 points, or 1.3 percent, to 7,146.

Big banks saved $3.6B in taxes last quarter under new law

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 19:52:56 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation's six big Wall Street banks posted record, or near record, profits in the first quarter, and they can thank one person in particular: President Donald Trump. While higher interest rates allowed banks to earn more from lending in the first quarter, the main boost to bank came from the billions of dollars they saved in taxes under the tax law Trump signed in December. Combined, the six banks saved at least $3.59 billion last quarter, according to an Associated Press estimate, using the bank's tax rates going back to 2015. Big publicly traded banks — such JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America — typically kick off the earnings season.

UK teen gets 2 years for targeting CIA chief's phone, email

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 19:12:20 UT

LONDON (AP) — A British teenager has been sentenced to two years in a youth detention center for compromising the email and phone accounts of senior U.S. government officials in what a judge called acts of "cyber-terrorism." Prosecutors say Kane Gamble conned call centers during 2015-16 into revealing information that got him into the accounts of then-FBI director Mark Giuliano, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, then-CIA chief John Brennan and other officials. They say Gamble, who was part of a group of hackers called "Crackas With Attitude," put some of the information he gathered online. Gamble pleaded guilty last year. The 18-year-old was sentenced to youth custody on Friday in a London criminal court.

Wells Fargo fined $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 18:52:44 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo will pay $1 billion to federal regulators to settle charges tied to misconduct at its mortgage and auto lending business, the latest punishment levied against the banking giant for widespread customer abuses. In a settlement announced Friday, Wells will pay $500 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, its main national bank regulator, as well as a net $500 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The fine is the largest ever imposed by the CFPB and its first since the Trump administration took control of the bureau in late November.

Recalls this week: electrical safety switches, toys

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 17:56:21 UT

More than 1 million electrical safety switches are being recalled because of a faulty switch. Other recalled consumer products this week include toy xylophones, ski bindings, and decorative cushions. Here's a more detailed look: ELECTRICAL SAFETY SWITCHES DETAILS: Square D brand General Duty 30 & 60A, 120/240-volt, 2-phase and 3-phase NEMA 3R safety switches. The switches are a dark gray metal box with a black handle on the side that can be moved to an "ON" or "OFF" position. The "OFF" position is designed to shut off the flow of electricity. The switches may be used in or around commercial buildings, outbuildings, apartments and homes. They measure about 10 inches by 7 inches by 4 inches.

Audit clears Facebook despite Cambridge Analytica leaks

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:55:59 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — An audit of Facebook's privacy practices for the Federal Trade Commission found no problems even though the company knew at the time that a data-mining firm improperly obtained private data from millions of users — raising questions about the usefulness of such audits. Facebook agreed to outside audits every two years as part of a 2011 settlement with the FTC over its privacy practices. It is not clear from the report whether the company informed PricewaterhouseCoopers, which performed the audit, of the Cambridge Analytica data grab that would put Facebook in the crosshairs of Congress. The heavily redacted audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers is available on the FTC's website. It covers February 12, 2015 to February 11, 2017.

Fairfax bids $300 million for Toys R Us's Canada business

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:49:57 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Canada's Fairfax Financial Holding has placed a bid of $300 million to buy Toys R Us's Canadian operations in bankruptcy. According to court papers filed late Thursday, the bidder is taking on a role of a "stalking horse" in a court-approved auction set for Monday in New York. That means it could be outbid in the auction if other buyers come in with a higher offer. The bid from Fairfax surpassed the $215 million offer that Isaac Larian, the CEO of privately held toy company MGA Entertainment, along with several other investors, made last week. Larian, along with other investors, has also offered $675 million to buy 274 U.S. stores. In March, Toys R Us said it would be liquidating its U.S. business.

Wells Fargo hit with $1 billion fine for auto loan and mortgage abuses

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 13:07:02 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo hit with $1 billion fine for auto loan and mortgage abuses.

Stock markets steady, oil slips after Trump slams OPEC

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:28:44 UT

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global stock markets were subdued Friday amid worries over trade and after a major supplier to Apple forecast continued weak demand for mobile devices. Futures for crude oil fell after U.S. President Donald Trump slammed OPEC for keeping prices high. KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.4 percent to 7,357 and Germany's DAX down 0.2 percent to 12,539. France's CAC 40 gained 0.4 percent to 5,413. Futures indicated a weak start on Wall Street. S&P were flat and Dow futures fell 0.1 percent.

Kushner Cos. subpoenaed by feds after AP report

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:28:37 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The Kushner Cos. has been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors for information related to an Associated Press report that the company filed dozens of false documents about its buildings in New York City. The real estate company issued a statement saying it has "nothing to hide and is cooperating fully with all legitimate requests for information, including this subpoena." The statement Thursday acknowledged that the federal subpoena arrived last month, a day after the AP reported the Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with the city stating it had zero rent-regulated tenants in buildings across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds.