Business Highlights

February 16, 2018


Trump decries ‘far-fetched’ collusion theories

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says “far-fetched theories” about collusion in the 2016 election “only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia.” Trump is reacting to news that special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 13 Russians and three Russian organizations for plotting to influence the 2016 campaign. Trump says, “It’s time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks.”


Budget undercuts Trump focus on mental health, school safety

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s budget cuts funding on two areas he’s pledging to focus on — mental health and school safety — in response to shootings like the one that took 17 lives in Florida. The budget would slash Medicaid — the major source of public funding for mental health treatment. It also calls for a 36 percent cut to an Education Department program that supports safer schools. Administration officials point to new funding for a smaller program addressing serious mental illness.


Kept out: Loophole in law for the poor spurs gentrification

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Community Reinvestment Act was designed to correct the damage of redlining. But the law didn’t anticipate a day when historically black neighborhoods would be sought out by young, white homebuyers. So instead of lending to longtime residents - who are overwhelmingly African American - most of the loans are going to white newcomers, according to an analysis by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.


‘Black Panther’ scores mighty $25.2 million Thursday debut

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Black Panther” is well on its way to a record-making weekend at the North American box office. The Walt Disney Company estimates Friday that the superhero movie earned $25.2 million from its Thursday preview screenings. It’s the second biggest for a Marvel Studios film behind “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which earned $27.6 million in previews, and the best for the month of February. The film is now projected to earn between $172 and $198 million over the four-day holiday weekend.


Commerce Dept. backs tariffs on imported aluminum and steel

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Commerce Department is saying that imported aluminum and steel threaten U.S. national security and is urging President Donald Trump to impose tariffs or quotas to boost American production. The recommendations unveiled by Secretary Wilbur Ross are likely to escalate tensions with China and other U.S. trading partners. Stepped-up production of steel and aluminum, especially by China, has driven down prices and hurt American producers.


Wynn gets no money in termination deal with casino company

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A termination agreement between embattled casino mogul Steve Wynn and the casino and resorts company bearing his name shows he won’t receive any compensation and can’t be involved in any competing gambling business for two years. The terms of the agreement were released Friday morning by Wynn Resorts. Wynn resigned as CEO this month amid sexual misconduct allegations. The billionaire has vehemently denied the allegations, which he attributes to a campaign led by his ex-wife.


Stars of the Olympics are changing the sponsorship game

NEW YORK (AP) — A gold medal used to be a golden ticket for lucrative endorsements. But in the age of social media, athletes are making a name for themselves before their event even occurs. Before snowboarder Chloe Kim won gold, her infectious personality and heartwarming origin story had already won her a bevy of sponsors. Even more so than in Rio in 2016 and Sochi in 2014, Pyeongchang athletes are Olympian at building brands as much as they are building sporting careers.


Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is forging ahead with its messaging app for kids despite criticism from child experts. The company launched Messenger Kids Wednesday on Android; the app landed on Amazon devices in January. Children’s advocates are pressing the company to shut it down, while others question Facebook’s financial ties with advisers who worked on it.


Food box idea draws criticism from Democrats, advocates

WASHINGTON (AP) — One Democratic Congressman calls it a cruel joke. “America’s Harvest Box” would replace a portion of traditional cash-on-card benefits for food stamp recipients with a pre-assembled box of shelf-stable goods. What’s more: he says the idea, introduced in President Donald Trump’s budget, came out of nowhere.


Activists delay rebuild of Hawaii hotel with Elvis ties

HONOLULU (AP) — Developers want to rebuild a Kauai hotel with a Hollywood connection, but Native Hawaiian activists have mounted a protest. The Coco Palms was the site where Elvis Presley’s character got married in the film “Blue Hawaii.” The hurricane-ravaged hotel closed in 1992. Two men claim they own the property because they are descendants of Kauai’s last Hawaiian ruler. They and others have camped out at the resort they say is a sacred area. The developers are seeking help from state sheriffs.


The S&P 500 gained 1.02 points, or less than 0.1 percent, at 2,732.22. That includes a gain of 4.3 percent this week, its best since January 2013. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19.01 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,219.38. The Nasdaq composite lost 16.96 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,239.47. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks climbed 6.35 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,543.55.

U.S. crude oil picked up 34 cents to $61.68 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 51 cents to $64.84 a barrel in London.

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