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Update on the latest in business:

July 10, 2018

WALL STREET

Stocks post gains for fourth straight day

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology and energy companies are leading stocks higher on Wall Street, putting the market on track for its fourth gain in a row.

PepsiCo rose 3 percent after its earnings came in ahead of analysts’ expectations.

The market has posted gains over the last several days following a strong jobs report and hopes that companies will report solid second-quarter results in the coming weeks.

JOB OPENINGS

US job openings slip in May, as quits reach 17-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses advertised fewer jobs in May than the previous month, but the tally of open positions outnumbered the ranks of the unemployed for only the second time in the past two decades.

The Labor Department also says the proportion of workers quitting their jobs reached the highest level since April 2001. Quits are seen as a positive sign that workers are confident they can find another job. Most people who quit do so for higher-paying positions.

The figures reflect a strong job market driven by optimistic employers seeking to expand their workforces. Last week’s jobs report showed that businesses hired workers at a healthy pace and the unemployment rate remained very low, at 4 percent.

There were 6.64 million available jobs in May, but just 6 million unemployed people.

CHINA-TARIFFS

China announces anti-dumping duties

BEIJING (AP) — China has stepped up action against some U.S. goods by announcing anti-dumping duties on raw materials used in making optical fibers.

The Commerce Ministry says optical fiber preforms from the United States will face additional duties of 37.9 to 78.2 percent for five years.

It said Corning was among the companies that would be affected by the higher duties.

TRUMP-CLIMATE PLAN

Trump replacement for Obama climate plan moves forward

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is advancing its plan to replace the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s efforts against global warming with a new rule expected to be friendlier to the coal industry.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it sent the new rule to the White House for review on Monday. The document itself was not released.

The move coincided with former coal industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler’s first day at the helm of the EPA following last week’s resignation of Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Obama sought to cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, largely by reducing pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Under Trump, the EPA declared the old rule exceeded federal law by setting emissions standards that power plants could not reasonably meet.

CHINA-TESLA

Tesla announces deal for Shanghai factory

UNDATED (AP) — Electric car producer Tesla says it will build its first factory outside the United States in Shanghai.

Tesla says an agreement signed Tuesday with a Shanghai city government agency calls for construction to start in the near future. It says production would begin three years after that and eventually increase to 500,000 vehicles annually.

The announcement comes amid mounting U.S.-Chinese trade tensions and follows Beijing’s decision in April to end restrictions that required foreign automakers to work through joint ventures with local partners.

China is the world’s biggest electric vehicle market. Automakers are investing heavily to develop models to appeal to local customers.

CHINA-BMW-ELECTRIC MINI

BMW to make electric MINIs in China with Great Wall Motor

BEIJING (AP) — BMW Group and China’s biggest SUV brand, Great Wall Motor, have announced a partnership to produce electric MINI vehicles in China.

Tuesday’s announcement comes as automakers pour billions of dollars into creating electric models for China, the biggest market for the technology, under pressure from Beijing to accelerate development.

BMW and Great Wall said the venture also will produce electric vehicles under the Chinese partner’s brand.

Other automakers including General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co. have announced similar plans with local partners to produce dozens of electric models for China.

ISRAEL-LUNAR MISSION

Israeli company plans lunar landing next year

YEHUD, Israel (AP) — An Israeli company says it will soon attempt to become the first private entity to land a spacecraft on the moon.

SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries plan to launch their unmanned module in December, the teams announced Tuesday. If it succeeds, Israel will become the fourth country to land on the moon, after the U.S., the Soviet Union and China.

The $95 million project, largely funded by South African-Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn and other donors, aims to land on the moon on Feb. 13. Kahn said if they pull off the moonshot it would be “a tremendous achievement.”

SpaceIL originally vied for Google’s Lunar Xprize, but the $20 million competition was scrapped in March after none of the companies met the deadline.

CUBA-PRIVATE-BUSINESS

Cuba unfreezing growth of private tourism businesses

HAVANA (AP) — The Cuban government will allow new restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts and transportation businesses by the end of the year, reopening the most vibrant sectors of the private economy after freezing growth for more than a year.

The government is unveiling a set of new regulations meant to control the growth of tourism-related private businesses and collect more tax revenue from them. Private restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts boomed after U.S.-Cuba normalization in 2014 prompted rapid growth in tourism to Cuba.

Tax evasion and purchase of stolen state materials also boomed in the mostly cash-based private hospitality sector. Among other measures, the new regulations announced Tuesday require private businesses to move all their revenue through state-run bank accounts. Cuba froze new licenses for restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts and other key business in August 2017.

TEMPLE BUSINESS SCHOOL-FALSIFIED RANKINGS

Temple business school dean forced out over falsified data

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The dean of Temple University’s business school has been forced out over falsified data submitted to rankings organizations about its online master’s program.

Temple president Richard Englert says in an email that Moshe Porat was asked to resign on Monday. Porat refused, but the university says he no longer heads the school. He still retains a teaching appointment.

In January, the Fox School of Business reported it had submitted inaccurate data to U.S. News & World Report. As a result, the publication removed the school’s No. 1 online MBA program ranking.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES-PEANUTS

Ending a long tradition, Southwest will stop serving peanuts

UNDATED (AP) — Southwest Airlines will stop giving away peanuts on flights next month, ending a tradition that goes back decades.

The airline said Tuesday it was pulling peanuts from all flights because of concern for passengers with peanut allergies. They will be replaced by pretzels and, on some longer flights, other free snacks.

Southwest says the decision follows months of deliberation and isn’t tied to any particular incident involving passengers with allergies.

No snack is more closely identified with a U.S. airline. Over the years, Southwest used the humble legume in marketing campaigns. A blog on its website is called Nuts About Southwest.

Some of Southwest’s other early quirks, like dressing flight attendants in hot pants, went out decades ago, but the peanuts survived. Until now.

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