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BC-APFN-Business News Digest

December 28, 2018

Here are AP Business News’ latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

TOP STORIES:

WAR ROBOTS — The Army is looking for a few good robots. Not to fight — not yet, at least — but to help the men and women who do. At stake is a contract worth almost half a billion dollars for 3,000 backpack-sized devices that can defuse bombs and scout enemy positions. Competition for the work has spilled over into Congress and federal court. By Technology Writer Matt O’Brien. SENT: 1,260 words, photos, video.

THE EURO AT 20 — The euro is about to turn 20, but the countries that use it are still wrestling over how the shared currency should work — and how to fix flaws exposed by a debt crisis that scarred its second decade. By David McHugh and Derek Gatopoulos. SENT: 920 words, photos.

With:

EURO AT 20-GLOSSARY — The euro, Europe’s shared currency, turns 20 on Tuesday. Here are some key terms to know. SENT: 350 words, photo.

NKOREA-THE SINGAPORE CONNECTION — Despite the unwanted publicity of a criminal trial for one of their main suppliers, business is booming at Pyongyang’s ‘Singapore shops,’ which sell everything from Ukrainian vodka to brand-name knock-offs from China. The stores stock many of the very things United Nations’ sanctions banning trade in luxury goods are intended to block and provide a nagging reminder that not all potential trade partners are lining up behind the U.N.’s pronouncements or the Trump administration’s policy of maximum pressure on the North. By Eric Talmadge. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stocks veered lower Friday morning, giving back early gains as the market continued to be gripped by volatile trading. Technology companies and energy stocks accounted for much of the decline. Homebuilders slumped following a report indicating that fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes last month. The market, which is coming off a two-day winning streak, is on track for its worst year since 2008. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 670 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through 5 p.m.

Also:

YE--MARKETS-THE YEAR IN 10 CHARTS — Wall Street started 2018 strong, buoyed by a growing economy and corporate profits, then got nervous. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 850 words, photos. Also moved in a previous cycle.

PENDING HOME SALES — Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in November as higher mortgage rates and prices squeezed would-be buyers out of the market, especially in the West. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 120 words.

INDUSTRY:

TESLA-BOARD —Tesla named Oracle’s Larry Ellison and an executive from Walgreens to its board Friday as part of a settlement with U.S. regulators who demanded more oversight of CEO Elon Musk. SENT: 550 words, photos.

WELLS FARGO-SETTLEMENT — Wells Fargo is paying $575 million as part of deal with all 50 states and the District of Columbia to settle investigations into its banking practices, which have included creating phony accounts and using manipulative sales practices. SENT: 120 words.

TRADER JOES-FOOD BANK — Severe storms caused a New Orleans area Trader Joe’s store to lose power, prompting the chain to donate more than 10,000 pounds (4,500 kilograms) of perishable groceries to a food bank. SENT: 100 words.

CLEAN AIR-MERCURY — The Environmental Protection Agency is considering backing off of its regulation of toxic mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. By Ellen Knickmeyer. SENT: 140 words.

WASHINGTON:

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN — It’s looking increasingly like the partial government shutdown will be handed off to a divided government to solve in the new year — the first big confrontation between President Donald Trump and Democrats — as agreement eludes Washington in the waning days of the Republican monopoly on power. By Juliet Linderman, Lisa Mascaro and Zeke Miller. SENT: 980 words, photos, video.

INTERNATIONAL:

KOREAS-HACKING ATTACK — South Korea says it’s responding to a hacking attack that stole the names and addresses of nearly 1,000 North Korean defectors who resettled in the South. SENT: 190 words, photo.

SPAIN-ECONOMY — Spain’s national statistics office says that the country’s economy grew 0.6 percent in the third quarter of 2018. SENT: 130 words.

ITALY-CONTE — Italy’s premier has denied that the country’s new budget was dictated by the European Commission, saying that he held firm on key points including a basic income for job-seekers and rollbacks in an unpopular pension reform. SENT: 390 words, photos.

MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:

SPOTLIGHT

Tesla gets more adult supervision

Tesla stock rose after it named Oracle’s Larry Ellison and an executive from Walgreens to its board as part of a settlement with U.S. regulators who demanded more oversight of CEO Elon Musk.

CENTERPIECE

Shareholder salvos

Epic wildfires have raged in California this year, and a U.N. report on global warming issued a life-or-death warning. In the corporate world, that’s led to an increasing number of shareholder proposals related to climate change.

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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