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Update on the latest in business:

September 4, 2018


Stocks lose ground

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are lower as technology and health care companies take losses.

Facebook lost 2.5 percent and drugmaker Amgen lost 2 percent.

JD.com fell 5.5 percent after the CEO of the Chinese e-commerce company was arrested in Minneapolis on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct. JD.com said Richard Liu returned to China after his release.


Nike shares lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Nike’s stock has been down by more than two percent following an announcement that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has a new deal with the athletic clothing and footwear maker.

Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Geragos, made the announcement on Twitter, calling the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback an “All American Icon.”

Kaepernick already had a deal with Nike that was set to expire, but it was renegotiated into a multiyear deal to make him one of the faces of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, according to a person familiar with the contract.

The NFL and Nike extended their partnership in March to run through 2028. Nike provides all NFL teams with game-day uniforms and sideline apparel that bears the swoosh logo.


Amazon becomes second trillion-dollar company

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has become the second publicly traded company to be worth $1 trillion, hot on the heels of Apple.

Amazon has revolutionized how people shop online and is the world’s dominant internet retailer. In two decades the company expanded far beyond its bookseller beginnings, combining its world-spanning retail operation with less flashy but very profitable advertising and cloud computing businesses.

The company’s blowout success made its founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, No. 1 on Forbes’ billionaires list this year.

The Seattle-based company has cemented customer loyalty through smart devices like Alexa and the Prime membership program that offers fast, free shipping as well as music and video streaming perks.

Amazon’s stock rose 1.7 percent, putting its market value at just over $1 trillion. Apple topped that mark in early August.


Factories grow at faster pace

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories grew at a faster pace in August as American industry continues to show robust health.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, says its manufacturing index jumped last month to 61.3 from 58.1 in July. Anything over 50 signals growth, and U.S. manufacturing is on a 24-month winning streak. Sixteen of 18 manufacturing industries expanded in August, led by makers of electronic equipment, clothing, textiles and paper products.

New orders, production and inventories all grew faster in August. And factories stepped up hiring.

Manufacturers are coping with labor shortages and supply disruptions connected to ongoing trade disputes with China, Canada, Mexico and Europe.

But the overall U.S. economy expanded in the second quarter at a 4.1 percent annual pace, the fastest since 2014.


Construction spending shows slight increase

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects ticked up 0.1 percent in July, led by an increase in homebuilding and the publicly funded building of schools and highways.

The Commerce Department says the slight July increase brought total construction spending to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $1.32 trillion, 5.8 percent higher than a year ago.

Nonresidential construction — offices, stores, factories and other buildings — tumbled 0.3 percent in July. Some of that decline was offset by a 0.6 percent gain in homebuilding.

Public construction rose 0.7 percent in July, including a 2.1 percent jump in the building of schools and a 0.4 percent advance in constructing highways and streets.


Bank of England governor is willing to stay longer

LONDON (AP) — Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has indicated he is “willing” to extend his time at the central bank in order to help ensure a smooth Brexit.

Following days of speculation about an extension, Carney told a committee of lawmakers Tuesday that he understands that during “this critical period” that everyone should do what they can to ensure Britain leaves the European Union as smoothly as possible.

Carney had already extended his tenure at the helm to June, which is three months after Britain’s official EU exit.

However, he said he was “willing to do whatever else” in order to promote the smooth Brexit and “an effective transition” at the Bank of England.

He said the government will announce details “in due course.”


British trade union wants new Brexit vote

LONDON (AP) — One of Britain’s biggest trade unions is backing calls for a new public vote on leaving the European Union, saying voters were misled during the 2016 referendum campaign.

The GMB union, which has more than 600,000 members, says “the promises that were made during the referendum campaign are simply not the reality we are facing.”

In a video statement released Tuesday, GMB general-secretary Tim Roache says the union’s members in manufacturing, retail and other sectors face uncertainty because the British government has yet to negotiate a deal with the EU.

The union says Britons voted to leave the EU, but they “did not vote for economic chaos or to put jobs and hard-won rights on the line,” and voters should be able to accept or reject the final Brexit deal.


European automakers warn that emissions proposals could mean lost jobs

BERLIN (AP) — A lobby group representing European automakers says EU proposals for cutting emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide could result in manufacturing job losses.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, said Tuesday that “overly stringent CO2 targets, as well as unrealistic sales quota for battery electric vehicles, could lead to serious structural problems across the EU.”

Brussels-based ACEA cited a report it commissioned, which claimed that because all-electric vehicles require fewer parts and maintenance, fewer workers will be required.

The European Parliament is expected to vote next week on new emissions targets for the period after 2020. The existing target is for new cars to have average CO2 emissions of 95 grams per kilometer by the end of 2020. Last year, the average was over 118 grams.


Farmers want to destroy much of cranberry crop

BOSTON (AP) — Cranberry farmers have asked the federal government for permission to destroy a quarter of their crop in response to a glut that has kept prices low and growers operating in the red.

The Boston Globe reports that after struggling with an oversupply of the berries for nearly two decades, growers around the country are asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture for authorization to sell 75 percent of the supply and discard the rest.

If the government approves their request, farmers would hold back roughly 100 million pounds of cranberries.

Jack Angley is owner of Flax Pond Farms in Carver. He says overproduction means “we’re not getting much money for our crops.”

The USDA estimates the cost to produce a barrel of cranberries is $35, but the average price last year was $31.50.

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