Business Highlights

August 29, 2018


Canada stunned and worried about Trump trade threats

TORONTO (AP) — Canadians are stunned by the repeated broadsides from what has long been their closest ally and some have even begun boycotts. It started with President Trump’s attacks on Canadian dairy farmers, then Washington slapped tariffs on Canadian steel, citing national security. There was that disastrous G-7 summit in Quebec. Now it’s a new North American free trade agreement that excludes America’s northern neighbor.


Pot industry wants to see ‘stoner’ stereotype go up in smoke

LOS ANGELES (AP) — America’s legal marijuana industry is working on its image. Pot advocates are trying to dispel the idea that people who toke up still live in their parents’ basements and spend their days eating Cheetos and playing video games. Instead, many marijuana businesses are branding cannabis as the leafy equivalent of a fine brandy or healthy elixir. Upscale pot shop MedMen, for example, has launched a $2 million “anti-stoner” campaign featuring average folks who get lit.


Tariffs on imported newsprint nixed in win for US newspapers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. International Trade Commission has blocked tariffs for imported newsprint by finding American producers weren’t harmed by imports from Canadian paper mills. The ruling is a victory for the U.S. newspaper industry, which complained that the rising cost of newsprint made it harder to operate and required them to trim the size of papers or lay off employees. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the ruling, saying the tariffs hurt “the lifeblood of our local communities.”


Tabloid that kept Trump secrets faces losses, legal trouble

WASHINGTON (AP) — Confidential documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the National Enquirer’s circulation declined even as it published stories attacking Donald Trump’s political foes and, prosecutors claim, helped suppress stories about his alleged sexual affairs. Despite claims by the tabloid’s parent company, American Media Inc., that its heavy support for Trump sells magazines, the documents show the Enquirer’s average weekly circulation fell 18 percent in its 2018 fiscal year.


Post-disaster, business owners find varied paths to recovery

NEW YORK (AP) — As small business owners in Hawaii and California start cleaning up after a hurricane and wildfires, they’ll find there’s no one formula for recovery. The same disaster can devastate businesses in divergent ways — a hurricane might tear the roof off one restaurant, flood another and leave a third with little damage. Still, experts say many companies can survive if owners understand what their priorities are and what resources are available.


A controversial comeback for a highly prized tuna

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The highly prized bluefin tuna appears to be slowly recovering in the Atlantic Ocean, prompting fishermen to seek bigger commercial catch quotas and environmentalists to call for a more conservative approach. The tuna is one of the most recognizable fish in the Atlantic, and it’s prized by anglers and the sushi industry. The fish can weigh 1,000 pounds and is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


US economy grew at a brisk 4.2 pct. annual rate last quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a 4.2 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the best showing in nearly four years, as growth stayed on track to realize the strongest annual gain in more than a decade. The Commerce Department says the April-June quarter was revised up from an initial estimate of 4.1 percent growth.


US pending home sales fell 0.7 percent in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans signed contracts in July to buy homes in July compared to the previous month, as real estate sales are slipping even though economic growth is solid. The National Association of Realtors says that its pending home sales index fell 0.7 percent last month to 106.2. During the past year, contract signings have tumbled 2.3 percent as home values have climbed at roughly double the pace of average wage growth.


Stocks rise again as technology companies and Amazon jump

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology companies lead the way as U.S. indexes shake off a slow start and rise for the fourth day in a row. Amazon surges while retailers Dick’s Sporting Goods and Chico’s FAS fall. Stocks have rallied this week as investors grew more hopeful about trade talks between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that Canada could join a trade pact between the U.S. and Mexico by Friday.


The S&P 500 advanced 16.52 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,914.04. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60.55 points, or 0.2 percent, to 26,124.57. The Nasdaq composite jumped 79.65 points, or 1 percent, to 8,109.69. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 6.33 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,734.75.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1.4 percent to $69.51 a barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 1.6 percent to $77.14 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 1.3 percent to $2.11 a gallon. Heating oil added 1.4 percent to $2.24 a gallon. Natural gas gained 1.5 percent to $2.90 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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