Business Highlights

March 13, 2018


Impossible for market to ignore latest Trump policy moves

NEW YORK (AP) — Financial markets suddenly care about politics again after ignoring the dysfunction in Washington over the early part of the Trump presidency. The reason is simple: Recent debates and policies center around issues that could impact Corporate America’s bottom line.


Behind the Broadcom deal block: rising telecom tensions

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. veto of a hostile Singapore-based bid for the U.S. chip maker Qualcomm is its latest attempt to limit foreign nations’ involvement in telecommunications. At stake? Maintaining control of the telecom infrastructure that’s set to become more crucial for everything from self-driving cars to the connected home.


Outdoors stores quietly continue to sell assault weapons

DUNDEE, Mich. (AP) — Some big retailers have curbed sales of assault weapons after last month’s school shooting in Florida. But several outdoor chains, including Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Gander Outdoors and Academy Sports, continue to sell assault-style rifles online and in stores as part of their mix of hunting equipment. The stores have clearly made the calculation that they could lose more than they might gain by taking a stand against assault-style weapons.


Dick’s says new gun policy will impact sales, shopper visits

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. (AP) — Dick’s Sporting Goods reported disappointing holiday sales numbers in part due to weak demand for one-time hot brands like Under Armour. The company’s CEO also said recent changes to its firearm policies, ending the sale of guns to anyone under 21, will hurt future sales and may cause fewer shoppers to come to its stores.


Trump considers TV commentator as possible economic adviser

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he’s considering CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow as a potential successor to outgoing economic adviser Gary Cohn. The president says he’s “looking at Larry Kudlow very strongly.” He notes that while he and Kudlow “don’t agree on everything,” that might be helpful to him. Cohn resigned after Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.


$1.5B settlement in suit over Syngenta modified corn seed

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A $1.5 billion settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit covering tens of thousands of farmers, grain-handling facilities and ethanol plants that sued Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta over its introduction of a genetically engineered corn seed. The plaintiffs said Syngenta’s decision to introduce its modified Viptera and Duracade corn seed strains to the U.S. market for the 2011 growing season before having approval for import by China in 2014 caused price drops for several years.


House vote nears on GOP bill easing use of unproven drugs

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican bill easing how experimental drugs are provided to people with terminal illnesses is headed toward a House vote. But opposition by top Democrats and scores of patients’ groups has left its fate uncertain. The “Right to Try” legislation is backed by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Republicans say it would give hope to patients with fatal diseases, while Democrats say it’s unneeded and risky.


Qatar, UAE extend oil field concession to Japan amid crisis

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have each extended a concession to an offshore oil field they share to a Japanese consortium despite a diplomatic crisis between the two of them tearing at the region. Both Qatar and the UAE on Tuesday acknowledged the extension of the concession at the al-Bunduq offshore field in the Persian Gulf, which the two countries have equally shared since 1969.


Vice names A&E chief Nancy Dubuc to run company

NEW YORK (AP) — Vice Media on Tuesday appointed Nancy Dubuc, the former head of the A&E Networks, to be its chief executive as the company tries to rebound from sexual misconduct allegations. Dubuc had stepped down Monday at A&E. She’s been a Vice board member and worked with the company to develop the Viceland cable network. Shane Smith, the company’s co-founder, said that he’ll let Dubuc run the company as he concentrates on making deals and creating content.


Stocks sink as technology rally fades; Qualcomm drops

NEW YORK (AP) — US stocks fall as a seven-day rally for technology companies ends after President Donald Trump blocked Broadcom’s effort to buy chipmaker Qualcomm. Trump said the $117 billion deal raised national security concerns. Earlier, investors reacted positively to a Labor Department report that showed inflation held steady in February.


The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 17.71 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,765.31. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 171.58 points, or 0.7 percent, to 25,007.03. The Nasdaq composite fell 77.31 points, or 1 percent, to 7,511.01, its first decline after seven straight gains. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks shed 9 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,592.05.

Benchmark U.S. crude slumped 65 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $60.71 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 31 cents to $64.64 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.89 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.87 a gallon. Natural gas gained 1 cent to $2.79 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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