Business Highlights

October 19, 2017


Trump thinks GOP has votes for budget

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he thinks Senate Republicans have the votes for their budget — hours after tweeting his uncertainty. Trump needs the Senate to follow the House and pass the spending blueprint so lawmakers can move on to the tax cuts he wants. Trump said: “I think we’re in really good shape.” He had tweeted early Thursday, “I think we have the votes, but who knows?”


Toyota tops Consumer Reports’ auto reliability rankings

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota is the top brand in Consumer Reports’ annual vehicle reliability rankings. Toyota Motor Co.’s luxury Lexus brand is second, followed by Kia, Audi and BMW.


Coming soon: a selfie with your credit card application

NEW YORK (AP) — Payment processing giant Visa is launching a platform to allow banks to integrate various types of biometrics — your fingerprint, face, voice, etc. — into approving credit card applications and payments. It could lead to customers having to take a selfie to verify they actually made an online purchase or applied for a particular credit card.


US unemployment claims fall to 222,000, lowest in 44 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in 44 years, another sign that most workers enjoy job security. The Labor Department says claims for jobless aid dropped by 22,000 to 222,000, fewest since March 1973.


Last-minute rebound lifts S&P 500, Dow edge to new highs

NEW YORK (AP) — A last-minute rebound nudged U.S. stocks indexes mostly higher Thursday, barely extending the market’s winning streak and milestone-setting run. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Dow Jones industrial average closed higher for the fifth straight day, each posting new highs. The other indexes finished slightly lower as investors continued to pore through the latest batch of company earnings.


GM reaches $120m settlement with states over switches

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. has reached a $120 million settlement with 49 states and the District of Columbia over its defective ignition switches. GM recalled 2.6 million small cars worldwide in 2014 because their ignition switches could slip from the “run” position to the “off” position, shutting off the engine.


Wooing Amazon with sun, fun ... and giant buttons

BOSTON (AP) — What does it take to lure Amazon’s proposed second headquarters site and the 50,000 workers it’s expected to employ? Mayors around the country are touting nice weather, outdoor activities, a chance to do good - oh, and happy hours, music festivals, bourbon distilling and even a little mild metropolis-to-megacorporation flirtation. Bids for the new HQ site are due Thursday.


Shares of United Airlines tumble after 3Q financial report

DALLAS (AP) — United Airlines’ stock goes in a nosedive on forecast of weak pricing; CEO appeals for patience. Analysts push the airline for more evidence that recent strategic decisions are working. Meanwhile, United expects weak pricing power to continue for the rest of this year.


Google parent leads $1B Lyft investment, deepening Uber rift

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google’s parent company is throwing its financial support behind ride-hailing service Lyft, deepening its rift with the market leader Uber. Alphabet Inc., which gets most of its money from Google’s digital ad network, is leading a $1 billion investment in Lyft that values the privately held company at $11 billion. Google was an early investor in Uber, but now a self-driving car company that it created is suing Uber for alleged theft of trade secrets.


Backers of oil terminal pour money into Washington port race

SEATTLE (AP) — Developers of a proposed oil-by-rail terminal along the Columbia River that would be the nation’s largest have poured big money into a port commissioner race that may shape the project’s future. Filings with the Washington Public Disclosure Commission say the backers of the Vancouver Energy project have given $370,000 in cash to support Kris Greene, who has expressed support for the oil terminal proposed at the Port of Vancouver.


The S&P 500 index rose 0.84 of a point, or 0.03 percent, to 2,562.10. The Dow added 5.44 points, or 0.02 percent, to 23,163.04. The Nasdaq composite slid 19.15 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,605.07. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 3.10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,502.04.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost 75 cents, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $51.29 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 92 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $57.23 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.64 a gallon. Heating oil slipped 3 cents to $1.78 a gallon. Natural gas gained 2 cents to $2.87 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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