Business Highlights

April 5, 2018


China-US tariff spat: Mostly losers, but some winners too

BEIJING (AP) — China’s threat to raise tariffs on U.S. goods could be a disaster for American soybean farmers but a boon to their Brazilian and Argentine competitors, European aerospace companies and Japanese whiskey distillers. Regulators picked products China can get elsewhere when they made a $50 billion list including soybeans and small aircraft targeted for possible retaliation in a spiraling technology dispute with Washington.


Stock market is its old, volatile self again after long calm

NEW YORK (AP) — Volatility is the name of the game in the stock market this year. Big swings in price are the norm, not only on a day-to-day basis but also hour to hour. Wednesday’s turnaround from big early losses to solid gains is just one example. Traders pin part of the blame on Washington, D.C., but they also see this rise of volatility as a return to normalcy following an unusually calm 2017.


As Trump tweets, Amazon seeks to expand its business empire

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amazon is spending millions of dollars on lobbying as the global online retailer seeks to expand its reach into a swath of industries that President Donald Trump’s broadsides haven’t come close to hitting. Amazon relies on an in-house lobbying team as well as outside firms to influence the lawmakers and federal regulators who can help determine its success. Overall, Amazon spent $15.6 million on lobbying in 2017.


Long-term US mortgage rates fall; 30-year at 4.40 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, benefiting potential homebuyers with the spring buying season underway. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages dipped to 4.40 percent from 4.44 percent last week. The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans declined to 3.87 percent from 3.90 percent last week.


US trade gap rises 6th straight month to 9 ½-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit rose for the sixth straight month in February, reaching the highest level since October 2008 and defying President Donald Trump’s efforts to rebalance America’s lopsided trade with the rest of the world. U.S. exports and imports both set records.


YouTube shooter’s bizarre videos key to suspected motive

MENIFEE, Calif. (AP) — Police say the videos posted by the woman who wounded three people in a shooting at YouTube headquarters are central to the motive. Police and relatives say Nasim Aghdam was angry with YouTube’s policies. She was virtually unknown in her native Iran, where people expressed shock that she would lash out violently in a country that has more social media freedoms.


Delta: Data of ‘several hundred thousand’ customers exposed

ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines now says that payment-card information about “several hundred thousand” customers may have been exposed by a malware breach last fall. The airlines says that the malware attack may have exposed customers’ names, addresses, credit card numbers, card security codes and expiration dates. Delta offered the additional details about the attack on Thursday, a day after saying that only a “small subset” of customers was affected.


Obama-era clean-air rule on methane emissions blocked again

WASHINGTON (AP) — An on-again, off-again effort to restrict harmful methane emissions on federal lands is off — again. A federal judge in Wyoming has halted the clean-air rule indefinitely. The judge says it “makes little sense” to force oil and gas companies to comply with the Obama-era rule when the Trump administration has moved to roll back the 2016 regulation. The Interior Department rule forced energy companies to capture methane gas burned or wasted at drilling sites on public lands.


Gov’t: Goodyear tires may have caused 95 deaths or injuries

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government’s road safety agency says it has received allegations that defective Goodyear motor home tires caused crashes that killed or injured 95 people during the past two decades. The allegations were revealed in an information-seeking letter sent to Goodyear by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Late last year, the agency began investigating whether Goodyear’s G159 tires are unsafe. Goodyear says it’s cooperating with the investigation.


Stocks jump as trade war fears ease; Amazon, Facebook rally

NEW YORK (AP) —Global stock indexes kept climbing Thursday as investors around the world grew more optimistic that a trade dispute between the U.S. and China, the two largest economies in the world, will resolve without too much damage. In the U.S., banks rose along with interest rates, retailers and consumer-focused companies kept rising, and industrial and technology companies turned higher.


The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 18.15 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,662.84. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 240.92 points, or 1 percent, to 24,505.22. The Nasdaq composite added 34.44 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,076.55. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 11.26 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,542.93.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 17 cents to $63.54 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 31 cents to $68.33 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline and heating oil both remained at $1.98 a gallon. Natural gas fell 4 cents to $2.68 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Update hourly