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Consumer agency director resigns, names acting successor

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 22:17:20 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Richard Cordray, the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, tendered his resignation Friday and simultaneously named his own successor, setting up the consumer agency for another battle with the Trump White House over control of the powerful federal watchdog. Cordray had announced earlier this month that he would resign by the end of this month. There is wide speculation that Cordray, a Democrat, is resigning in order to run for governor of Ohio, his home state. On the same day that Cordray announced his resignation, he also elevated Leandra English, who was the agency's chief of staff, into the deputy director position. With Cordray's resignation, English would become acting director.

Business Highlights

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 22:11:35 UT

___ After weeks of deals, stores aim to draw Black Friday crowds NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers have been out since before dawn in the U.S. for fun and for deals, as retailers hope to bring customers to their stores and websites for one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Black Friday has morphed from a single day into a whole season of deals, so shoppers may feel less need to be out. Some love the excitement. Friends Yeshica Jeffers and Stacey Rhodes-Sofer hit a Walmart in suburban Albany, New York, early Friday say it's a tradition. ___ Fingerlings, Pikmi Pops among toys hard to find NEW YORK (AP) — One toy expert says hot toys were hard to find in stores.

Macy's and Hess jump while Bonanza Creek sinks

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:49:46 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Friday: Macy's Inc., up 44 cents to $21.07 The department store's CEO told CNBC the holiday shopping season is off to a good start. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., up 22 cents to $13.70 Israeli business publication Calcalist reported that the drugmaker will cut large numbers of jobs in the U.S. and Israel. Hess Corp., up 95 cents to $44.40 Oil prices continued to rise after Bloomberg reported that major oil producing nations are close to extending production cuts. Gap, Inc., up 47 cents to $29.64 The clothing company was among retailers boosted by the start of holiday shopping season and strong quarterly results. SandRidge Energy Inc. up $1.40 to $18.

Recalls this week: Ikea chests and dressers, carabiners

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:05:28 UT

Ikea is relaunching a recall of 17.3 million chests and dressers, which are prone to tipping if not properly anchored. Other recalled consumer products include carabiners used for linking harnesses and ropes when rock climbing. Here's a more detailed look: DECKING DETAILS: The recall involves Allura fiber cement decking and fascia. The recalled decking was sold in 12-foot lengths and is 6 inches wide and one inch thick, and came in two styles: a hidden fastener application and a direct screw application. The recalled Allura fiber cement fascia, which was for vertical applications only, was sold in 12-foot lengths, is 8- and 12-inches wide and 7/16 inches thick.

More stock records as technology and energy companies rise

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 20:33:04 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks set more records in quiet post-holiday trading Friday as technology companies again did much of the heavy lifting. Energy companies rose with the price of oil. Macy's and some of its retail counterparts rose after the department store's CEO said Black Friday sales were going well. Online titan Amazon made an even bigger gain. Oil prices and energy companies rose after Bloomberg reported that a group of key oil producers plans to extend production cuts until the end of 2018. "If you take the cumulative effect of online and foot traffic going into the stores, it's showing you a robust consumer spending pattern," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.

The Latest: Macy's has problem with some gift, credit cards

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 22:20:15 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on Black Friday (all times local): 5 p.m. Macy's says it's having problems processing some gift and credit cards on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The company says it's "taking longer than usual to process some credit and gift cards" in its stores, but it has added staff and is working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Macy's Facebook page Friday was riddled with complaints from shoppers who complained they could only pay in cash and the lines were long in the store. The department store can't afford to turn off its customers. The chain has had 11 straight quarters of sales declines at established stores and is counting on this holiday season to turn things around.

How major US stock indexes fared on Friday

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 19:23:59 UT

U.S. stocks set more records in quiet post-holiday trading Friday as technology companies again did much of the heavy lifting. Energy companies rose with the price of oil. On Friday: The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 5.34 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,602.42. The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 31.81 points, or 0.1 percent, to 23,557.99. The Nasdaq composite jumped 21.80 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,889.16. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies finished up 2.40 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,519.16. For the week: The S&P 500 rose 23.57 points, or 0.9 percent. The Dow added 199.75 points, or 0.9 percent. The Nasdaq climbed 106.37 points, or 1.6 percent. The Russell 2000 gained 26.34 points, or 1.8 percent.

Markets Right Now: Energy, tech lead stock gains

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 18:08:41 UT

The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local): 1 p.m. Stocks are ending a shortened trading day with more record highs as technology and health care companies post solid gains. Energy stocks were also higher Friday as the price of U.S. crude oil rose 1.6 percent. Oil was higher after Bloomberg reported that OPEC and Russia have agreed on an outline for extending production cuts. Hess rose 2.3 percent and Marathon Oil gained 1.7 percent. Macy's rose 2.1 percent after its CEO said the holiday shopping period had gotten off to a good start. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,602, another record high and its first close over 2,600. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 31 points, or 0.

Poland to phase out Sunday shopping by 2020

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:10:05 UT

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's lawmakers on Friday approved a law that will phase out Sunday shopping by the year 2020 despite criticism that it may eliminate thousands of jobs. Proposed by trade unions that want shop workers to spend more time with their families, the bill got support from the ruling party that adheres to Catholic values. Critics say it would negatively affect Poland's economy, eliminating tens of thousands of jobs, and hurt supermarket chains, which are mostly western.

Amazon workers in Germany, Italy stage Black Friday strike

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:40:41 UT

BERLIN (AP) — Workers at a half dozen Amazon distribution centers in Germany and one in Italy walked off the job Friday, in a protest timed to coincide with "Black Friday" to demand better wages from the American online giant. In Germany, Ver.di union spokesman Thomas Voss said some 2,500 workers were on strike at Amazon facilities in Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig, Rheinberg, Werne, Graben and Koblenz. In a warehouse near Piacenza, in northern Italy, some workers walked off the job to demand "dignified salaries." The German union has been leading a push since 2013 for higher pay for some 12,000 workers in Germany, arguing Amazon employees receive lower wages than others in retail and mail-order jobs.

World stocks rise amid upbeat European data, US holiday

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 13:35:23 UT

HONG KONG (AP) — World stock markets were mostly higher Friday after more upbeat economic data in Europe, though trading was still subdued due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Investors were monitoring Chinese shares, which stabilized after an early tumble. KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC 40 was up 0.6 percent to 5,413 while Germany's DAX gained 0.9 percent to 13,126. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,419. Wall Street was poised to open higher after the holiday, though trading volumes were expected to contained as the market is due to close early. Dow and S&P 500 futures were both up 0.3 percent.

Japan's Mitsubishi Materials reports faked quality data

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 10:16:38 UT

TOKYO (AP) — Mitsubishi Materials Corp., a maker of components used to make autos, aircraft and electricity generation equipment, apologized Friday for faked quality data by some of its subsidiaries. Executives of the company bowed before reporters as they reported on the problem, which was announced Thursday during a public holiday. The company's share price plunged 11 percent, ending the day down more than 8 percent Friday. Similar troubles with faked or unauthorized inspections have tarnished the image of other major manufacturers such as Nissan Motor Co., Subaru Corp. and Kobe Steel.

This computer game comes thanks to 2 Supreme Court justices

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 08:57:57 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court's first female justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, has helped teach millions of students civics through computer games created by an organization she founded. Now, with a push from the Supreme Court's first Hispanic justice, Sonia Sotomayor, the group has translated one of its games into Spanish. The group iCivics, which O'Connor founded in 2009 after her retirement from the Supreme Court, now has 19 computer games that were played by 5 million students last year. Sotomayor, who grew up speaking Spanish at home, joined the organization's board in 2015.

China reports breaking up gang that moved $3 billion abroad

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 06:38:29 UT

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese police say they have broken up a gang that smuggled 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) out of the country, evading financial controls imposed by Beijing to stem an outflow of capital from the economy. Seven suspects were detained in the case centered in the southern city Shaoguan near Hong Kong but as many as 10,000 people might have been involved, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Chinese authorities have steadily tightened foreign-exchange controls to stem a multibillion-dollar outflow of capital that they say hampers financial management in the world's second-largest economy.

China cuts import tariffs on some consumer goods

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 06:28:57 UT

BEIJING (AP) — China announced tariff cuts Friday on consumer goods including avocados, mineral water and baby carriages in a new effort to spur economic growth driven by domestic consumption and reduce reliance on trade and investment. Beijing faces pressure from the United States, Europe and other trading partners for better access to its growing market. But the range of 187 products affected by the latest cuts was relatively small and it was unclear how China's trade balance might be affected. Chinese leaders are in the midst of a marathon effort to nurture self-sustaining economic growth based on consumer spending instead of trade and investment.

Asian shares lower, China in focus after big selloff

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 03:30:12 UT

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly lower Friday with investors finding little guidance with Wall Street closed for the Thanksgiving holiday and Chinese markets in focus after a big sell-off the previous day. KEEPING SCORE: Japanese shares resumed trading a day after a holiday, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index shedding 0.3 percent to 22,446.13. The Shanghai Composite index in mainland China slipped 0.4 percent to 3,338.65 after hitting a fresh two-month low. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rebounded 0.2 percent to 29,777.81 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.2 percent to 2,538.42. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.4 percent to 5,965.30.

Shoppers mobilize on Thanksgiving, as retailers branch out

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 01:28:33 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers are hitting the stores on Thanksgiving as retailers under pressure look for ways to poach shoppers from their rivals. As the holiday shopping season officially kicked off, retailers are counting on a lift from a better economy. But they're also looking beyond economic data and mapping out ways to pick up sales from other retailers as Amazon expands its reach. That can mean opening earlier than rivals on the holidays or even jumping into new product categories. So shoppers may find some surprises: toys and TVs at J.C. Penney, Barbies at Best Buy, kitchen appliances like wine refrigerators at B.J.'s.

Tech firms scrounging for skilled workers training their own

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:07:54 UT

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (AP) — Some information technology companies are growing so concerned about their inability to find enough digital talent that they're training their own. IBM, Amazon and Microsoft all now have apprenticeship programs that pay workers while they train for jobs demanding hard-to-find IT skills. Tech companies view apprenticeships — a staple of European labor for centuries and common in the U.S. for trades like welding and carpentry — as addressing the shortage of workers trained in skills that growing companies need. It's a problem that the U.S. Labor Department identified 20 years ago.

Facebook opens 2nd office combating hate speech in Germany

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:41:11 UT

ESSEN, Germany (AP) — Facebook is adding 500 more contractors in Germany to review content posted to the social media site, after a new law came into force targeting online hate speech. The company says the staff will work for a service provider called CCC at a new office in the western city of Essen that was formally opened Thursday. German lawmakers approved a bill in June that could see social networking sites fined up to 50 million euros ($59 million) if they persistently fail to remove illegal content within a week. Critics say the law could force Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to decide what is legal or not.

Twitter verboten? German parliament edict irks lawmakers

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:30:55 UT

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's new parliamentary speaker is meeting resistance to his suggestion that lawmakers refrain from tweeting or snapping photos during sessions. Wolfgang Schaeuble, who served as Germany's Finance Minister until being elected parliamentary speaker last month, told lawmakers in a memo that the use of devices "to photograph, tweet or distribute information about the session" is "inappropriate and thus undesired." Christian Social Union politician Dorothee Baer told Germany's Funke media group Thursday that while she is critical of some use of smart phones, "social media, when used properly, is the digital counterpart to the glass dome of our parliament building as a symbol and means of transparency.

The last straw? Uber loyalists tested by string of scandals

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 05:05:43 UT

DETROIT (AP) — Uber has managed to hold the title of world's largest ride-hailing service despite its seemingly endless string of scandals. Its latest misbehavior involving a data breach cover-up revealed this week could be the impetus for people to ride elsewhere — or keep looking the other way. Hackers were able to steal data for 57 million riders and drivers, and Uber concealed it for a year after paying $100,000 in ransom for the stolen information to be destroyed. Riders and business experts say that while Uber's problems such as workplace sexual harassment, drivers with criminal records and other past infractions are serious, stolen data hits people directly and could make them mad enough to delete the app.

Asian stocks flat as Fed minutes show support for rate hike

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 04:21:39 UT

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets were largely flat on Thursday with investors in the U.S. markets going on a Thanksgiving holiday and the Fed minutes largely in line with investor expectations that the Fed will soon raise interest rates for a third time next month. Japan was closed on a holiday. KEEPING SCORE: China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 percent to 3,422.65 while South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.1 percent to 2,538.88. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was flat at 5,986.50. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.5 percent to 30,148.75. Stocks in Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries were slightly higher. FED: Minutes of the Fed's last meeting that ended Nov.