BC-Business News Digest
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.
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-ECONOMIC IMPACT _ With federal workers and thousands of contractors due to miss a second paycheck Friday, many are pulling back on spending and likely contributing to an eventual economic slowdown. The question is how much the damage might prove for an economy that depends on consumer spending. By Christopher Rugaber. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.
HOME AFFORDABILITY WORSENS _ Home sales in many areas of the country have dipped, and price gains have slowed. Yet a rising number of middle-class Americans are finding that home ownership is unaffordable, according to an analysis being released Wednesday. By Josh Boak. SENT: 830 words, photos.
DAVOS _ World leaders in favor of international cooperation and free trade struck back Wednesday against the wave of populist nationalism that has featured more prominently than usual at the gathering of elites in Davos, Switzerland. By Jamey Keaten and Paul Wiseman. SENT: 740 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated throughout the day’s events, with photos.
_ DAVOS-THE LATEST _ Running updates.
_ DAVOS-AFGHANISTAN CEO _ Afghanistan’s chief executive is urging the world not to give up on his impoverished country after the Trump administration suggested the United States could withdraw troops. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 300 words, photos.
BREXIT _ A senior British Cabinet minister says that businesses need to prepare for the possibility the U.K. will leave the European Union in March without an exit deal, as a growing number of firms braced for disruption by stockpiling goods or shifting operations overseas. By Jill Lawless. SENT: 810 words, photos.
ISRAEL-ENERGY POLITICS _ A decade after discovering natural gas fields off its Mediterranean coast, Israel is starting to feel the geopolitical boost. Its newfound riches have fostered economic bonds with its neighbors, tightening relations with Arab allies, and built new bridges in a historically hostile region _ even without significant progress being made toward peace with the Palestinians. By Aron Heller. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
FINANCIAL MARKETS _ Major indexes are slightly lower on Wall Street as energy and health care stocks slip, wiping out an early gain following strong earnings from companies other sectors. By Marley Jay. SENT: 790 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through 5 p.m.
PG&E-CAPITAL SPENDING _ Pacific Gas & Electric Co. says it expects capital spending of $6.6 billion this year and about $6.9 billion in 2020. SENT: 130 words, photos.
SMALLBIZ-SMALL TALK-INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS _ Many small business owners use independent contractors rather than employees, even transitioning their employees into freelancers and following the model used by Uber. But the government has rules about freelancers, contending some owners misclassify employees and call them independents to avoid paying Social Security, Medicare and other taxes. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
_ SMALLBIZ-INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS-TIPS _ Small business owners who want to use independent contractors need to be sure these workers really aren’t employees. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. SENT: 480 words.
TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:
SUPER BOWL ADS-DEVOUR _ Sex sells ... frozen food dishes? Kraft Heinz’ frozen-food brand Devour is trying to make waves during its Super Bowl debut with an ad taking a humorous jab at one man’s “frozen food porn addiction.” By Mae Anderson. SENT: 320 words, photos.
TONGA-INTERNET OUTAGE _ People in Tonga could face several weeks without Facebook, YouTube and even some basic services like credit card transactions due to a fault in the undersea cable that connects the Pacific nation to the rest of the world. By Nick Perry. SENT: 1500 words.
EARNS-COMCAST _ Comcast continues to lose its U.S. cable customers, but racked up more internet subscribers and got a revenue boost from Sky, its big bet on European TV. SENT: 130 words, photo.
EARNS-FORD MOTOR _ Ford Motor Co. reports quarterly financial results after the market closes. UPCOMING: 130 words after release, then expanded, photos.
NERDWALLET-LIZ WESTON-LIMIT-COLLEGE HELP _ A survey shows that many parents think they should help pay for college, but more want their kids to contribute and fewer are willing to sacrifice their retirement funds. By Liz Weston. SENT: 800 words, photo.
ON THE MONEY-ORGANIC PRICES _ U.S. shoppers are still paying more for organic food, but the price premium is falling as organic options multiply. Last year, organic food and beverages cost an average of 7.5 percent more than conventional food, according to Nielsen. By Dee-Ann Durbin. SENT: 770 words, photos.
BEHIND THE WHEEL-LONG TEST DRIVE _ A seven-day, 7,100-mile road trip took Edmunds editors to every state in the Lower 48. In addition to amazing vistas and lots of fast food, the editors realized the value of built-in navigation, winter tires, specialized all-wheel drive and powerful headlights, By Dan Edmunds. SENT: 850 words, photos.
EUROPE-GOLDEN VISAS _ The European Union is warning countries running lucrative schemes granting passports and visas to rich foreigners to toughen checks on applicants amid concern they could be flouting security and tax laws. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.
JAPAN-TRADE _ Japan’s exports fell 3.8 percent in December from a year earlier, hit by slowing demand in China, as the trade balance shifted back into deficit for the year, the government reported Wednesday. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 210 words, photo.
MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:
Dumping cable, adding internet
Traders sent shares in Comcast higher after the cable provider said the number of new internet subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2018 handily offset customers who canceled TV service.
Ryanair, Europe’s biggest airline by passengers, last week issued its second profit warning in four months, blaming a bigger than expected drop in ticket prices.
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