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Update on the latest in business:

May 20, 2019

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Chipmakers down, Sprint up

NEW YORK (AP) _ A sell-off in shares of chipmakers is pushing U.S. stocks lower on Wall Street. Companies are taking steps to comply with the Trump administration’s decision to restrict technology sales to Chinese telecom giant Huawei (WAH’-way).

About one-third of Huawei’s suppliers are American chipmakers, including Qualcomm and Broadcom. Both those stocks have been down more than 4% in early trading.

Shares of American Airlines dropped 2.4% after Morgan Stanley warned of higher labor and fuel costs for the carrier.

While Sprint shares spiked 24% after the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said he will recommend approval of its merger with T-Mobile. Shares of T-Mobile gained 5.7%.

T-MOBILE-SPRINT-FCC

FCC chairman backs T-Mobile, Sprint merger

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission says he plans to recommend the agency approve the $26.5 billion merger of wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint, saying it’ll speed up 5G deployment in the U.S.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai also said Monday that the combination will help bring faster mobile broadband to rural Americans.

Pai said T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. would suffer “serious consequences” if they don’t meet their FCC commitments, including the possibility of having to pay billions to the Treasury Department.

CHINA-TRADE-GOOGLE

Huawei could be stripped of Google services after US ban

UNDATED (AP) _ The Chinese tech giant Huawei (WAH’-way) faces the loss of the Google-supplied software that sell smartphones, threatening its global sale. A Google announcement highlights the potential damage to Huawei from Washington’s order. The Trump administration calls Huawei a security threat and is seeking to persuade other nations from buying its equipment. Goggle says it will provide security updates but isn’t saying what services Huawei smartphone buyers might lose.

Huawei will likely use its own, stripped-down version of Android, whose basic code is provided free of charge by Google. But it’s not yet clear what other Google software and services — such as maps, Gmail or search — it will be able to use.

Huawei’s smartphone sales in the U.S. are tiny — and the Chinese company’s footprint in telecommunications networks is limited to smaller wireless and internet providers— so any impact on U.S. consumers of a Google services cutoff would be slight.

TRUMP-BANKS

Trump says he didn’t need to borrow from banks

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Donald Trump tweeted today that he didn’t borrow from many banks because he “didn’t need the money,” not because they wouldn’t do business with him. The tweet appears to be in response to a New York Times report that Deutsche (DOY’-chuh) Bank anti-money- laundering specialists recommended that multiple transactions associated with Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be flagged to federal authorities.

Bank executives rejected that advice.

The Times and others have reported that Deutsche Bank was the “only mainstream financial institution consistently willing to do business” with Trump due to his repeated defaults.

Two House committees have subpoenaed Deutsche Bank and several other financial institutions as part of their investigations into Trump’s finances. Trump, his family and the Trump Organization have filed a lawsuit to try to stop them from complying.

FORD-JOB CUTS

Ford is cutting 7,000 white-collar jobs

DETROIT (AP) _ Ford is shedding 10 percent of its global salaried workforce by cutting 7,000 white-collar jobs when Ford’s major global restructuring ends in August. The company says the plan will save about $600 million per year by eliminating bureaucracy and increasing the number of workers reporting to each manager.

In the U.S. about 2,300 jobs will be cut through buyouts and layoffs. About 1,500 already have happened. About 500 workers will be let go this week.

SUPREME COURT-FOSAMAX

Supreme Court sends dispute over Fosamax back to lower court

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is sending a dispute between drugmaker Merck and patients who used its bone-strengthening drug Fosamax back to a lower court. The high court ruled Monday that a lawsuit involving hundreds of people who sued alleging they were injured by Fosamax should go back to a lower court for further proceedings. The Fosamax users had argued that Merck had failed to provide adequate warnings on the drug’s label.

A trial court initially threw out claims against the New Jersey-based company but an appeals court revived them.

Merck had argued that it could not have added a warning risk for an unusual type of thigh-bone fracture earlier than 2010 because the FDA determined the available evidence didn’t support a change before then.

ELECTION 2020-MINIMUM WAGE

$15 minimum wage becomes part of 2020 presidential landscape

UNDATED (AP) _ Almost the entire 2020 Democratic presidential field has joined the labor movement driven by fast food workers to implement a federal minimum wage of $15. As part of the labor campaign called Fight for 15, Democratic presidential hopefuls will join striking McDonald’s workers this week to try to push the company to allow its workers to organize.

A $15 national minimum wage has become a popular Democratic promise on the campaign trail, but the party itself is split over implementing it.

A bill to create a national minimum wage has stalled in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. Still, the Fight for 15 movement has been successful at getting that high level of wage implemented in many Democratic states and cities.

WHISKEY EXPORTS

American distillers welcome end of tariffs in Canada, Mexico

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ American whiskey producers feeling the pain from the Trump administration’s trade disputes have gotten a shot of relief with an agreement that will end retaliatory tariffs that Canada and Mexico slapped on whiskey and other U.S. products.

American distillers have suffered shrinking exports since the last half of 2018 due to tariffs in key markets.

President Donald Trump last Friday lifted import taxes on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum and delayed auto tariffs that would have hurt Japan and Europe. In return, the Canadians and Mexicans agreed to scrap their retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, including American whiskey.

But U.S. whiskey makers still face significant trade hurdles in the European Union, the industry’s biggest export market.

TELSA STOCK

Tesla stock falls as concerns about demand for Model 3 arise

UNDATED (AP) _ Shares of Tesla are down 50 percent since September, with concerns about Model 3 demand in the U.S. at the forefront.

Daniel Ives of WedBush said that so far there seems to be mixed signals on Model 3 demand, which could make it harder for Tesla to achieve a profit in its third and fourth quarters and the future. Tesla should also press pause on expanding into insurance, robotaxis and other projects, he added.

Ives said, “The company instead should be laser-focused on shoring up core demand for Model 3 and simplifying its business model and expense structure”.

Tesla Inc.’s stock dropped 4.4 percent in Monday midday trading to $201.83. The stock fell below $200 earlier in the session, its lowest point since late 2016.

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