Update on the latest business
NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes have been moving between slight gains and losses, as financial companies climb but retailers and big-dividend stocks slide.
Investors were encouraged to see a pickup in industrial production in August. That helped send bond yields higher Friday. Higher bond yields can mean higher profits for banks and other lenders because they can charge more to lend money. LendingTree rose 2.7 percent.
But retailers were weak after the Commerce Department reported that Americans slowed down their spending in August.
US retail sales up just 0.1 pct., weakest gain in 6 months
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales barely rose in August as shoppers spent less on cars, furniture and clothes.
The Commerce Department says the value of purchases ticked up just 0.1 percent, the smallest increase in six months, after a robust gain of 0.7 percent in July.
The sluggish increase may be a temporary blip, and it partly reflects falling prices for items like clothing. The retail sales figures aren’t adjusted for inflation. Consumer confidence soared to the highest level in 18 years in August, as Americans reported a more optimistic outlook on future economic growth. That suggests that retail sales may rebound in September.
Still, auto sales fell 0.8 percent last month, and clothing stores sales plunged 1.7 percent, the steepest drop in 18 months.
US industrial production rose a solid 0.4 percent in August
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production rose by a healthy 0.4 percent in August, boosted by gains in the production of autos, oil and natural gas.
The Federal Reserve said Friday that industrial production, which includes output at factories, mines and utilities, has climbed 4.9 percent over the past 12 months.
Factory production increased 0.2 percent last month, lifted by a 4 percent rise in the making of vehicles and parts. Automakers assembled vehicles at their strongest pace since April.
Mining output posted a 0.7 percent monthly gain. A sharp increase in the production of oil and natural gas has caused mining output to soar 14.1 percent over the past 12 months.
Production at utilizes advanced 1.2 percent in August, powered by a surge in electricity usage.
SpaceX changes plans to send tourists around the moon
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX says it has signed the first private moon traveler.
The big reveal on who it is — and when the flight to the moon will be — will be announced Monday.
It’s not the same mission plan SpaceX founder Elon Musk outlined last year. The original plan called for two paying passengers to fly around the moon this year, using a Falcon Heavy rocket and a Dragon crew capsule.
The new strategy is to still fly around the moon, but using an even bigger SpaceX rocket still in development that has its own dedicated passenger ship. And now, it would seem, there will be only one person aboard.
Some Bob Evans sausage links recalled, may contain plastic
XENIA, Ohio (AP) — The Agriculture Department says Bob Evans Farms is recalling nearly 47,000 pounds of pork sausage links because they might contain pieces of plastic.
The items have establishment number “EST 6785” and were sold in Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The Food and Safety Inspection Service says there are no confirmed reports of any injuries.
The 12-ounce (340 gram) trays are labeled Bob Evans Maple Pork Sausage Links, Brown Sugar and Honey, Fresh from Meijer Maple Flavored Sausage Links or Giant Eagle Maple Pork Breakfast Sausage Links Caramel Color Added. All have a lot code of 8213.
The sausage should be thrown out or returned to place of purchase.
CHINA LOBSTER TARIFFS
Layoffs hit, prices lag as lobster biz feels tariff pinch
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The American lobster industry is starting to feel the pinch of China’s tariff on U.S. seafood as exporters and dealers report sagging prices and financial pressure.
China is a major buyer of lobsters, and the country imposed a heavy tariff on exports from the U.S. in early July amid trade hostilities between the two superpowers. Exporters in the U.S. say their business in China has dried up since then.
Wholesale prices also have dipped a bit as dealers lost markets. Business publisher Urner Barry reports that prices in July and August were both slightly less than the same month the previous year.
Maine is the biggest lobster producer. At least one company, The Lobster Company of Arundel, Maine, says it has resorted to layoffs because of shrinking business.
Henri Bendel, 123-year-old luxury retailer, closes the doors
NEW YORK (AP) — The luxury retailer Henri Bendel, which opened its doors in New York’s Greenwich Village at the end of the 19th century, is closing.
L Brands Inc., which acquired the brand in 1895, said that the 23 Bendel stores will turn out the lights in January. The Columbus, Ohio, company said it wants focus on larger brands with more growth potential.
Henry Bendel was a women’s hat maker from Lafayette, Louisiana. He moved to New York in 1895 and began catering to the city’s elite, making the stores’ brown and white striped shopping and bags and hat boxes a coveted status symbol. In the 1960s, its in-house illustrator was a young artist named Andy Warhol.
The company’s flagship store on New York’s 5th Avenue, steps away from Trump Tower, is a landmark in Manhattan.
DATA PRIVACY-BROWSER SAFEGUARDS
Apple, Firefox tools aim to thwart Facebook, Google tracking
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook and other companies routinely track your online surfing habits to better target ads at you. Two web browsers now want to help you fight back.
New protections in Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers aim to prevent companies from turning “cookie” data files used to store sign-in details and preferences into broader trackers. Such trackers can take note of what you read, watch and research on other sites.
Safari makes these protections automatic in upcoming updates for iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. Firefox’s is automatic only on Apple’s mobile devices, not on Android or personal computers.
You’ll have to break your habit of using Google’s Chrome browser, which by some estimates has more than half of the worldwide browser usage. Safari and Firefox have less than 20 percent combined.