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Global stocks mixed after Wall Street rebounds

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 09:01:47 UT

BEIJING (AP) — Shares were mixed Friday, with European stock benchmarks slipping after a day of gains in Asia. KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, Germany's DAX index edged 0.1 percent lower to 12,454.01 points and France's CAC 40 lost 0.1 percent to 5,303.40. London's FTSE 100 was off 0.2 percent at 7,234.96. On Wall Street, the future for the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.3 percent and that for the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.2 percent. ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6 percent to 3,289.02 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 advanced 0.7 percent to 21,892.78. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1 percent to 31,267.17 and Seoul's Kospi rose 1.5 percent to 2,451.52. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 climbed 0.8 percent to 5,999.



South Korea to fight WTO ruling on Fukushima seafood ban

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 08:45:27 UT

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea said Friday it will appeal the World Trade Organization's decision against bans on imports of Japanese fishery products after the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns. The government said in a statement that the appeal was meant to protect public health and safety. It said it will maintain its existing regulations on imports of Japanese seafood. The Geneva-based WTO accepted Japan's complaint, saying South Korea's policies violated the trade body's rules, were discriminatory and served as a trade barrier. In 2013, South Korea banned imports of all fishery products from eight Japanese provinces near Fukushima after Tokyo Electric Power reported leaks of radiation-contaminated water.



Glitches or not, Nissan starts testing semi-autonomous rides

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 06:55:03 UT

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — In the future Nissan envisions, driverless cars will pick up children from school and recommend restaurants to tourists in various languages. Nissan Motor Co. says feedback from people who try it will be used to fine-tune its "robo-vehicle mobility service." The automaker said Friday that 300 people have already signed up to try out Easy Ride next month. The Japanese automaker hopes to roll it out as a commercial service in the early 2020s. Details, including pricing, are undecided. The service was developed in a partnership, which began last year, with Japanese mobile game provider DeNA Co. DeNA has been working on driverless bus and delivery services in Japan. For now, Easy Ride will be limited to a 4.



US bank halts NRA credit card, car rental firm ends discount

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 06:41:04 UT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The nation's largest privately-owned bank holding company and a major car rental chain said Thursday they will stop promotions aimed at National Rifle Association members. The Nebraska-based First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract to issue the group's NRA Visa Card, spokesman Kevin Langin said in a statement. "Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA," Langin said. Langin declined to say when the contract would expire and would not elaborate on what sort of feedback the company had received. Separately, car rental company Enterprise said its three brands would end a discount program for NRA members.



China prosecuting tycoon who considered Kushner investment

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 04:53:58 UT

BEIJING (AP) — The founder of one of China's biggest insurers, who had discussed possibly investing in a Manhattan skyscraper owned by the family of U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, will be prosecuted for financial offenses and regulators have taken control of his company, the government announced Friday. Anbang Insurance Group chairman Wu Xiaohui is charged with improper fundraising and "taking others' money," according to a statement by the Shanghai prosecutor's office. It gave no details and there was no indication the charges were linked to Wu's talks with the family of Jared Kushner, which ended last March with no deal. The case adds to an avalanche of scandals in China's insurance industry.



Asian stocks advance after Wall Street rebounds

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 03:53:16 UT

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks advanced Friday after Wall Street rebounded from a two-day losing streak and Japanese inflation edged higher. KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 3,279.74 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 advanced 0.4 percent to 21,814.31. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.3 percent to 31,364.80 and Seoul's Kospi rose 1.1 percent to 2,441.40. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 rose 1.1 percent to 5,998.20 and benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia also advanced. WALL STREET: Gains in industrial companies and other sectors outweighed losses in banks and health care stocks. Energy companies rose after crude oil prices recovered from an early slide.



Look out, Seattle: Home shopping season is coming

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 22:37:58 UT

The narrative of last year's housing market in Seattle was all tight competition: Too few homes meant a lot of competing bids for the mid-range ones, which meant homes were selling quicker and values were up. And 2018? Probably similar.




Business Highlights

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 22:24:23 UT

___ Ford names Lincoln chief to replace ousted N. American head DETROIT (AP) — A veteran Ford Motor Co. executive who was leading the Lincoln luxury brand has been picked to lead North American operations, replacing an executive who was ousted this week over allegations of inappropriate behavior. Kumar Galhotra, 52, will replace Raj Nair starting March 1, the company said in a statement Thursday. ___ Airbnb unveils new category of rentals rated by inspectors SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Airbnb is dispatching inspectors to rate some of the properties listed on its home-rental service in an effort to reassure travelers they're booking nice places to stay.



How major US stock indexes fared Thursday

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 21:59:35 UT

Stocks closed mostly lower Thursday after much of a midday rally faded away by the closing bell. Industrial stocks contributed the most to the market's gains. Energy companies also rose. Investors were relieved to see bond yields pull back from the four-year highs they reached a day earlier. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.92 percent. On Thursday: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.63 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,703.96. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 164.70 points, or 0.7 percent, to 24,962.48. The Nasdaq composite fell 8.14 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,210.09. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 1.85 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,529.99. For the week: The S&P 500 is down 28.



Ford names Lincoln chief to replace ousted N. American head

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 21:57:14 UT

DETROIT (AP) — A veteran executive who has led Ford's Lincoln luxury brand will now head American operations, replacing an executive who was ousted this week over allegations of inappropriate behavior. Kumar Galhotra, 52, will replace Raj Nair starting March 1, the company said Thursday. Ford Motor Co. said in a printed release that Galhotra will lead all aspects of the North American business, the company's primary source of revenue and profits. Galhotra has been with Ford for 29 years in a number of senior engineering and product strategy positions. He has led the Lincoln brand since 2014 and has also led the company's marketing efforts since last year. Ford announced Wednesday that Nair was leaving the company immediately.



United Technologies and Chesapeake Energy rise; Roku plunges

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 21:36:31 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Thursday: Roku Inc., down $9.05 to $42.05 Investors were disappointed with the streaming video device company's forecasts. Chesapeake Energy Corp., up 57 cents to $3.20 The natural gas company turned a profit and had a stronger fourth quarter than analysts expected. Avis Budget Group Inc., up $5.24 to $44.20 The rental car company forecast stronger-than-expected sales in 2018. Stericycle Inc., down $14.28 to $60.63 The medical waste management company's profit fell short of estimates, and it expects to invest more money in its business. United Technologies Corp., up $4.32 to $133.



UPS adding to electric truck fleet

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 21:30:37 UT

DETROIT (AP) — UPS says it will soon start using electric delivery trucks that cost the same as conventional diesel- or gas-fueled ones. The company has been developing the trucks with Ohio-based truck maker Workhorse Group Inc. for four years. Electric trucks are usually more expensive because of battery costs. UPS says it will deploy 50 of the trucks by the end of this year in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Dallas. It expects that fleet to grow next year. The trucks have a range of 100 miles between charges. UPS wants 25 percent of its global fleet to be alternative fuel vehicles by 2020. It's already using 300 electric trucks in Europe and the U.S.



Markets Right Now: Stocks end mostly higher on Wall Street

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 21:10:38 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local): 4 p.m. Stocks are closing mostly higher on Wall Street after much of a midday rally faded away by the closing bell. Industrial stocks contributed the most to the market's gains Thursday. United Technologies rose 3.3 percent a day after its CEO said the company may split up. Energy companies also rose. Chesapeake Energy jumped 21.7 percent, the most in the Standard & Poor's 500 index, after reporting strong earnings. Investors were relieved to see bond yields pull back from the four-year highs they reached a day earlier. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.92 percent. The S&P 500 rose 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,703.



Shooting survivors endure new assault — from online trolls

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 21:01:58 UT

One student was teased about being a "brown, bald lesbian." Another was the target of conspiracy theorists who claimed he was really an actor. When a group of teens posed for a photo, they were accused of lapping up attention from the news cameras and "partying like rock stars." Just days after watching their classmates die, survivors of the Florida school shooting came under a different kind of assault, this time from online trolls who threatened the students as they seek tighter gun laws. In the face of such attacks, the students have been undeterred, confronting the trolls head-on in television interviews and on social media. "They see us as a threat. And honestly, that's kind of entertaining to me.



States to forego most of $650M legal settlement with Takata

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 20:53:15 UT

DETROIT (AP) — Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. has reached a $650 million deal to settle consumer protection claims from 44 states and Washington, D.C., but only a fraction of the money will be paid due to Takata's financial problems and bankruptcy. In an agreement announced Thursday, the states said they will not collect the settlement so that victims of Takata's faulty air bag inflators can get a bigger piece of the company's remaining money. There's an exception, though. South Carolina, which led the states, will get just over $139,000 to cover costs of the investigation. Takata air bag inflators can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel into drivers and passengers.



Correction: Tax Overhaul-Company Spending story

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 20:00:17 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — In a story Feb. 20 about the tax overhaul and companies raising dividends and share buybacks, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Sirius XM had increased its share buyback following the tax overhaul. The company is keeping the same level of buybacks as it did before the tax cuts. A corrected version of the story is below: Investors are winners as companies lay out tax-saving plans The tax overhaul was sold by its backers as a way to help American workers, but a flurry of recent corporate announcements suggest the lion's share of tax savings will go to investors. By BERNARD CONDON AP Business Writer NEW YORK (AP) — It's just what the GOP said we'd hear from a CEO after being handed a big tax break.



SpaceX launches Spanish satellite, 2 others from California

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 19:12:21 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An Earth-observation satellite built for Spain and two experimental satellites for internet service were successfully launched into orbit from California at dawn Thursday, creating a brief light show as it arced over the Pacific Ocean west of Los Angeles. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, reusing a first stage that had flown on a previous launch, lifted off at 6:17 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Californians were hoping for a repeat of the spectacle that occurred during a Dec. 22 Falcon 9 launch during exceptionally clear twilight conditions, but this time the sky was much brighter, making the plume less brilliant.



Toyota, Genesis among Consumer Reports' top auto picks

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:47:06 UT

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota has four of the 10 vehicles on Consumer Reports' annual top picks, the most of any brand. The Toyota Corolla and Toyota Camry are the magazine's choice for best small and midsize cars. The Toyota Sienna led the minivan category and the Toyota Highlander is the best midsize SUV. The Chevrolet Bolt electric car is best small green car, a new category. The Ford F-150 is the top full-size pickup truck. The rankings are based on driving tests as well as reliability and satisfaction scores from Consumer Reports' subscribers. Top picks also must have standard automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning systems.



Another former employee sues Google over issues of diversity

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:34:19 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Another former Google employee is suing the tech company over issues of diversity. Software developer Tim Chevalier, who is transgender, says he was fired for speaking up about online bullying he experienced at the company and complaining about discrimination, harassment and white supremacy on Google's internal messaging system. The lawsuit comes after another former employee, James Damore, sued the company after he was fired for writing a memo criticizing Google for pushing mentoring and diversity programs. Damore's lawsuit alleged his ouster was driven by a corporate culture that discriminates against white men conservatives. Chevalier's lawsuit was filed Wednesday in San Francisco County Court.



How to buy a house that hasn't been built yet

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 16:04:53 UT

Trisha and Dennis Rawlings, a couple in their early 30s, are moving to suburban Chicago and leaving their over-60-year-old first home in the St. Louis area behind. "We were looking at potentially buying a house," Trisha says. But in the area where they want to live, the options within their budget were limited to purchasing an older home or building a new one. The couple loved the features of a modern, new-construction neighborhood with a pool, a clubhouse and excellent walkability. And taking out a construction loan and building a house means they'll avoid the ongoing maintenance that comes with an older home.



So long, free Footlongs: Subway to shake up rewards program

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 15:41:54 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Subway is shaking up its loyalty rewards program, giving customers the ability to earn $2 discounts instead of free Footlongs. The changes, taking place next month, are part of Subway's attempts to revamp its image, lure people back to its restaurants and fight falling sales. Sales at Subway's U.S. stores fell more than 4 percent in 2017 from the year before, according to food industry tracker Technomic, as it faced increasing competition from other sandwich chains and those selling burgers and fries. Loyalty programs are seen as a way to keep customers returning and spending more. Subway said Thursday that customers will have the ability to earn points at more restaurants: Only a third of its locations in the U.S.



Long-term mortgage rates climb to 4.40 percent

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 15:40:12 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates crept higher this week, upping the costs of borrowing to purchase a home just as more of the millennial generation is entering the real estate market. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.40 percent this week, a slight gain from 4.38 percent last week. That average is the highest since April 2014 and the seventh straight weekly increase. The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose to 3.85 percent from 3.84 percent last week. Mortgage rates closely track the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes, which have climbed to 2.92 percent from 2.46 percent at the start of the year.