Business Highlights

June 12, 2018


Federal judge approves AT&T-Time Warner merger

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge approved the $85 billion mega-merger of AT&T and Time Warner on Tuesday. The decision could usher in a wave of media consolidation while shaping how much consumers pay for streaming TV and movies.


Tesla cuts 9 pct. of workforce in bid to post a profit

DETROIT (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Inc. is laying off about 3,600 workers mainly from its salaried ranks as it trims costs in an effort to become profitable. CEO Elon Musk says in an email to workers Tuesday that the cuts amount to about 9 percent of the company’s workforce of 40,000. The move will not affect factory workers as Tesla continues to ramp up production of its lower-priced Model 3 small car.


US consumer prices up 0.2 pct. in May, 2.8 pct. annually

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in May, with surging gasoline costs driving much of the increase. The Labor Department says that the consumer price index climbed 2.8 percent in May from a year earlier, putting inflation on its fastest annual pace since February 2012. But core prices — which excludes the volatile food and energy categories — have risen a milder 2.2 percent over the past 12 months.


Seattle repeals tax on companies after Amazon fights back

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle leaders have repealed a tax on large companies such as Amazon and Starbucks after a backlash from businesses over the effort designed to combat a growing homelessness crisis. The City Council voted 7-2 Tuesday after supporters and opponents packed a meeting with signs saying, “Tax Amazon, housing for all” and “No tax on jobs.” It’s a stark reversal from a month ago when the council unanimously approved the tax. It has divided Seattle and drawn criticism from businesses as misguided.


3 things to watch for from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — No one will likely be surprised by the announcement the Fed is set to make when its latest policy meeting ends Wednesday: That it’s raising its key short-term interest rate for the second time this year. Analysts will be looking most keenly for hints of how fast the Fed may raise rates again in the coming months. They will also be assessing any observations from the Fed about the possible consequences of rising global trade tensions.


US government records $146.8 billion May deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government recorded a budget deficit of $146.8 billion in May, helping push the total deficit so far this year 23 percent above the same period a year ago. Last month’s deficit followed a surplus of $214.3 billion in April, a month that traditionally ends in the black because of the federal income tax filing deadline.


Energy regulators: No grid emergency to justify coal bailout

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration claims that struggles facing the coal and nuclear industries threaten the reliability of the nation’s power grid. Federal regulators, however, are disputing this. The Republican chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told Congress on Tuesday “there is no immediate calamity or threat,” adding that existing power sources are sufficient to satisfy the nation’s energy needs.


US imposes new security measures on incoming cargo shipments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is imposing new security rules on air cargo entering the country. Customs will get advance information about shipments. An airline trade group says it is reviewing the details, but favors making measures for advance screening of cargo mandatory. The rules are seen as causing minimal disruption to global cargo shipments. Concern about bombs on cargo planes goes back to a foiled terror plot in 2010.


Charitable giving in US tops $400 billion for first time

NEW YORK (AP) — Charitable giving in the United States hit a high point last year, topping the $400 billion mark for the first time. The Giving USA report says giving from individuals, estates, foundations and corporations reached an estimated $410 billion in 2017 — more than the gross domestic product of countries such as Israel and Ireland. That’s up 5.2 percent from 2016.


The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4.85 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,786.85. The Nasdaq composite added 43.87 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,703.79 and the Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.58 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 25,320.73. The Russell 2000, an index that makes up mostly small companies, rose 7.62 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,682.30.

Benchmark U.S. crude closed up 26 cents to $66.36 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 58 cents to $75.88 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline slipped 2 cent to $2.09 a gallon. Heating oil was little changed at $2.16 a gallon. Natural gas fell 1 cent to $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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