FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian markets rebound from trade fears

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets are up today following Wall Street's decline amid U.S.-Chinese trade tensions and oil prices recovered some of the previous day's steep losses.

The Shanghai Composite Index is up 2.3 percent and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 has advanced 1.2 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 1 percent and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 is 0.9 percent higher. India's Sensex is up 0.8 percent and Seoul's Kospi is up 0.6 percent. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia also have advanced.

ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD

Major business and economic reports scheduled for release today.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Labor Department releases its Consumer Price Index for June today.

Also, Freddie Mac reports on this week's average mortgage rates and the Treasury Department releases the June federal budget.

PAPA JOHN'S-APOLOGY

Papa John's says founder resigned as chairman of the board.

NEW YORK (AP) — Papa John's founder John Schnatter has resigned as chairman of the board.

The company made the announcement late Wednesday, hours after Schnatter apologized for using a racial slur during a conference call in May.

Forbes said Schnatter used the N-word during a media training exercise. When asked how he would distance himself from racist groups, Schnatter reportedly complained that Colonel Sanders never faced a backlash for using the word.

In a statement released by Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John's, Schnatter said reports attributing use of "inappropriate and hurtful" language to him were true. Schnatter said, "Regardless of the context, I apologize."

BROADCOM-CA

Broadcom to acquire CA Technologies for $18.9 billion

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Chipmaker Broadcom says it is buying New York-based IT management software company CA Technologies for $18.9 billion in cash.

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan says the move is an important building block for the San Jose, California-based company as it aims to become a world-leading infrastructure technology provider.

Broadcom says it will pay for the acquisition with $18 billion in new debt. The boards of both companies approved the deal, which is targeted to close by the end of the year.

TWITTER-FOLLOWER COUNTS

Twitter to remove suspicious accounts from follower counts

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter says it will begin removing suspicious accounts it has locked from its counts of users' followers.

Twitter users are likely to see a reduction in their follower counts in the coming days. For many, this will amount to a reduction of four followers or less. But large accounts of celebrities and public figures could see bigger drops.

An account that's been locked can't tweet, like or retweet posts, and it won't be shown ads.

The company said Wednesday that the move will not affect its number of monthly or daily active user figures. In the first three months of the year, it had 336 million active users.

Twitter has been working to remove fake accounts, bots and abusive posts from its service.

FOX-SKY

Comcast sweetens Sky bid after Fox raises stakes

LONDON (AP) — Comcast is sweetening its bid for European pay-TV operator Sky after Fox raised the stakes.

Comcast is now offering $34 billion, trumping Fox's increased offer of $32.5 billion.

The latest bid is 18 percent above Comcast's original offer.

Both media companies are seeking Sky's TV channels, 22.5 million customers and lucrative rights to English Premier League soccer matches. The battle for Sky is unfolding as Comcast engages in another duel with Disney for Fox's entertainment operations, including Fox's current 39 percent stake in Sky. Disney currently submitted the top bid for Fox.

US-CHINA TARIFFS

Hyundai Motor union warns auto tariffs could hurt US jobs

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Hyundai Motor Co.'s labor union says steep auto tariffs could cost U.S. jobs.

The labor union at South Korea's largest auto company says if President Donald Trump goes ahead with imposing 25 percent auto tariffs, it will hurt Hyundai's U.S. sales and jeopardize some 200,000 jobs at Hyundai factory in Alabama.

The union also says South Korean carmakers were already penalized during the renegotiations of the bilateral trade agreement. Seoul and Washington agreed to postpone the removal of tariffs on Korean pickup trucks by another 20 years.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is investigating whether auto imports pose enough national security threats to justify tariffs. The European Union warned auto tariffs could lead to global retaliation.

Hyundai Motor is the world's fifth-largest automaker along with Kia Motors.

DRUG MANUFACTURING RULE

Feds change rule so drugmakers must justify need for opioids

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has approved a rule change requiring drugmakers to identify a legitimate need for opioids to justify their production in an attempt to rein in their diversion for illicit purposes.

The DEA announced Wednesday that the final rule sent for publication in the Federal Register will consider the extent to which a legally prescribed drug is diverted for abuse when the agency sets its annual opioid production limits.

The rule requires DEA to share notices of proposed aggregate production quotas and final aggregate production quota orders with state attorneys general.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the new rule "will allow the DEA to be more responsive to the facts on the ground."

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey sought to limit how many opioid pills can be manufactured each year.

MEXICO-US HELICOPTER SALE

Mexico's president-elect says he'll stop US copter purchase

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he will cancel the pending purchase by Mexico's navy of eight armed Lockheed Martin MH-60R helicopters from the United States government.

Lopez Obrador mentioned nixing the planned $1.2 billion deal Wednesday as an example of extensive cost-cutting measures his government will undertake.

In April, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of the helicopters, saying it would improve the security of a strategic regional partner. In its statement then, it said the helicopters would help Mexico fight criminal organizations.

The State Department's Bureau of Political Military Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the status of the proposed sale.

Lopez Obrador won Mexico's July 1 election in a landslide. He is to take office Dec. 1.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES-ACCOUNTABILITY

California fire victims don't want utilities' fault reduced

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Victims of California's deadliest wildfires joined politicians on Wednesday to urge state lawmakers to stop trying to overhaul laws that hold utility companies accountable for blazes.

At a gathering in Santa Rosa, the group said it's concerned about a newly formed legislative committee that will consider cutting utilities' responsibility when their equipment causes fires.

With just six weeks left in the legislative session, they are worried lawmakers may move quickly to help utilities.

Investigators have determined that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. equipment started several of the 2017 wildfires in Northern California wine country that killed 44 people. The company says it expects to pay more than $2.5 billion.

Utilities are now on the hook to pay damages in California if their equipment started the fire, even if they aren't negligent. PG&E and other utilities say the law is unfair and they want it wiped from the state's books.