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BC-Business News Digest

January 31, 2019

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.

TOP STORIES:

US-CHINA-STEALING TRADE SECRETS _ To hear the Americans tell it, China has gone on a commercial crime spree, pilfering trade secrets from seed corn to the electronic brains behind wind turbines. They’ve swiped the arm off a T-Mobile robot, the U.S. says, and looted trade secrets about robotic cars from Apple. Behind the Trump administration’s charge that Beijing systematically steals U.S. intellectual property in its drive to become the world’s technology superstar are individual American companies. Their predicament is a core U.S. complaint in the high-level talks being held in Washington. By Paul Wiseman and Michael Liedtke. UPCOMING: 900 words by 2 p.m., photos.

With:

US-CHINA TRADE TALKS _ President Donald Trump, preparing to meet a Chinese trade delegation Thursday, said the United States won’t reach any final trade agreement with China until he sits down again with President Xi Jinping. SENT: 270 words, photos.

Also:

CHINA-US TRADE SECRETS _ China urged Washington on Thursday to accept its industrial development after U.S. intelligence officials said Beijing steals or copies foreign technology, as the two sides prepared for another day of talks aimed at ending a tariff war over Beijing’s technology ambitions. SENT: 290 words, photos.

SUPER BOWL ADS-FLOPS _ Last year, a Ram ad during the Super Bowl that used a Martin Luther King Jr. speech drew ire online. The Super Bowl is advertising’s biggest stage, and when advertisers get it wrong, they get it wrong in front of more than 100 million people. By Mae Anderson. SENT: 650 words, photos.

WINTER WEATHER-NATURAL GAS _ The polar vortex is boosting demand for natural gas, but it isn’t doing much for the price. Supplies built up during a stretch of warmer weather in December, and the deep freeze is expected to be short-lived and replaced by warmer than usual temperatures in some regions. By Alex Veiga. UPCOMING: 400 words by 2 p.m.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS _Stocks turned slightly higher heading into afternoon trading, keeping the S&P 500 on track for its best monthly gain since 2015. By Damian J. Troise. SENT: 700 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

NEW HOME SALES _ Sales of new U.S. homes soared in November, defying higher mortgage rates. But they’re still below year-ago levels. By Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 130 words, photo.

MORTGAGE RATES _ U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged up after declining in recent weeks. SENT: 340 words, photo, glance.

EMPLOYMENT COSTS _ The Labor Department releases the employment cost index for the fourth quarter, a measure of wage and benefit growth. By Martin Crutsinger. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 8:30 a.m. 350 words by 9:15 a.m.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS _ The Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. By Paul Wiseman. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 8:30 a.m. 300 words by 9:15 a.m.

EARNINGS:

EARNS-AMAZON _ Amazon.com Inc. reports quarterly financial results after the market closes. UPCOMING: 130 words after release, then expanded.

EARNS-GENERAL ELECTRIC _ After years of belt-tightening and spinoffs that ate into revenue and profits, General Electric Co. reported fourth-quarter net income of $761 million, sending shares up 10 percent in premarket trading. SENT: 380 words, photo.

UPS-RESULTS _ United Parcel Service Inc. said Thursday that fourth-quarter profit fell, hurt by a hefty pension charge, but the results beat expectations as the company handled more packages and boosted prices. By David Koenig. SENT: 420 words, photos.

JAPAN-EARNS-NINTENDO _ Nintendo, the Japanese video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises, reported Thursday that its fiscal third quarter profit jumped 25 percent, boosted by the popularity of games for its Switch console. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 170 words, photos.

ITALY-EARNS-FERRARI _ Italian luxury sports car maker Ferrari says profits last year rose 46 percent, driven by a surge in V12 sales and vehicle personalization. SENT: 130 words.

FINLAND-EARNS-NOKIA _ Nokia has reported increased fourth-quarter earnings on the back of grown orders from telecom operators of new-generation mobile networks that are expected to be rolled out commercially this year. SENT: 120 words.

BRITAIN-EARNS-SHELL _ Anglo Dutch energy giant Shell says its fourth-quarter earnings rose 32 percent as the company took advantage of higher oil prices following years of streamlining operations. SENT: 100 words.

SWEDEN-EARNS-H&M _ Swedish low-cost fashion brand Hennes & Mauritz AB said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit dropped about 10 percent to 3.5 billion kronor ($390 million) as consumers continued to shift to online shopping. SENT: 220 words.

INDUSTRY:

AUTO PLANTS-DEEP FREEZE _ Auto plants and other big energy users throughout Southeast Michigan are shutting down or limiting operations with high demand, and also a fire, creating natural gas shortages. SENT: 650 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA UTILITY BANKRUPTCY _ Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is not the first utility to declare bankruptcy, but it’s the first to do so because of potentially insurmountable legal bills from a disaster. UPCOMING, timing uncertain.

INFANT IBUPROFEN RECALL _ Tris Pharma has expanded its voluntary recall of infant ibuprofen because it may contain overly high concentrations of the drug. SENT: 140 words.

EXOSKELETONS FOR WORKERS _ Ford is among a number of companies providing their workers with a wearable technology that elevates and supports a worker’s arms. SENT: 130 words, photos, video.

UNIVERSITY ENDOWMENTS _ Hundreds of U.S. universities made strong returns on their financial investments last year, but experts worry the gains could be jeopardized by increased spending at many schools. By Collin Binkley. SENT: 650 words, photo.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

SPAIN-UBER _ Ride-hailing companies Uber and Cabify said that they would stop operating in Barcelona after the regional government passed tighter regulations to appease taxi drivers. By Renata Brito and Joseph Wilson. SENT: 470 words.

INTEL-CEO _ Intel is changing Robert Swan’s status as interim CEO, to permanent. SENT: 130 words, photo.

AUSTRALIA-HUAWEI SPONSORSHIP _ An Australian rugby league team wants to continue Huawei’s longest-ever sports sponsorship despite the Chinese communication giant’s ban from Australia’s 5G networks and legal wrangle with the United States. By Rod McGuirk. SENT: 400 words, photo.

UNITED NATIONS-PATENTS-ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE _ The U.N.’s intellectual property organization says companies in Japan, South Korea and the U.S. are the top filers of patent applications involving artificial intelligence. SENT: 150 words.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

OFF THE CHARTS-401K BALANCES _ While professional traders scrambled to sell stocks amid a fear-fueled, nearly 20 percent drop for the S&P 500, most people at home remained pretty calm when it came to their own retirement savings. So say numbers from Fidelity Investments. By Stan Choe. SENT: 460 words, photo.

NERDWALLET-YOUNGER HOMEOWNERS WEALTHIER _ Even if it’s a stretch now, buying your first home by age 35 can mean more wealth in retirement. Millennials can use loan and assistance programs to make homeownership more affordable. By NerdWallet columnist Beth Buczynski. SENT: 700 words, photo.

INTERNATIONAL:

BREXIT _ A key member of Prime Minister Theresa May’s government acknowledges that Britain’s exit from the European Union may have to be delayed if negotiations on a divorce deal drag on. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 710 words, photo.

With:

GERMANY-BREXIT-SWEETS _ German gummy bears, chocolate and licorice are popular sweets in Britain, but aficionados there might have to start stockpiling if they don’t want to go cold turkey when the country leaves the European Union. By Mstyslav Chernov and Kirsten Grieshaber. SENT: 400 words, photos.

EUROPE-ECONOMY _ Italy has fallen back into recession, intensifying concerns about the 19-country eurozone economy and a possible flare-up in the debt market jitters that have haunted the bloc in recent years. By Colleen Barry and Pan Pylas. SENT: 700 words, photos.

CHINA-MANUFACTURING _ China’s manufacturing improved in January but activity was sluggish, a survey showed Thursday, as U.S. and Chinese negotiators wrangled in Washington over a tariff war. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 550 words, photos.

IRAN-SANCTIONS _ Three European nations appeared poised Thursday to announce they have created a way for Iran to continue trade with them and avoid re-imposed U.S. sanctions, two Iranian officials said, setting up a potential collision with President Donald Trump’s maximalist approach against Tehran. SENT: 720 words, photo.

MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:

SPOTLIGHT

Hershey shares slipped Thursday after the snack and candy maker reported disappointing fourth-quarter results.

CENTERPIECE

AT&T’s video woes

AT&T spent $49 billion to buy DirecTV to build up an entertainment business. More than three years later, TV is giving it nothing but trouble.

Business News Supervisor Richard Jacobsen (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos (ext. 1900.) For graphics/interactives (ext. 7636.) For access to AP Newsroom and technical issues: customersupport@ap.org, or 877-836-9477. Questions about transmission of financial market listings, call 800-3AP-STOX.

The full digest for AP’s Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. For questions about M&M content, contact Greg Keller at (212) 621-7958

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