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Wisconsin Assembly passes $3 billion for Foxconn

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 23:34:24 UT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly approved a $3 billion tax break Thursday with bipartisan support for Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group to build a massive display panel factory in the state, a project President Donald Trump touted as a transformational win for the U.S. economy. Foxconn announced three weeks ago it planned to invest $10 billion in Wisconsin on the first liquid crystal display panel factory located outside of Asia. The company, which employs about 1 million people in China, said it could eventually hire 13,000 workers at the Wisconsin facility. As part of the deal, the Wisconsin Legislature must approve the $3 billion incentive package by the end of September.



3 pension funds sue 6 big banks over stock-lending business

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 23:05:01 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Three public pension funds are suing six Wall Street banks, saying the banks overcharged investors in what's known as the stock loan market. The suit is being brought by the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System, the Orange County Employees Retirement System and the Sonoma County Employees' Retirement Association. Those being sued are Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America. The lawsuit claims the six banks overcharged investors to borrow shares in companies, particularly for investment strategies like selling a stock short. It claims the banks colluded to keep competition out of the stock loan market to keep prices high.



Regulators propose $183M settlement with student loan firm

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:52:50 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal regulators have proposed a $183.3 million settlement with a student loan company that authorities allege engaged in predatory lending practices. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit and settlement against Aequitas Capital Management, a private equity fund that purchased or funded $230 million in loans to students at Corinthian Colleges. Corinthian was a private college that went out of business in 2015 on allegations of fraud. Under the proposed settlement, Aequitas would forgive $183.3 million in loans or reduce the size of the loans. Approximately 41,000 students could be eligible for the settlement. The law firms handling Aequitas' bankruptcy were not immediately available for comment.



Spacewalking cosmonauts release 3-D-printed satellite

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:14:27 UT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Spacewalking cosmonauts set free the world's first satellite made almost entirely with a 3-D printer on Thursday. In total, Russians Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy ended up releasing five nanosatellites by hand. One by one, the tiny craft — no more than 1 to 2 feet in size — tumbled safely away from the International Space Station. The exterior casing of the first one tossed overboard was made with a 3-D printer. So were the battery packs inside. Researchers want to see how 3-D-made parts weather the space environment. The 3-D satellite contains regular electronics.



Apple CEO makes $2 million pledge to fight hate

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:49:23 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is donating $2 million to two human rights groups as part of CEO Tim Cook's pledge to help lead the fight against the hate that fueled the violence in Virginia during a white-nationalist rally last weekend. Cook made the commitment late Wednesday in an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press. Cook also told Apple employees in the memo that he strongly disagrees with President Donald Trump's attempts to draw comparisons between the actions of the white nationalists and protesters opposing them.



Lawyer: Woman didn't exploit glitch, she just spotted a deal

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:22:26 UT

BRICK, N.J. (AP) — The lawyer for a woman accused of exploiting a glitch on a home improvement chain's website to get thousands of dollars' worth of items for free says she is just good at spotting deals. Romela Velazquez's attorney, Jef Henninger, said in a statement to NJ.com (http://bit.ly/2wksImU ) that she has learned to spot good deals Ocean County prosecutors say Velazquez and her husband, Kimy, tried to get about $258,068 worth of unpaid merchandise but received only about $13,000 worth. They say the couple sold the items on Facebook for less than half the original price. Henninger says that buying things at a big discount and selling them is not illegal. He says she maintains her innocence.



Business Highlights

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:17:04 UT

___ Tech companies banishing extremists after Charlottesville NEW YORK (AP) — It took bloodshed in Charlottesville to get tech companies to do what civil rights groups have been calling for for years: take a firmer stand against accounts used to promote hate and violence. In the wake of the deadly clash last weekend in Virginia, major companies such as Google, Facebook and PayPal are banishing a growing number of extremist groups and individuals for violating service terms.



Lithuanian man brought to US to face $100 million fraud case

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:10:56 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — A Lithuanian businessman extradited to the United States to face charges that he duped Google and Facebook into sending him over $100 million was held without bail Thursday, hours after he was brought to the country. Evaldas Rimasauskas, 48, of Vilnius, Lithuania, pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court to charges of wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. He arrived in New York Wednesday night after failing to block extradition from Lithuania, where he was arrested in March. U.S. prosecutors, continuing a policy of treating large corporations like human crime victims, did not identify the companies in court documents.



US stocks tumble to worst loss in 3 months in broad selling

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:00:30 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks plunged Thursday as losses for Cisco Systems hurt technology companies while Wal-Mart declined after its latest quarterly report. Banks also dropped as bond yields and interest rates sank for a second day. It was the second-worst day for stocks this year, which has seen few large declines. Along with technology companies and retailers, transportation companies skidded and all of the industrial, financial and basic materials companies in the S&P 500 fell. Those sectors tend to struggle when investors are concerned about economic growth, although there weren't any specific signs of economic trouble Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 38.10 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,430.



How major US stock market indexes fared Thursday

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:52:25 UT

U.S. stocks fell sharply Thursday as losses for Cisco Systems hurt technology companies while Wal-Mart declined after its latest quarterly report. Banks also dropped as bond yields and interest rates sank for a second day. On Thursday: The Standard & Poor's 500 index gave up 38.10 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,430.01. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 274.14 points, or 1.2 percent, to 21,750.73. The Nasdaq composite skidded 123.19 points, or 1.9 percent, to 6,221.91. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 24.59 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,358.94. For the week: The S&P 500 is down 11.31 points, or 0.5 percent. The Dow is down 107.59 points, or 0.5 percent. The Nasdaq is down 34.64 points, or 0.6 percent.



Wal-Mart Stores, L Brands and Cisco Systems skid

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:30:11 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Thursday: United Rentals Inc., down 15 cents to $111.82 The equipment rental company said it will buy Neff Corp. for about $596 million. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., down $1.28 to $79.70 The retailer had a solid second quarter, but couldn't sustain a monthlong rally in its stock price. L Brands Inc., down $1.40 to $37.55 The parent of Victoria's Secret lowered its annual profit forecast as sales kept weakening. Cisco Systems Inc., down $1.30 to $31.04 The technology company said revenue from switching products dropped in the last quarter and it forecast a decline in sales. NetApp Inc., down $2.85 to $39.



Markets Right Now: Stocks have their 2nd worst fall of 2017

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:05:03 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local): 4:00 p.m. Stocks had their second-worst drop of the year, led by declines in technology companies, retailers and banks. The slump Thursday brought the Standard & Poor's 500 index back to where it was on July 11. It was the biggest drop for the benchmark index since May. Victoria's Secret owner L Brands fell 3.6 percent after cutting its full-year earnings forecast. Network equipment maker Cisco Systems sank 4 percent after issuing a disappointing outlook. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 38 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,430. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 273 points, or 1.2 percent, to 21,750. The Nasdaq composite plunged 123 points, or 1.



Tech companies banishing extremists after Charlottesville

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:58:33 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — It took bloodshed in Charlottesville to get tech companies to do what civil rights groups have been calling for for years: take a firmer stand against accounts used to promote hate and violence. In the wake of the deadly clash at a white-nationalist rally last weekend in Virginia, major companies such as Google, Facebook and PayPal are banishing a growing cadre of extremist groups and individuals for violating service terms. What took so long? For one thing, tech companies have long seen themselves as bastions of free expression. But the Charlottesville rally seemed to have a sobering effect.



Report: German-backed Arabic website blocked by Egypt

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:40:00 UT

BERLIN (AP) — German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle says an Arabic-language news and culture website it operates has been blocked in Egypt. A spokesman for Deutsche Welle says the broadcaster received initial reports earlier in the week that the site, qantara.de , was unavailable to Egyptian internet users. Christoph Jumpelt told The Associated Press on Thursday that after conducting tests, Deutsche Welle concluded that the problem wasn't just a technical glitch. Qantara, which is also available in English and German, is intended as a platform for dialogue with the Islamic world.



HBO regains control of hacked social media accounts

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:27:06 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — HBO says it has regained control of its social media accounts after the latest security breach to hit the entertainment company. The hacking group OurMine on Wednesday night took over several of HBO's Twitter accounts, including ones for "Game of Thrones" and John Oliver's show. The group posted that "we are just testing your security" and asked HBO to contact it for an upgrade. HBO said in a statement Thursday that "the infringement on our social media accounts was recognized and rectified quickly." It declined further comment. OurMine has a history of similar hacks showing companies' security vulnerabilities.



JetBlue says crew members sickened by nail polish remover

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:17:04 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — JetBlue Airways says fumes from nail polish remover caused two crew members to become ill on a flight from Boston to Charleston, South Carolina. Airline spokesman Doug McGraw said Thursday that the employees asked to be checked out after Wednesday's flight landed in Charleston, and they were later released from a hospital. No passengers became ill, he said. It's the third time in the last week that employees or passengers have reported becoming ill from odors on a JetBlue flight. Emergency workers boarded a plane after it made an emergency stop in Buffalo, New York, and treated a flight attendant in the terminal. JetBlue says it has installed carbon air filters to reduce odors on planes.



Average US mortgage rates edge lower; 30-year at 3.89 pct.

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:36:57 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged lower this week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages slipped to 3.89 percent from 3.90 percent last week. While historically low, that's still above last year's average of 3.65 percent. The benchmark rate stood at 3.43 percent a year ago. The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate home loans, popular with homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages, fell to 3.16 percent from 3.18 percent last week. Record-low interest rates have helped spur home purchases and boosted the housing market.



Walmart's online sales soar as it seeks to catch Amazon

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:17:35 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart's recent spending spree to try to catch up to Amazon seems to be paying off. The world's largest retailer said Thursday that online sales soared 60 percent in the past three months as people shopped more at Walmart.com, Jet.com and its other websites. Walmart had paid more than $3 billion for Jet last year, and since then picked up smaller players including ModCloth and Moosejaw. It is also expanding online grocery ordering to more stores, and is adding giant automated kiosks to 100 locations so customers can pick up online orders without waiting for employees to fetch them.



Peer pressure, applied well, boosts financial health

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:34:01 UT

When you're training for a fitness goal, a workout buddy can be your best asset. She's the one who cheers you on good days and pushes you on bad days. When you're working to reach a financial goal, friends can be equally helpful. Peers can influence how much you save for retirement, determine when you choose to retire and even shame people into paying their taxes , studies show. People don't change their habits when the stakes are low, says Dean Karlan, a Yale economist who has studied incentives and accountability. Placing your money or reputation on the line with a goal raises the cost of failure, which acts as a motivator, he says. That's why Karlan and two colleagues created Stickk.



US factory output down in July on tumbling auto production

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:29:53 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A slump in the auto industry drove U.S. factory output down in July and has kept it flat for months. The Fed said Thursday that factory production dropped 0.1 percent last month, pulled down by a 3.5 percent plunge in output of cars, trucks and auto parts. Auto production has dropped for three straight months and is down 5 percent over the past year. Auto sales, which have been strong in recent years, skidded 7 percent in July. The drop in automotive production was partially offset in July by a 0.2 percent rise in other manufacturing output. Overall industrial production — which adds output by mines and utilities — rose 0.2 percent, the Fed said. Mining output rose 0.5 percent, and utility production rose 1.6 percent.



Hyundai unveils new fuel cell SUV with longer travel range

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:28:10 UT

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Hyundai Motor said Thursday it plans to launch early next year a second-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that will travel more than 580 kilometers (360 miles) between fill-ups under Korean standards. If delivered as promised, the new fuel cell vehicle will travel 40 percent farther than its first generation fuel cell SUV, the Tucson ix FCEV, launched in 2013. Under European standards, Hyundai said the new vehicle can drive 800 kilometers (498 miles). Fuel cell cars, emission-free like pure electric cars, can be refueled in two to three minutes unlike electric vehicles that can take several hours to fully recharge. But the dearth of hydrogen fueling stations is an obstacle for mass adoption.



US weekly requests for jobless aid down 12,000 to 232,000

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:14:05 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans applied for jobless aid last week, as the number of people seeking benefits remained close to historic lows. THE NUMBERS: Weekly unemployment applications fell by 12,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 232,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less volatile four-week average slipped 500 to 240,500. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits has fallen 9 percent over the past 12 months to 1.9 million. THE TAKEAWAY: The job market appears solid as the U.S. enters its ninth year of recovery from the Great Recession. Employers are holding onto workers with the expectation that business will continue to improve.