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Update on the latest in business:

October 4, 2018


Stocks in U.S., elsewhere, decline

NEW YORK (AP) — Global stocks are falling as a rise in interest rates in the U.S. ripples worldwide.

In the U.S., internet and technology companies and high-dividend paying stocks are falling. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note is rising further after hitting a seven-year high a day earlier.

Stocks in Europe and Asia also declined and government bond yields rose.

Data suggests the economy should keep growing at a solid pace. That translates to bigger profits for U.S. companies and continued increases in interest rates by the Federal Reserve, which raises rates to keep inflation in check. But as interest rates continue to rise, it becomes more expensive for consumers and businesses to borrow money, and growth gradually slows.


US mortgage rates edge lower; 30-year rate at 4.71 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged slightly lower this week, taking a pause after five straight weeks of increases.

Costs for would-be homebuyers have been climbing, and the key 30-year rate has been running at its highest levels in more than seven years. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages ticked down to 4.71 percent this week from 4.72 percent last week. The average benchmark rate has risen from 3.85 percent a year ago.

The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans slipped to 4.15 percent this week from 4.16 percent last week.

The Federal Reserve signaled its confidence in the economy last week by raising a key interest rate for a third time this year, forecasting another rate hike before year’s end.


French finance minister prods Germany on EU economic reform

BERLIN (AP) — France’s finance minister is pressing Germany to move ahead with plans for economic reform in the European Union, warning that “we cannot wait any longer” and arguing that ordinary citizens’ patience is “exhausted.”

The countries’ leaders agreed in June to create a eurozone budget aimed at boosting investment and to improve the effectiveness of the 19-nation currency area’s rescue mechanism, among other things. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has largely been preoccupied by domestic political problems since then.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Thursday’s edition of German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung the pledges must be acted on and “not making decisions feeds populism.”

He said “the domestic political situation on one side or the other must not be used as a pretext to delay pressing European policy decisions.”


UK car sales slump after introduction of new emission tests

LONDON (AP) — Industry figures show that car sales in Britain slumped by a fifth in September after the introduction of new emission tests.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders said Thursday that new vehicle registrations, including fleet and business sales, fell by an annual 20.5 percent to 338,834.

With the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure introduced at the start of September, car dealers rushed to pre-register stock in August to circumvent the new tests.

Still, September is much more important for sales than August as a result of the half-yearly change in British number plates.

Samuel Tombs, chief U.K. economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, noted that the “underlying trend in demand remains downward” as registrations in August and September combined were down 13.8 percent.

Year-to-date, sales are down 7.5 percent.


Ahead of 3-way split, DowDuPont unveils new DuPont logo

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Ahead of next year’s spinoff, the division that will retain the DuPont name has a new look.

News outlets report temporary holding company DowDuPont unveiled DuPont’s new logo Wednesday.

While retaining its predecessor’s oval shape, it ditches the red ribbon around the company name, now bolder. Now gone is the space between “Du” and “Pont,” a legacy holdover still used by some of the namesake family.

The company’s statement says the new design recognizes the company’s heritage “while conveying our focus on a customer-led innovation strategy.”

The specialty products division will become the new DuPont company in June. It will remain based in Delaware, along with agriculture spinoff Corteva Agriscience.

The Michigan-based materials science division will keep the Dow name after it spins off in April.


Poll: Young Americans say online bullying a serious problem

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. (AP) — Teens and young adults say cyberbullying is a serious problem for people their age. But most don’t think they’ll be the ones targeted for digital abuse.

That’s according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV, which also finds that about half of both young people and their parents view social media as having a mostly negative effect on the younger generation.

Roughly three-quarters of 15- to 26-year-olds say online bullying and abuse is a serious problem for their peers.

Connecticut 15-year-old Matty Nev Luby says she’s learned to navigate Instagram and other social media apps by brushing aside the anonymous bullies.

The Youth Political Pulse poll was conducted Aug. 23 to Sept. 10.


Company behind Jim Beam announces leadership transition

The executive who guided classic American whiskeys Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark through the transition of being acquired by a Japanese company four years ago has announced he’ll step down as CEO of spirits company Beam Suntory next spring.

Chicago-based Beam Suntory said Thursday that its top executive, Matt Shattock, will hand over CEO duties to Albert Baladi next April.

Baladi currently serves as Beam Suntory’s chief operating officer and president of North American operations.

During Shattock’s tenure, the company’s annual sales more than doubled to $4.3 billion.

Beam Suntory’s key brands include Kentucky bourbons Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark.

Beam Suntory says Shattock will remain a member of its board as nonexecutive chairman and a board member of beverage company Suntory Holdings, the Japanese-based parent company of Beam Suntory.


Violinist, professor, pastor among 25 ‘genius grant’ winners

CHICAGO (AP) — A violinist who organizes concerts for the homeless and a pastor who protests against voter suppression laws are among this year’s MacArthur fellows and recipients of so-called genius grants.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation on Thursday announced this year’s 25 fellows, including academics, activists, artists, scholars and scientists. Each will receive $625,000 over five years to use as they please.

Among this year’s fellows is Los Angeles Philharmonic first violinist Vijay Gupta, who co-founded Street Symphony, which has performed at homeless shelters, jails and halfway houses for several years.

Another is North Carolina pastor William J. Barber II, who founded a leadership development group and began holding a series of rallies last year outside the state Capitol to protest voter suppression laws.

The Chicago-based foundation has awarded the fellowships each year since 1981 to people who have shown outstanding talent in order to help further their pursuits.

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