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Update on the latest in business:

June 7, 2017


Asian stocks mostly higher after Wall Street decline

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks have been mostly higher Wednesday following Wall Street’s decline as traders looked ahead to British elections.

The Shanghai Composite Index, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 are gaining. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Seoul’s Kospi are unchanged.

On Wall Street yesterday, U.S. stocks declined for a second day, with the Dow sliding 0.2 percent to 21,136. The S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent to 2,429. And the Nasdaq composite index lost 0.3 percent to 6,275.


Are new Trump hotels exploiting presidency or just business?

NEW YORK (AP) — The name of the new hotel chain is American Idea. The name is said to have been inspired by stories heard in small towns on the campaign trail. The owner is now president of the United States. That said, the Trump Organization wants to make something perfectly clear: It is not exploiting the presidency for profit.

CEO Eric Denziger says accusations of exploitation are “pure, unadulterated nonsense.”

President Donald Trump has been criticized for raising membership fees at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, boasting of his new Washington hotel that has become a favorite spot for foreign diplomats, and benefiting from trademark approvals from China for possible future business there. Now comes his company’s latest venture: a hotel chain.

The American Idea chain was unveiled Monday night in New York at a Trump Tower party hosted by the president’s two adult sons, Eric and Don Jr., and featuring a video showing the Washington Mall.

The first family plans to franchise the mid-market hotels, taking a cut of revenue, and leaving the management and ownership of the buildings to other developers. The first three are planned for Mississippi.


1st farmer lawsuit begins against Syngenta over China trade

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The first of tens of thousands of U.S. lawsuits over Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta’s introduction of a genetically engineered corn seed variety is underway in a Kansas federal courtroom.

The trial that began Monday in Kansas City, Kansas, involves four Kansas farmers representing about 7,300 farmers in the state. Another trial involving about 60,000 cases begins next month in Minnesota.

The lawsuits allege Syngenta introduced the seed variety to the U.S. market before China approved it for imports, wrecking an increasingly important export market for U.S. corn and causing price drops.

Syngenta denies it caused farmer losses.

The Kansas trial is the first test case. It and the Minnesota trial will provide guidance for how the complex web of litigation in state and federal courts could be resolved.


Macy’s warns about profit margins, sending shares lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy’s has warned investors that its profit margins would keep shrinking this year, sending shares in the chain tumbling more than 8 percent and affecting other department store stocks.

Randal J. Konik, a stock analyst at Jefferies, said the struggling department store chain told analysts at an investor meeting Tuesday that its gross profit margin could be 0.6 percent to 0.8 percent lower than last year.

Konik said in a note that Macy’s is expecting its gross profit margins in the second quarter to be down 1 percent from a year ago.

The warning dragged down shares of other major retailers including J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and Kohl’s. It also underscored the challenges ahead for traditional chains, particularly clothing retailers, which are seeing increasing competition from online leader Amazon.com and people’s changing preferences away from clothing and more toward experiences.


Delta: Pilot in wrong airport landing retired

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Delta Air Lines says the pilot of a jet that landed at the wrong airport in South Dakota last year retired shortly after the incident.

Delta spokesman Michael Thomas also says the first officer underwent retraining and is back flying for the airline.

The National Transportation Safety Board blamed pilot error for the incident, noting in its final report that the flight crew had been cautioned that the two airports are close and easy to confuse.

Delta Flight 2845 from Minneapolis landed July 7 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, about 6 miles (10 kilometers) northwest of the intended destination, Rapid City Regional Airport.

The report says the two airfields have runways that nearly line up and that pilot confusion between them is “fairly common.”


Uber dismisses over 20 employees after law firm’s probe

DETROIT (AP) — Uber has fired more than 20 employees after a law firm investigated complaints of sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination and other violations of company policies.

An Uber spokeswoman says the firm Perkins Coie was hired after former engineer Susan Fowler posted a blog in February about sex harassment at the ride-hailing company. Fowler wrote that on her first day at work her boss propositioned her in a series of messages.

The Perkins Coie probe is separate from one being done by former Attorney General Eric Holder. He is likely to make broader recommendations on how to change Uber’s culture when his report is released publicly next week.


Satellite-TV firm Dish fined $280 million in robocall suit

NEW YORK (AP) — An Illinois judge on Monday ordered satellite-TV company Dish to pay $280 million for calling people who said they didn’t want to be bothered by telemarketers.

The court found that Dish “caused millions and millions of violations of the Do Not Call Laws.” Telemarketers are barred from calling people who have joined federal or state do-not-call registries or who’ve asked companies to leave them alone.

The Justice Department said the $280 million penalty, which will go to the U.S., California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio, was the biggest ever penalty for telemarketing violations.

Dish Network Corp. says it will appeal the ruling. It says the penalties are unfairly large and it’s being held responsible for telemarketing done by contractors, who in some cases hid what they were doing from Dish.


Ground broken for NYC film and television production complex

NEW YORK (AP) — A 10-acre vacant New York City lot will be transformed into a film and television production complex.

The project had a groundbreaking Tuesday in the Bronx. Queens-based York Studios is behind the project. The studio is home to the CBS series “Elementary” and the movie “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” among others.

The new campus in the Soundview neighborhood will eventually house nine sound stages, production office space and workshops for each stage.

Government officials predict the project could generate nearly $100 million in new tax revenues for the Bronx. They say it will create hundreds of construction jobs and employ about 400 production industry professionals.

Update hourly