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BC-Business News Digest

January 17, 2019

Here are AP Business News’ latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

TOP STORIES:

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-UNEMPLOYMENT _ Hundreds of federal workers and contractors have been applying for unemployment benefits amid the record-long government shutdown, putting a strain on state unemployment agencies. There is confusion about whether the workers qualify for the benefits, and unemployment officers trying to get answers from the U.S. Labor Department can’t find anyone to take their calls because of the shutdown. By Michelle Smith. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos, video.

With:

_ UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS _ The number of furloughed federal employees seeking unemployment benefits jumped in the first two weeks of the shutdown, topping 10,000 during the week of Jan. 5. By Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 330 words, photos.

Also:

_ GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-AVIATION _ TSA officials say the rate of airport screeners missing work during the partial government shutdown has stabilized just days before a three-day holiday weekend that is likely to bring bigger airport crowds. SENT: 440 words, photos, video.

PRIVACY LAW-BATTLE LINES _ Consumer advocates and the data-hungry technology industry are drawing early battle lines in advance of an expected fight this year over what kind of federal privacy law the U.S. should have. By Rachel Lerman and Tali Arbel. SENT: 840 words, photos.

US-CHINA-TRADE _ In a possible sign of progress toward ending a costly tariff war over Beijing’s technology ambitions, the top U.S. and Chinese trade envoys will hold talks in Washington later this month. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 960 words, photo.

GYMBOREE-BANKRUPTCY _ Gymboree is filing for bankruptcy protection for a second time in as many years, but this time the children’s clothing retailer will begin winding down operations for good. SENT: 300 words, photo.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS _ U.S. stocks are mostly higher as health care and industrial companies rise. Banks are slipping as Morgan Stanley drops after its fourth-quarter results fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. Smaller companies are making bigger gains than the rest of the market after they suffered outsize losses in late 2018. By Marley. SENT: 810 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through 5 p.m.

MORTGAGE RATES _ U.S. long-term mortgage rates held steady this week, after falling for six straight weeks to reach their lowest levels in nine months. SENT: 340 words, photos.

EARNINGS:

EARNS-MORGAN STANLEY _ Morgan Stanley says fourth-quarter profit totaled $1.53 billion, more than double from the year-ago quarter. By Ken Sweet. SENT: 250 words.

EARNS-AMERICAN EXPRESS _ American Express Co. reports quarterly financial results after the market closes. UPCOMING.

EARNS-NETFLIX _ Netflix Inc. reports quarterly financial results after the market closes.

INDUSTRY:

OFF THE CHARTS THIRSTY FOR GROWTH _ The makers of Budweiser, Coors and other large-scale brewers are placing their bets on cannabis as a way to fight saturated markets and shifting consumer trends. By Damian Troise. UPCOMING: 370 words by 10 a.m.

BRITAIN-NUCLEAR POWER PLANT _ Work on a major new nuclear power station in Britain was suspended after the contracted developer, Japan’s Hitachi, said that it has been unable to agree on financing with the U.K. government. SENT: 400 words, photos.

SPORTS BETTING-MARYLAND _ Maryland lawmakers are exploring a quick way to approve sports betting this year, but it’s unclear if they will be able to do it without voter approval in 2020. By Brian Witte. SENT: 140 words.

NISSAN-MISSISSIPPI-LAYOFFS _ Nissan Motor Co. says it’s cutting up to 700 contract workers at its Mississippi assembly plant, citing slow sales for Frontier pickup trucks and vans. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 540 words.

SEARS-SURVIVAL _ Sears is confirming reports its chairman and largest shareholder Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund has won a bid to buy roughly 400 stores and other assets for $5.2 billion. By Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 240 words, photos.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

FACEBOOK-RUSSIA-FAKE ACCOUNTS _ Facebook says it has removed hundreds of Russia-linked pages, groups and accounts that it says were part of two big disinformation operations, in its latest effort to fight fake news. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 590 words, photos.

TURKEY-JOURNALIST DEPORTED _ Turkish authorities have detained and later deported a Dutch journalist, her newspaper said Thursday _ the latest foreign reporter to be ousted from the country, which is frequently accused of stifling media freedoms. By Suzan Fraser and Mike Corder. SENT: 550 words.

MICROSOFT-HOUSING CRISIS FUND _ Microsoft pledged $500 million to address homelessness and develop affordable housing in response to the Seattle region’s widening affordability gap. SENT: 470 words, photos.

GOOGLE-SOLAR PANELS _ Google plans to invest in Tennessee and Alabama solar farms under a deal with the Tennessee Valley Authority. SENT: 140 words.

TRUMP LAWYER-INVESTIGATION _ President Donald Trump’s estranged former lawyer is acknowledging that he paid a technology company to rig Trump’s standing in two online polls. SENT: 390 words, photos.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

NERDWALLET-COLLEGES HELP _ With collective U.S student loan debt nearing $1.5 trillion, some colleges are testing innovative solutions to help reduce student borrowing. Using no-strings-attached student loan payoff-assistance programs, college loan alternatives and annual student debt letters, these three universities are doing their part to curb college debt. By NerdWallet Columnist Teddy Nykiel. SENT: 800 words, photo.

INTERNATIONAL:

BREXIT-EUROPE _ France is spending 50 million euros ($57 million) to beef up security at airports and the Eurotunnel, hiring hundreds of extra customs officers and issuing emergency decrees to gear up for the increasingly likely possibility that Britain will leave the European Union on March 29 without a plan. By Angela Charlton. SENT: 610 words, photos.

With:

BREXIT _ A weakened but defiant Prime Minister Theresa May met lawmakers from Britain’s rival Brexit factions Thursday to try to forge a replacement for her rejected European Union exit plan. By Jill Lawless and Gregory Katz. SENT: 970 words, photos.

JAPAN-ECONOMY _ Japan faces unforeseen risks in guiding economic policy as its population of about 126 million ages and declines, the governor of its central bank said Thursday. By Kaori Hitomi. SENT: 530 words, photos.

MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:

SPOTLIGHT

Stopped that train

CSX Corp. shares slumped after the railroad delivered fourth-quarter profit lower than last year.

CENTERPIECE

Inflation swings on gas prices

Inflation has been trending lower, largely because the cost of gas has tumbled 2.1 percent over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Business News Supervisor Richard Jacobsen (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos (ext. 1900.) For graphics/interactives (ext. 7636.) For access to AP Newsroom and technical issues: customersupport@ap.org, or 877-836-9477. Questions about transmission of financial market listings, call 800-3AP-STOX.

The full digest for AP’s Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. For questions about M&M content, contact Greg Keller at (212) 621-7958.

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