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Business Highlights

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:25:56 UT

___ FCC chairman sets out to repeal 'net neutrality' rules WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is following through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations designed to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally. Pai's attempt to roll back the current rules, known as net neutrality, sets up a showdown with consumer groups and internet companies who fear the move will stifle competition and innovation. Pai says his plan will encourage ISPs such as Comcast and AT&T to improve their networks.



Uber reveals cover-up of hack affecting 57M riders, drivers

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:14:47 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber is coming clean about its cover-up of a year-old hacking attack that stole personal information about more than 57 million of the beleaguered ride-hailing service's customers and drivers. The revelation Tuesday marks the latest stain on Uber's reputation. The San Francisco company ousted Travis Kalanick as CEO in June after an internal investigation concluded he had built a culture that allowed female workers to be sexually harassed and encouraged employees to push legal limits. Uber's current CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, criticized the company's handling of the data theft in a blog post that said there's no evidence the stolen information has been misused.



Meg Whitman steps down as HP Enterprise CEO

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:08:26 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Meg Whitman, who oversaw the breakup of one of Silicon Valley's pioneering companies, is stepping down as the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. HPE said Tuesday that Whitman will hand over the reins of the company to its president, Antonio Neri, on Feb. 1. Whitman, 61, took over in 2011 at the former Hewlett-Packard Co., a company founded in 1939 and for years a tech bellwether. But it had struggled to keep up with industry trends toward mobile and cloud computing, shedding thousands of jobs in the process. In 2015, the Hewlett Packard was split in two: one company, HP Inc., sells PCs and printers.



How major US stock indexes fared on Tuesday

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:07:06 UT

The market's biggest winners this year, technology and health care, powered U.S. stock indexes to more all-time highs on Tuesday. On Tuesday: The Standard & Poor's 500 index jumped 16.89 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,599.03. The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 160.50 points, or 0.7 percent, to 23,590.83. The Nasdaq composite rose 71.77 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,862.48. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks leaped 15.49 points, or 1 percent, to 1,518.89. For the week: The S&P 500 is up 20.18 points, or 0.8 percent. The Dow is up 232.59 points, or 1 percent. The Nasdaq is up 79.69 points, or 1.2 percent. The Russell 2000 is up 26.07 points, or 1.7 percent. For the year: The S&P 500 is up 360.20 points, or 16.



Led by technology and health care, stocks set more records

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:05:04 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The market's biggest winners this year, technology and health care, powered U.S. stock indexes to more all-time highs on Tuesday. Huge technology companies like Apple and Facebook continued their ascent, while strong reports from companies including medical device maker Medtronic and construction and technical services company Jacobs Engineering helped health care and industrial companies, respectively. Basic materials companies, which have done better than the rest of the Standard & Poor's 500 index, also rose. Telecommunications companies declined, while energy companies and banks didn't do as well as the rest of the market.



AT&T suit may herald a new antitrust era - or Trumpian pique

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:03:45 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump administration's decision to oppose the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger may be clouded by suspicions of political influence. But considered on its merits, it could mark a significant departure in antitrust policy, one that extends concerns about consumer harm to a broader set of mergers. The move has disconcerted both Wall Street and the telecom and media industries, none of which expected it. Consumer groups, however are applauding, saying it's a good step by the Justice Department to protect consumers from higher cable bills and ensure that web-based alternatives to TV aren't stifled.



FCC chairman sets out to scrap open internet access rules

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:39:44 UT

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission set out Tuesday to scrap rules around open internet access, a move that would allow giant cable and telecom companies to throttle broadband speeds and favor their own services if they wish. Ajit Pai followed through on a pledge to try to repeal "net neutrality" regulations enacted under the Obama administration. The current rules treat internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon as if they were utility companies that provide essential services, like electricity. The rules mandate that they give equal access to all online content and apps. Pai said those rules discourage investments that could provide even better and faster online access.



Iran-based hacker charged with trying to extort HBO

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:36:31 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — An Iran-based hacker plotted to extort HBO out of $6 million by threatening to release stolen episodes and scripts of hit shows, such as "Game of Thrones," at one point taunting the network with a twist on a catch phrase form that series: "Winter is coming. HBO is falling." An indictment filed Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan accuses Behzad Mesri of hacking into the cable network's computer system in New York. It says he stole unaired episodes from shows including "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "The Deuce," story plot summaries and scripts for "Game of Thrones" and confidential cast and crew contact lists.



AP Explains: What is net neutrality and why does it matter?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:13:43 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — "Net neutrality" regulations, designed to prevent internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter from favoring some sites and apps over others, are on the chopping block. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, on Tuesday unveiled a plan to undo the Obama-era rules that have been in place since 2015 . Here's a look at what the developments mean for consumers and companies. ___ WHAT IS NET NEUTRALITY? Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it's pretty much how the internet has worked since its creation.



Medtronic, Hormel and Jacobs jump while Signet tumbles

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 21:42:16 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Tuesday: Medtronic PLC, up $3.76 to $82.66 The medical device company said sales of heart devices, including newer products, drove its second-quarter sales higher. Hormel Foods Inc., up $1.12 to $34.52 The maker of Spam and other products reported strong earnings and sales, and investors were pleased with its full-year forecasts. Signet Jewelers Ltd., down $23.05 to $52.79 The jewelry company slashed its annual forecast because of problems related to the sale of its credit portfolio. Campbell Soup Co., down $4.09 to $45.84 The packaged food company had a disappointing third quarter as soup sales dropped and logistic costs rose. Lowe's Co., down 87 cents to $80.



Hulu sued for not offering audio service for blind customers

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 21:23:20 UT

BOSTON (AP) — Advocacy groups have sued Hulu in an effort to force the subscription streaming service to provide an audio track that helps people who are blind or visually impaired enjoy TV shows and movies. The federal lawsuit filed in Boston on Monday asks the court to declare that Hulu's failure to provide services for the blind violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The groups say Hulu has refused to do so despite repeated requests from advocates and blind customers. "They want to enjoy Hulu like everyone else in the country," said Meredith Weaver, an attorney with Disability Rights Advocates, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the American Council of the Blind, Bay State Council of the Blind and a blind Massachusetts couple.



Politics or policy? Behind the dispute over AT&T-Time Warner

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 21:07:11 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T is vowing to fight the U.S. government to save its $85 billion bid for Time Warner, after the Justice Department sued to block the deal on grounds it could hike television bills and hamper innovation. The government's objections have raised red flags for those who worry that the White House is using the merger-review process to try to hurt Time Warner-owned CNN, with which President Donald Trump has tangled frequently. Here's a look at what's behind the deal: ___ WHY DOES AT&T WANT TO BUY TIME WARNER? As U.S. wireless growth slows down, AT&T has been looking for ways to marry its nationwide wireless business with video, which Americans increasingly watch on the internet.



Markets Right Now: US stock indexes reach more records

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 21:07:05 UT

The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local): 4 p.m. Major U.S. stock indexes are closing at more record highs on Wall Street. The gains Tuesday were broad. Technology and health care companies rose more than the rest of the market, and several stocks were moving on earnings news. Apple rose 1.9 percent and Facebook rose 1.8 percent. Medical device maker Medtronic climbed 4.8 percent after reporting a strong quarter, and food maker Hormel rose 3.4 percent. Signet Jewelers plunged 30 percent after issuing a weak forecast. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 16 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,599. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 160 points, or 0.7 percent, to 23,590.



After death of 8th child, Ikea relaunches dresser recall

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 18:28:05 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Ikea relaunched a recall of 17.3 million chests and dressers Tuesday after the death of an eighth child. CEO Lars Petersson said Ikea wants to increase awareness of the recall campaign for several types of chest and dressers that can easily tip over if not properly anchored to a wall. The death of a California toddler, who was found trapped underneath an Ikea Malm dresser in May, has raised questions about whether Ikea has effectively spread the word about the recall, which was first announced in June 2016. The Swedish retailer and the federal safety regulators are asking customers to take immediate action to secure the dressers, or to return them.



Neiman Marcus sees key sales figure rise

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 18:06:41 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Neiman Marcus saw a key sales figure rise for the first time in two years. The Dallas-based chain, which operates more than 40 Neiman Marcus stores and two Bergdorf Goodman locations, reported a 4.2 percent increase in comparable revenue during its first fiscal quarter compared to a year ago. That's the first such gain since the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. The figure includes a 14 percent increase in online sales, which now account for about one-third of total sales. Comparable revenue at department stores, though, was flat. CEO Karen Katz says the retailer is attracting new shoppers and its core customers are spending more.



Ask Brianna: Should I quit my job without another lined up?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:00:47 UT

"Ask Brianna" is a column from NerdWallet for 20-somethings or anyone else starting out. I'm here to help you manage your money, find a job and pay off student loans — all the real-world stuff no one taught us how to do in college. Send your questions about postgrad life to askbrianna@nerdwallet.com. Q: I'm miserable at my job. Should I quit even though I don't have another one lined up? A: We both know that ideally, you'd effortlessly pirouette to your next job to avoid exhausting your savings, running up credit card debt or languishing in job-search purgatory. But that's not where we're at. You're unhappy, depleted and maybe even desperate to make a change.



US home sales rose in October as hurricane impact wanes

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:27:47 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans bought more homes last month, as sales snapped back in hurricane-hit Texas and Florida. Yet the market is still suffering from a dwindling supply of available homes. Sales rose 2 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. That's the fastest pace since June. Still, sales have slipped 0.9 percent from a year ago. The number of available homes has fallen 10.4 percent from a year earlier to just 1.8 million. That's the lowest for any October since the Realtors began tracking the data in 1999. The tight supply is pushing up prices and thwarting many would-be home buyers. The median home price jumped 5.



China says ex-top internet regulator under investigation

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:24:56 UT

BEIJING (AP) — China's former top internet regulator and censor is being investigated by the ruling Communist Party's anti-corruption arm, the agency said Tuesday. The party's anti-graft watchdog agency said in a brief statement on its website that Lu Wei is suspected of "serious violations of discipline." Until Tuesday's announcement, Lu had been deputy head of the party's propaganda department. Lu was known as a hard-liner responsible for leading the government's efforts to tighten control over domestic cyberspace and championing the party's position that governments have a right to filter and censor their countries' internet.



US home sales rose last month as hurricane impact rapidly fades; supply falls to record October low

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:00:24 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — US home sales rose last month as hurricane impact rapidly fades; supply falls to record October low.



Final deal reached for sale of air bag maker Takata's assets

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:20:14 UT

DETROIT (AP) — Troubled Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. is signing a signed a definitive agreement to sell most of its assets to a Chinese-owned rival. Key Safety Systems of suburban Detroit will pay $1.6 billion (175 billion yen) in a deal expected to close early next year. The companies reached an understanding on the sale in June. Key will get all Takata assets but those making replacement air bag inflators. Takata will continue to run those operations until they close. Takata inflators can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel into drivers and passengers. Much of the money will go to pay a $1 billion penalty from a U.S. criminal fraud case. The deal is a key part of Takata's bankruptcy cases filed last summer in the U.



Lowe's gets a hurricane boost, but investors not blown away

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:36:46 UT

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Lowe's profit more than doubled in the third quarter as Americans along the Gulf Coast loaded up trunks and trucks with material to repair the damage delivered by a pair of gigantic hurricanes. The company said sales related to hurricanes Irma and Harvey reached $200 million in the quarter, pushing revenue to $16.77 billion. That's better than the $16.57 billion Wall Street was looking for and it topped last year's revenue of $15.74 billion. Net income was $872 million, or $1.05 per share, also besting industry analyst projections by 3 cents per share. Still, investors were not wowed in premarket trading Tuesday because, unlike rival Home Depot Inc., the storms did not lead higher profit or sales projections.



European markets brush off worries over German uncertainty

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:02:56 UT

LONDON (AP) — European stock markets pushed higher Tuesday as investors brushed aside concerns over the political uncertainty in Germany following an upbeat session in Asia where Hong Kong's main index enjoyed its biggest advance in nearly two months. KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.9 percent at 13,169 while France's CAC 40 rose 0.7 percent to 5,378. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.3 percent higher at 7,413. U.S. stocks were poised for solid gains at the open with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures both up 0.3 percent.