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Update on the latest in business:

October 16, 2017


Wall Street higher

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes are higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street today.

At 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 index was up 1 point at 2,554.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 44 points, to 22,916.

And the Nasdaq composite rose 8 points, to 6,613.


Weinstein Co., mired in sex scandal, may be up for sale

NEW YORK (AP) — The Weinstein Co., mired in a sex scandal, may be putting itself up for sale.

The company says it’s getting an immediate cash infusion from Colony Capital and is in negotiations for the potential sale of all or a significant portion of the movie studio responsible for films like “Shakespeare in Love,” and “Gangs of New York.”

Co-founder Harvey Weinstein was fired by the company last week following allegations of sexual harassment and assault. The allegations span decades.

The fallout has been swift, with Weinstein issuing a lengthy and seemingly tone-deaf apology while losing various honors. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revoked his membership.


White House: $4,000 more for families with business tax cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s chief economist says the administration’s plan to cut corporate tax rates will cause average household incomes to jump $4,000 a year.

It’s a stunning 5 percent increase that could be met with skepticism among tax experts and Democratic lawmakers.

The analysis by Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, says the estimated income growth is “conservative” and based on academic studies.


Nordstrom puts the hunt for a buyer on hold.

NEW YORK (AP) — Nordstrom is halting, at least temporarily, the search for a buyer.

Shares tumbled 5 percent at the opening bell today.

The retailer says in a regulatory filing that several members of the Nordstrom family told the company’s special committee that they are suspending actively looking to close on a sale this year. The company will again be looking into a possible deal after the holiday season ends.

In June Nordstrom Inc. announced that members of the Nordstrom family including co-presidents Blake, Peter and Erik Nordstrom were considering making an offer to buy out the 70 percent of the department store’s stock they don’t already own.


Supreme Court to consider American Express fee dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is taking up an appeal by 11 states that argue American Express violated antitrust laws by barring merchants from asking customers to use other credit cards that charge lower fees.

The justices said today they would review a ruling by the federal appeals in New York that sided with American Express.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by states and the Obama administration in 2010 against American Express, Mastercard and Visa. The lawsuit said that letting merchants steer customers to cards with lower fees for merchants or to other preferred cards would benefit consumers and increase incentives for networks to reduce card fees.


Justices to hear government’s email dispute with Microsoft

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is intervening in a digital-age privacy dispute between the Trump administration and Microsoft over emails stored abroad.

The justices say they’ll hear the administration’s appeal of a lower court ruling in favor of Microsoft. The court held the emails sought in a drug trafficking investigation were beyond the reach of a search warrant because they were kept on a Microsoft server in Ireland.

The case is among several legal clashes that Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft and other technology companies have had with the government over questions of digital privacy and authorities’ need for information to combat crime and extremism.

Privacy law experts say the companies have been more willing to push back against the government since the leak of classified information detailing America’s surveillance programs.


Daimler plans new structure for Mercedes, truck business

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Automaker Daimler is moving toward a restructuring that would see its Mercedes-Benz car division and its truck and bus business become legally independent entities under Daimler’s overall roof.

The company says the changes would give the divisions the entrepreneurial flexibility to react to a rapidly changing business environment.


Survey: Manufacturing in New York accelerated in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing activity in New York picked up this month, expanding at the fastest pace in three years.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that its Empire State manufacturing index jumped to 30.2, the highest level since 2014. Any reading above zero points to expansion.

Shipments of goods soared more than 11 points to 27.5. New orders fell nearly seven points to 18, a reading that still indicates demand is solid. A measure of employment rose, a sign that factories in the state are creating more jobs.

Nationwide, manufacturers are benefiting from a healthy global economy and a decline in the dollar’s value, which makes U.S. goods cheaper overseas. Automakers have also ramped up production to replace cars destroyed by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.


Czech Republic’s hot property market is becoming a problem

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic’s capital has the hottest residential property market in Europe, and it’s becoming a problem.

A 22 percent spike in prices over the past year in Prague is freezing out many locals from buying a home and the risk of a boom and bust in the market has forced the Czech Central Bank to step in to try to cool off demand.

While many countries in Europe have seen strong gains in real estate values recently, Prague stands out, thanks to a combination of factors: a lack of new apartments, strong demand amid a growing economy and low borrowing rates, and a boom in investment buying to set up Airbnb businesses.

According to accounting firm Deloitte, the average price for newly built apartments in the capital reached some 92,600 koruna ($4,240) per square meter this year, up from 75,600 a year ago, a growth rate that the central bank says it higher than anywhere else in Europe.


Judge bars teacher sick-outs in Rhode Island school district

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — A judge has ordered teachers in a Rhode Island school district not to hold any more sick-outs for the next 10 days.

Superior Court Judge Susan McGuirl issued a temporary restraining order today, the third day in two weeks that teachers at Warwick schools have staged what the district says are sick-outs amid ongoing contract negotiations.

A lawyer for the Warwick Teachers Union denied there have been any union-sanctioned sick-outs, telling the judge the union is not encouraging the action.

Three Warwick elementary schools closed today because so many teachers called in sick. A middle school was closed last Wednesday, and a high school was closed Oct. 6.

The superintendent asked the court to intervene, saying it amounts to an illegal work stoppage.

A hearing is scheduled Oct. 27.


Rent the Runway adds less expensive option

NEW YORK (AP) — Rent the Runway is adding a less expensive option for its fashion rental service.

The company says it will offer a service called RTR Update, which will cost $89 per month and will include four fashion pieces delivered from more than 200 top brands, including Milly and Tory Burch.

RTR Unlimited customers get access to more than 500 top designer brands including Derek Lam and Proenza Schouler. They can rent four items at a time and exchange and choose new items as many times as they like. But the price for that service will increase to $159 per month for new members, up from $139. Existing RTR Unlimited members get to keep the original price.

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