Business Highlights

November 2, 2017


Trump nominates Jerome Powell to be next Fed chairman

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump tapped Jerome Powell on Thursday to replace Janet Yellen as Fed chair when her term ends in February, choosing a moderate member of the Fed’s board who has backed Yellen’s cautious approach to interest rate hikes. Powell, 64, is seen as a safe pick whose selection will likely assure investors hoping for continuity at the central bank. Some analysts see Powell, though, as more inclined than Yellen to ease financial regulations and possibly to favor a faster pace of rate increases.


GOP tax plan would slash corporate rate, help wealthiest

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans have unveiled a tax cut plan that would slash the corporate rate and also lower taxes for most Americans. But it would limit a cherished deduction for homeowners. The proposal would add $1.5 trillion to the nation’s debt over the next decade as Republicans seek a legislative achievement for Trump and score a political win ahead of next year’s midterm elections.


US stocks end mixed on tax proposals and shaky forecasts

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks finished mixed as House Republicans’ tax cut proposals give smaller companies a boost, but home improvement retailers and homebuilders fall as the plan calls for reducing the tax deduction for interest on mortgage payments. Some weak earnings and forecasts also push consumer-focused companies like sharpie maker Newell Brands and apparel maker Hanesbrands lower.


Pressure mounts on Apple to live up to hype for the iPhone X

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The iPhone X’s lush screen, facial-recognition skills and $1,000 price tag are breaking new ground in Apple’s marquee product line. While iPhone sales grew 3 percent in the quarter that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus came out, many customers are waiting for the iPhone X. Apple is scrambling to meet demand. The world will begin to find out if Apple can meet the challenge Friday when the iPhone X is released.


Google and AutoNation partner on self-driving car program

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Google is partnering with AutoNation, the country’s largest auto dealership chain, in its push to build a self-driving car. Google has been partnering with a number of car-centric companies like Avis, the ridesharing company Lyft, and Fiat Chrysler. AutoNation said Thursday that its dealerships will provide long-term maintenance and repairs for Waymo’s self-driving fleet of Chrysler Pacifica vehicles.


TripAdvisor says reviews reporting rape not censored

BOSTON (AP) — TripAdvisor says it has changed its rules about reviews that contain allegations of rape or other crimes, following a published report that quoted several users who said such postings were deleted. Several people told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel they were sexually assaulted at Mexican hotels and resorts, sometimes years ago. But the online reviews that mentioned the crimes were taken down.


Starbucks posts disappointing sales figure, will sell Tazo

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks reported disappointing sales growth at its coffee shops around the world and says it will sell its Tazo tea brand to Unilever for $384 million. Starbucks says it will now focus on its Teavana line. The coffee chain also said sales rose 2 percent at established locations worldwide, below the 3.3 percent rise analysts expected. Shares of Starbucks fell nearly 7 percent in after-hours trading.


Russian election meddling: Should tech giants have known?

NEW YORK (AP) — There were telltale signs of Russians using social media to meddle in last year’s U.S. elections long before tech companies wised up to it. Could Facebook and other tech giants have caught the abuse earlier? After all, Facebook has smart people and lots of data that should have flagged this. On the other hand, these internet giants’ systems weren’t set up to deal with this type of “social hacking.” The focus was on software hacking, spam and nefarious content such as terrorist propaganda.


Trump announces company’s return to US

WASHINGTON (AP) — A $100 billion semiconductor company based in Singapore will legally relocate its home address to the United States, President Donald Trump announced Thursday. Broadcom Limited, which manufactures communications chips around the world, said it would relocate its legal address to Delaware once shareholders approve the move, bringing $20 billion in annual revenue back to the U.S. The move will allow Broadcom to avoid a cumbersome federal review process.


The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.49 of a point to 2,579.85. The Dow Jones industrial average added 81.25 points, or 0.3 percent, to a record 23,516.26. The Nasdaq composite slipped 1.59 points to 6,714.94. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 3.77 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,496.55.

U.S. crude oil rose 24 cents to $54.54 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, picked up 13 cents to $60.62 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline added 3 cents to $1.77 a gallon. Heating oil fell 1 cent to $1.85 a gallon. Natural gas rose 4 cents to $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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