Business Highlights

November 7, 2017


How wealthy would gain at expense of others in GOP tax plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Republicans’ tax-cut plan springs from a core argument: What’s good for big business and the moneyed elite is inevitably good for the economy and everyone else. Their plan would slash corporate tax rates, end inheritance taxes for the ultra-rich and create new tax advantages for business owners. To help pay for some of those breaks, the plan would end tax deductions for college loans, high medical bills, moving costs and state and local income taxes.


Meadows: Tax bill won’t quash individual mandate

WASHINGTON (AP) — An influential conservative congressman predicts “there’s no way” the House tax bill will include a repeal of an “Obamacare” mandate that individuals buy health insurance. Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows says GOP leaders are concerned that mixing the tax overhaul measure and a key element of the party’s failed health care bill could complicate the tax drive. But the North Carolina Republican says the House GOP would gladly embrace the idea if the Senate were to add it.


Yellen says public trust in Fed ethics is critical

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that the Fed’s effectiveness critically depends on the nation’s confidence that the central bank is acting only in the public’s interest. Yellen said it is important for Fed officials to “demonstrate our ethical standards in ways that leave little room for doubt.” Yellen’s comments were her first public remarks since President Donald Trump announced last week that he was by-passing her and nominating Fed board member Jerome Powell as the next Fed chairman.


In Silicon Valley, the homeless illustrate a growing divide

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — The growing number of working homeless in Mountain View, home to Google, illustrates the divide between the rich and everyone else in Silicon Valley. At last count, 330 vehicles parked on the city’s streets were serving as shelter for people who can no longer afford the region’s rents. Many of them have jobs — as security guards, cooks, landscapers — serving the booming tech industry.


Twitter doubles character limit to 280 for (nearly) everyone

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter says it is rolling out 280-character limit to (nearly) everyone, ending iconic 140-character restriction. Users tweeting in Chinese, Japanese and Korean will still have the original limit. That’s because writing in those languages uses fewer characters.


Waymo rolls out autonomous vans without human drivers

DETROIT (AP) — A self-driving car company created by Google is pulling the human backup driver from behind the steering wheel. Waymo will test vehicles on public roads with only an employee in the back seat. The testing started Oct. 19 with an automated Chrysler Pacifica minivan in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, Arizona. The vans will make all the driving decisions but the employee will be able to stop the vehicles if necessary.


US consumer borrowing up $20.8 billion, most in 10 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers increased their borrowing by $20.8 billion in September. It was the largest gain in 10 months and was led by a sharp increase in borrowing for auto and student loans.


Disney ends LA Times ban after widespread backlash

NEW YORK (AP) — The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday lifted its ban of Los Angeles Times reporters and critics from its press screenings after a widespread backlash prompted several media outlets to announce their own boycotts of Disney movies. Disney had barred the Times from its screenings after the paper published a two-part investigative series on the company’s business dealings in Anaheim, California.


Losses for banks and smaller companies take US stocks lower

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks take modest losses as banks and smaller, domestically focused companies stumble. High-dividend companies like real estate investment trusts and utilities move higher as investors put some money into traditionally safer stocks. Travel websites Priceline and TripAdvisor plunge after their quarterly reports while Weight Watchers keeps rising.


The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 0.49 points to 2,590.64. The Dow Jones industrial average added 8.81 points to 23,557.23, another record high. The Nasdaq composite fell 18.65 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,767.78. The Russell 2000 index tumbled 18.87 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,479.09.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 15 cents to $57.20 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dipped 58 cents to $63.69 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 1 cent to $1.82 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2 cents to $1.92 a gallon. Natural gas rose 2 cents to $3.15 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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