Business Highlights

April 10, 2018


Zuckerberg says company working with Mueller probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Apologetic Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told senators Tuesday it had been “clearly a mistake” to believe the Trump-linked data-mining company Cambridge Analytica had discarded data that it had harvested from social media users in an attempt to sway 2016 elections. He also said Facebook is “working with” special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.


Is Facebook really changing? Or just trimming its data haul?

NEW YORK (AP) — The debate over Facebook user data may miss a more fundamental question: Is the company really changing its relationship with users, or just tinkering with its insatiable appetite for data? Facebook’s latest round of privacy changes don’t address the core of its business model, which relies on users to share information that can be used to sell ads. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify to Congress starting Tuesday.


China president’s conciliatory trade gesture raises optimism

BEIJING (AP) — Investors and China watchers welcomed President Xi Jinping’s promise to open his country’s market wider to foreign competition, hoping it will defuse a trade dispute with Washington that has unsettled financial markets and could jeopardize a global economic expansion.


McConnell says he’s open to paring back US spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate’s top Republican says he’s open to a proposal from the White House to pare back a hard-fought spending package that has come under assault from party conservatives. But at the same time, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell said the idea of cutting billions of dollars of just-approved spending may not have enough support to pass the Senate. The idea is being floated by the Trump White House with support from top Republicans like House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.


Under Trump, a voice for the American consumer goes silent

NEW YORK (AP) — In the 135 days since the Trump administration took control of the nation’s consumer watchdog agency, it has not recorded a single enforcement action against banks, credit card companies, or any finance companies whatsoever. That’s likely no fluke: Mick Mulvaney, appointed acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in November, promised to shrink the bureau’s mandate and take a softer approach to enforcement.


Facebook sends privacy alerts to affected users

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook has begun alerting some users that their data was swept up in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. A notification that appeared on Facebook for some users Tuesday told them that “one of your friends” used Facebook to log into a now-banned personality quiz app called “This Is Your Digital Life.” Facebook has said as many as 87 million users were affected.


Trump slump? International arrivals data may be wrong

NEW YORK (AP) — That “Trump slump” in travel may not be as bad it seems. The U.S. Department of Commerce says government statistics showing a drop in international arrivals may have undercounted some foreigners. Publication of the data has been suspended pending revision. Travel experts applauded the effort to get it right. Tourism Economics President Adam Sacks says his data shows international arrivals to the U.S. increased 2 percent in 2017, but that’s still “underperforming” compared with other markets.


EPA to clean up toxic Texas site damaged by Hurricane Harvey

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal environmental regulators have reached a long-awaited agreement with the owners of a polluted toxic waste site in Texas that was damaged during Hurricane Harvey. The Environmental Protection Agency says it reached a deal with International Paper Co. and McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp. to remove dioxin-contaminated materials from the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund site in the Houston area. The companies say they look forward to working with EPA to protect the community.


Fed proposes streamlining annual stress tests for banks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is proposing to streamline the annual stress tests that it conducts to see if the nation’s largest financial firms can survive a severe recession. Randal Quarles, selected by President Donald Trump to be the Fed’s vice chairman for financial supervision, says the change is being put forward in an effort to ensure that the Fed’s regulatory measures are as “simple and transparent” as possible.


Stock indexes rally as China’s president eases trade fears

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks jump after Chinese President Xi Jinping makes conciliatory remarks on trade, easing the market’s fears about U.S.-China trade tensions. China’s leader proposed reducing tariffs on autos, which sent automakers higher. Energy and technology companies also made outsize gains. Facebook surged as CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the Senate.


The Standard & Poor’s 500 index surged 43.71 points, or 1.7 percent, to 2,656.87. The Dow gained 428.90 points, or 1.8 percent, to 24,408. Shortly before noon it rose as much as 532 points. The Nasdaq composite added 143.96 points, or 2.1 percent, to 7,094.30. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks advanced 28.97 points, or 1.9 percent, to 1,543.43.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 3.3 percent to $65.51 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 3.5 percent to $71.04 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 2.9 percent to $2.04 a gallon. Heating oil added 3.4 percent to $2.06 a gallon. Natural gas lost 1.4 percent to $2.66 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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