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Update on the latest in business:

July 9, 2018


US stocks rise again as trade worries take back seat

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks climbed with other markets today as worries about trade tensions between the United States and the rest of the world took a back seat.

At 12:53 p.m. Eastern Time the S&P 500 was up 21 points, to 2,781. The Dow was up 302 points, to 24,758. And the Nasdaq was up 37 points, to 7,725.

The world’s two largest economies took their biggest steps yet on Friday in a brewing global trade war after the United States and China imposed dueling tariffs on each other’s goods. But a better-than-forecast U.S. jobs report on Friday and the expectation for strong earnings reports from nearly every swath of corporate America in the upcoming weeks have nevertheless helped support stocks.


Boris Johnson quits UK government in mounting Brexit crisis

LONDON (AP) — British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a charismatic and divisive cheerleader for Britain’s exit from the European Union, resigned today, adding to a crisis over Brexit that threatens to tear apart Prime Minister Theresa May’s government.

May’s office said in a terse statement that the prime minister had accepted Johnson’s resignation and would name a replacement soon.

Johnson, one of the best-known and most flamboyant members of the government, quit just hours after the resignation late Sunday of Brexit Secretary David Davis, the government’s top Brexit official.

Davis said he could not support May’s plan to maintain close trade and regulatory ties with the EU, which he said gave “too much away, too easily.”


ECB head Draghi: Trade protectionism is main risk to economy

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — European Central Bank head Mario Draghi says that new trade barriers are the main risk to Europe’s economy and that it’s up to the EU to “lead by example” by supporting economic openness and reforming its institutions.

Draghi told the European parliament today that the bank had decided to phase out its 2.4 trillion-euro ($2.8 trillion), three-year stimulus program at year-end because inflation is finally trending in line with the ECB’s goal of just under 2 percent. Along with that, economic growth has created 8.4 million jobs since mid-2013.

U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and on a range of Chinese goods, leading to retaliation from China, the EU and others. Trump’s moves have emphasized national interest and country-to-country deals, instead of putting trade issues in international, rules-based frameworks such as the World Trade Organization.


Germany, China lobby against US trade tariffs

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang are speaking out against trade tariffs imposed by Washington, saying open multilateral trade is to everyone’s benefit.

Speaking in Berlin today after the two countries signed deals worth 20 billion euros ($23.6 billion), Li told reporters the projects demonstrated how nations could work together.

He said “free trade plays a strong leading role for both sides and for the world economy.”

The comments came after the U.S. imposed 25 percent tariffs on roughly $34 billion of Chinese products, and China announced higher duties on American imports.

Merkel called for countries to stick to World Trade Organization guidelines, saying that the world “really is a multilateral interdependent system that ... is a win-win situation when we stick to the rules.”


BMW: Tariffs mean higher prices in China for US-made SUVs

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Automaker BMW says it will have to raise prices on the U.S.-built SUVs it sells in China due to higher tariffs.

China raised the import tax on cars from the United States to 40 percent in retaliation for higher tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by President Donald Trump.

The dpa news agency reported that the Munich-based company said today it is “not in a position to completely absorb the tariff increases.”

BMW builds key SUV models in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where it employs 10,000 people. Those vehicles are exported to 140 countries, making BMW the largest U.S. auto exporter.

Trump has imposed tariffs to counter what he says are unfair trading practices that include Chinese requirements that U.S. firms transfer key technology as the price of doing business.


LL Bean gets a new credit card partner

FREEPORT, Maine (AP) — Outdoors retailer L.L. Bean has a new credit card vendor.

The Freeport, Maine, company is partnering with Citi Retail Services and Mastercard after ending its relationship with Barclays and Visa.

The card offers rewards points on purchases and free monogramming on L.L. Bean purchases. It also offers free shipping on all L.L. Bean purchases, eliminating the $50 threshold for other customers.

Existing card holders will be issued new credit cards with the upgrades.

CEO Steve Smith said the new card offers a better value that’ll to help welcome new customers “to share in our passion for the outdoors.”


Russian court rules in favor of oligarch in disclosure case

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court has ruled in favor of a billionaire linked to President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort in an unauthorized disclosure of information case.

Oleg Deripaska had filed a suit against Anastasia Vashukevich, a woman who posted several videos in 2016 showing the tycoon hosting a top Russian official on a yacht discussing U.S.-Russian relations. Deripaska argued that Vashukevich, who goes by the name Nastya Rybka, had illegally divulged personal information about him.

A court in the southern Russian province of Krasnodar on Monday fined Vashukevich and her business partner Alexander Kirillov 500,000 rubles (about $8,000) each.

Vashukevich and Kirillov are under arrest in Thailand on charges of conducting a sex training course without a work permit.


Phone maker Xiaomi falls then rises in Hong Kong debut

HONG KONG (AP) — Shares of Xiaomi Corp. (show ((like wow)) -mee) slipped and then rebounded today in the Chinese smartphone maker’s first trading day in Hong Kong following a multibillion-dollar initial public offering.

Xiaomi, which helped to pioneer the trend for ultra-low-priced smartphones, says it plans to become an equipment-and-hardware brand alongside Apple Inc. The 8-year-old company has yet to give details of how that business model will work outside China.


Starbucks, citing ocean threat, is ditching plastic straws

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws from all of its locations within two years, citing the environmental threat to oceans.

The coffee chain becomes the largest food and beverage company to do so as calls to cut waste globally grow louder. While plastic straws account for a small percentage of the waste that ends up in oceans, they’ve become a flashpoint.

A week after its hometown of Seattle banned plastic drinking straws and utensils, Starbucks said today that by 2020, it will be using straws made from biodegradable materials like paper and specially designed lids. The company already offers alternative straws in Seattle.

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