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BC-Business News Digest

May 17, 2018

Here are AP Business News’ latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EDT.

TOP STORIES:

OF MUTUAL INTEREST-REACTING TO RATES — Most experts agree that inflation is going to speed up eventually as the U.S. economy expands. While it’s not clear exactly when greater inflation will arrive, Steve Wood, chief market strategist for Russell Investments, says it’s not too soon to prepare. By Marley Jay. SENT: 740 words, photos.

TRUMP-TRADE — President Donald Trump’s team is running out of time to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement this year. If the US can’t cut a deal with Mexico and Canada in the next week or two, Trump could abandon the pact he’s lambasted as a job-killing disaster or agree to put it off. Compounding the pressure, the administration is engaged in high-stakes trade talks with China, and its tariffs on imported steel and aluminum risk a rift with Japan. By Paul Wiseman. Upcoming: 800 words by 4 p.m.

Also:

CHINA-US-TRADE — China says it doesn’t want to see increased trade tensions with the U.S. as the two countries hold talks in Washington this week, but it’s prepared for any outcome and will defend its own interests. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 380 words, photos.

EARNS-WALMART — Walmart is reporting better-than-expected profit and revenue for the first quarter with rebounding e-commerce sales, surprising Wall Street. It’s an encouraging report from Walmart, which like other retailers, is looking at new ways to compete in light of swiftly changing shopping habits and intense competition from Amazon. By Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 750 words, photos.

US-FERTILITY-ECONOMY — Women in the United States gave birth last year at the lowest rate in three decades, a trend that could weigh on economic growth in future decades. The number of babies born in the U.S. has fallen for three straight years, and as births decline and the population ages, fewer Americans are available to work or start businesses, thereby slowing the economy. By Christopher Rugaber. UPCOMING: 600 words by 3:30 p.m.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stocks edged higher, having shaken off an early stumble, as investors weighed the latest batch of company earnings news. Energy and industrial companies climbed, offsetting losses in banks and real estate companies. The price of crude oil rose. Bond prices fell, pushing yields higher. SENT: 580 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through 5 p.m.

MORTGAGE RATES — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped this week, marking their highest levels in seven years amid the peak home buying season. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 130 words, photos.

INDUSTRY:

SPORTS BETTING-MARKET SCRAMBLE — Businesses are scrambling to position themselves to gain a share of the emerging sports betting market in the U.S. now that the Supreme Court has cleared the way for states to legalize it. By Wayne Parry. UPCOMING: 600 words by 3 p.m.

KROGER-OCADO — Kroger is upping its investment in the British online grocer Ocado as it fends off Amazon.com and other online threats to traditional grocers. SENT: 130 words.

HOMELESS-BURGER KING LAWSUIT — A homeless black man in Boston who spent three months in jail after he was wrongfully accused of trying to use counterfeit cash at Burger King is suing the fast food giant. By Alanna Durkin Richer. SENT: 470 words.

MISS AMERICA-FEMALE LEADERSHIP — The Miss America Organization is putting women in its three top leadership positions following an email scandal involving former male leaders of the scholarship group. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 430 words, photos.

FARM BILL — Food processors, soft drink manufacturers and candy makers are squaring off against the U.S. sugar industry in a familiar battle over a controversial program that props up sugar prices. The battle over the sugar program, a web of price supports, loans, and tariffs that critics say rips off consumers, is one of the key battles in this year’s farm bill, a five-year renewal of federal farm and nutrition policy that always proves to be a headache for Republicans controlling Congress. By Andrew Taylor. SENT: 790 words, photos.

BJ’S WHOLESALE-IPO — BJ’s Wholesale Club is going public again. The wholesale membership warehouse operator didn’t say how many shares would be offered or what the price range would be, but the initial public offering is expected sometime this year. SENT: 250 words, photos.

CBS-NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS-LAWSUIT — A Delaware judge has refused to grant CBS Corp. a restraining order against its majority shareholder in a power struggle that could decide control of the company. By Randall Chase. SENT: 140 words.

PAYDAY LENDING-CONGRESS — Tougher rules governing the payday lending industry, finalized during the final weeks of an Obama-era appointee who led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will remain in place after Congress allowed a deadline to overrule them pass. SENT: 140 words.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

FACEBOOK-PRIVACY SCANDAL — British lawmakers investigating the use of Facebook users’ data in political campaigns say the suspended head of the consultancy Cambridge Analytica has accepted a summons to appear before a committee. SENT: 130 words.

JAPAN-TOSHIBA — Japanese electronics company Toshiba Corp. says the sale of its computer memory chip business to a consortium led by Bain Capital Private Equity has cleared all anti-trust regulatory approval, including one it was awaiting from China. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 590 words, photos.

DENMARK-AIRBNB — Denmark says online room-rental platform Airbnb will start to automatically report its users’ deals to taxation authorities, the first country to do so. SENT: 130 words.

FOX NEWS-SCOTT — Fox News has named Suzanne Scott as its new chief executive officer. She’s been with Fox since the cable news network started in 1996, and has most recently been co-president of Fox News following the exit of founding CEO Roger Ailes. SENT: 130 words.

EARNINGS:

EARNS-JC PENNEY — J.C. Penney cut its outlook for the year as it trims costs to help offset declining revenue. SENT: 230 words, photos.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

NERDWALLET-CONNECTED DEVICES — Mobile wallets can make paying by credit or debit card seamless: Tap your phone at checkout and you’re on your way. But mobile wallets are just the beginning. Payment networks and manufacturers are building payment functions into more devices — expanding your options as well as freeing up your hands. By NerdWallet columnist Melissa Lambarena. SENT: 800 words, photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

EUROPE-US-TARIFFS — The European Union has called on U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to stop threating it with tariffs on steel and aluminum, saying Thursday it is prepared to discuss trade — but not at gunpoint. By Lorne Cook. SENT: 340 words, photos.

TURKEY-UNITED STATES — Turkey’s foreign ministry has criticized the sentencing of a Turkish banker in the United States over his role in helping Iran evade U.S. economic sanctions. SENT: 500 words, photos.

IRAN-BRITAIN-OIL AGREEMENT — Iranian state TV is reporting that Tehran has signed an agreement with a British consortium to develop an oil field in the country’s south. SENT: 350 words.

GERMANY RUSSIA PIPELINE DIPLOMACY — A vast undersea pipeline to bring gas from Russia to Germany from next year is taking shape, amid concerns from some of Berlin’s allies that it will give Moscow too much leverage over Europe’s energy supply. By Frank Jordans and Pietro DeCristofaro. SENT: 950 word, photos.

BREXIT — Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is warning Britain to explain how it plans to keep open his country’s border with Northern Ireland or face the possible collapse of a Brexit deal. SENT: 130 words, photos.

NEW ZEALAND-BUDGET — New Zealand’s government plans to spend billions of dollars rebuilding rotting hospitals and schools and improving other infrastructure as the economy continues to grow at a healthy clip. By Nick Perry. SENT: 540 words, photos.

SOUTHEAST ASIA-SAMBOR DAM — A Chinese-backed plan for Cambodia to build the Mekong River’s biggest dam would destroy fisheries that feed millions and worsen tensions with Vietnam, the downstream country with most to lose from dams on the waterway, according to a three-year study commissioned by the Cambodian government. By Stephen Wright. SENT: 500 words, photos.

VATICAN-GLOBAL ECONOMY — The Vatican is denouncing offshore tax havens and financial instruments such as derivatives and credit default swaps as gravely immoral and unjust, calling them “ticking time bombs” that hurt the world’s poor the most. By Nicole Winfield. SENT: 410 words.

BELGIUM-DIAMOND HEIST — Five years after a brazen multimillion-dollar diamond heist on the tarmac of Brussels Airport, a Belgian court on Thursday cited a lack of evidence as it acquitted 18 suspects in the case. By Raf Casert. SENT: 450 words, photos.

MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:

SPOTLIGHT

Kroger puts Ocado in its cart

Grocery store Kroger climbed after it announced a new deal with British online grocer Ocado that will help Kroger take and deliver online orders in the U.S.

CENTERPIECE

Can US economy’s winning streak last?

Next month, the U.S. economy’s expansion marks its ninth anniversary. Already, it’s America’s second-longest economic winning streak in records dating to 1854. Can it last?

Business News Supervisor Richard Jacobsen (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos (ext. 1900.) For graphics/interactives (ext. 7636.) For access to AP Newsroom and technical issues: customersupport@ap.org, or 877-836-9477. Questions about transmission of financial market listings, call 800-3AP-STOX.

The full digest for AP’s Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. For questions about M&M content, contact Greg Keller at (212) 621-7958.

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