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BC-Business News Digest

February 21, 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:

US-CHINA-TRADE TALKS _ The U.S. and China resumed high-levels talks aimed at easing a trade standoff that has unnerved global investors and clouded the outlook for the world economy. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 420 words, photo. UPCOMING: Will be updated if there are developments in talks.

And:

OFF THE CHARTS-CHINA EXPOSURE _ Companies making everything from computers to construction cranes are seeing their profits hurt as the United States’ trade war with China causes the world’s second largest economy to slow. By Damian Troise. SENT: 500 words, photos.

TAX-Q&A _ Tax preparation is rarely easy, but this filing season comes with a unique set of complications. The Associated Press enlisted several executives at big tax prep companies to answer questions. By Sarah Skidmore Sell. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

BKC-T25-DUKE WILLIAMSON-NIKE _ Nike says it’s investigating why Duke freshman Zion Williamson split a shoe open during a game against rival North Carolina. But the sportswear giant says it’s an “isolated occurrence.” By AP Retail Writer Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Will be expanded, photos.

UGLY PRODUCE _ Walmart and Whole Foods are among the grocers that have ended their “ugly produce” tests, suggesting the trend’s appeal may be limited in supermarkets. By Candice Choi and Scott McFetridge. UPCOMING: 700 words by noon, photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS _ Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street, threatening to end a three-day winning streak for the S&P 500 index. SENT: 520 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through trading, about 700 words by 5 p.m.

DURABLE GOODS _ Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods posted a 1.2 percent advance in December, the best showing in four months, but much of the strength came from a surge in orders for commercial aircraft. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: 300 words by 9:15 a.m.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS _ Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign that layoffs declined and hiring is likely strong. By Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: 250 words by 9:15 a.m.

HOME SALES _ U.S. home sales fell 1.2 percent in January to their worst pace in more than three years, as persistent affordability problems have put a harsh chill in the real estate market. By Josh Boak. SENT: 210 words, photos.

MORTGAGE RATES _ Freddie Mac reports on this week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report, 300 words by noon.

EARNINGS:

DOMINO’S PIZZA-RESULTS _ Domino’s Pizza notched its 31st consecutive quarter of U.S. same-store sales growth, but at a slower pace than investors hoped. SENT: 160 words, photo. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

DENMARK-EARNS-MOLLER-MAERSK _ Shares in the world’s biggest shipping company, Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk, plunge after it warned of the commercial damage it would suffer from a U.S. escalation in the trade war with China. SENT: 270 words, photo.

INDUSTRY:

SWITZERLAND-AIR SAFETY _ A leading airline trade group says fatal commercial flight accidents increased in 2018 from a record low set in 2017. SENT: 130 words.

And:

NETHERLANDS-UKRAINE-PLANE _ More than four years after a Malaysian passenger jet was shot down over conflict-ravaged eastern Ukraine, airlines around the world still need more and better information to make risk assessments about flying over war zones, a Dutch safety watchdog says. By Mike Corder. SENT: 350 words, photos.

GERMANY-MEXICO-HECKLER & KOCH _ A German court on Thursday convicted two former employees of gun maker Heckler & Koch over their role in the delivery of weapons that ended up in troubled areas of Mexico, and ordered the confiscation of proceeds from the sales totaling some 3.7 million euros ($4.2 million). By Geir Moulson. SENT: 400 words, photos.

RUSSIA-US INVESTOR _ The United States Embassy in Moscow has called on Russian authorities to allow its staff to visit a U.S. investment fund manager who has been jailed pending a fraud investigation. SENT: 350 words, photos.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

ESTONIA-ONLINE VOTING _ Balloting has started in online voting pioneer Estonia for next month’s election, a day after Microsoft said hackers linked to Russia allegedly had targeted democratic institutions in several European countries. SENT: 130 words.

INTERNATIONAL:

VIETNAM-BOOMING ECONOMY _ Vietnam, the location of President Donald Trump’s next meeting with Kim Jong Un, could provide an economic model for the North Korean leader. United into a youthful nation of 95 million, beginning in the mid-1980s the country embraced global trade to become a production base for South Korea’s Samsung and many other manufacturing giants. The “Doi Moi” reforms adopted by its communist rulers were modeled largely on China’s transformation into the world’s factory floor. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 550 words, photos.

EUROPE-ECONOMY _ Top officials of the European Central Bank worried at their last meeting that the slowdown in economic growth might be “deeper and more broad-based” than previously suspected. SENT: 330 words, photo.

Also:

BREXIT _ EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says despite constructive talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May he remains downbeat on the prospect of Britain avoiding a chaotic exit from the bloc next month. SENT: 130 words, photo.

CHINA-SAUDI-ARABIA _ Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in China on Thursday on the latest stop of a sweep through Asia that seeks to boost relations with the kingdom’s neighbors amid frictions with the West. Prince Mohammed’s visit follows trips to India and Pakistan, which send millions of laborers to Saudi Arabia and are seeking closer economic ties. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 630 words, photos.

ECUADOR-IMF _ The International Monetary Fund’s staff has agreed to support the economic policies of the Ecuadorean government with $4.2 billion over the next three years. By Luis Alonso Lugo. SENT: 200 words.

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.

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