Business Highlights

April 6, 2018


Workers benefit as US businesses struggle to fill jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — More American employers are struggling to find enough workers to fill jobs, which might have contributed to slower hiring last month. And workers are benefiting in the meantime: More people who had given up looking for work are renewing their job hunts, more employees are confident enough to quit to look for other jobs and pay is gradually picking up. U.S. employers added just 103,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said Friday, the fewest in six months.


Powell says Fed expects to stick with gradual rate hikes

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday painted a mostly sunny view of the U.S. economy and said the Fed remains committed to raising its key interest rate gradually unless events change. He said it was too soon to determine how a trade fight with China could affect the U.S. economy.


Stocks dive as US proposes more China tariffs; Dow falls 572

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended the week the way they began it: tumbling as investors worry that tariffs and harsh words between the U.S. and China will touch off a trade war that derails the global economy. That came with the U.S. considering duties on an additional $100 billion in goods imported from China.


China vows to ‘counterattack’ US as trade spat worsens

WASHINGTON (AP) — China vows to ‘counterattack with great strength’ if President Donald Trump hikes tariffs on an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods in an escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. Trump’s surprise directive for the U.S. trade representative to consider more tariffs came a day after Beijing announced planned increases in duties on U.S. soybeans, aircraft and other items in response to American tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports.


Did Cambridge Analytica get your data? You’ll know soon

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook will begin alerting users whose private data may have been compromised in the Cambridge Analytica scandal starting Monday. All 2.2 billion Facebook users will receive a notice with a link to information on which Facebook apps they use and what information they have shared with those apps. In addition, 87 million users whose data might have been shared with Cambridge Analytica will get a more detailed message informing them of that fact.


Nine West files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK (AP) — Nine West Holdings Inc. has become the latest retailer to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an attempt to restructure its debt. The shoe chain says the move was made to help with the sale of its Nine West and Bandolino footwear and handbag business and so it can focus more on its profitable businesses, which include One Jeanswear Group, The Jewelry Group, the Kasper Group and Anne Klein.


Boss buzzing you after hours? NYC might let you say buzz off

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology that offered the promise of freedom from the confines of an office has instead become a ball and chain in its own right, blurring the lines between work hours and well, any other hours. A New York City Council member wants to put a stop to that with a proposal that would bar employers from requiring employees to check and respond to non-emergency electronic communications sent outside of regular work hours.


US consumer debt rose a slight 3.3 percent in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — US consumers increased their debt by just 3.3 percent in February, the weakest monthly change in nearly seven years despite an otherwise healthy economy. The Federal Reserve said Friday that consumer borrowing rose $10.6 billion in March to nearly $3.9 trillion. The gains have slowed sharply from a 10.3 percent jump in debt levels in November. February’s increase was the smallest since August 2011, when consumer credit levels declined.


Foreign worker saves 7 lives as Hawaii fishing boat sinks

HONOLULU (AP) — A federal contractor who was aboard the fishing vessel Princess Hawaii when it sank off the Big Island credits a Vietnamese crewman with saving his life. Khanh Huynh was acting as the de facto captain of the doomed fishing boat. The 28-year-old fisherman is one of hundreds of foreigners who work aboard American-owned fishing vessels in Hawaii. The workers lack visas and live on the boats for the duration of their contracts — often for years at a time.


The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 58.37 points, or 2.2 percent, to 2,604.47. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 572.46 points, or 2.3 percent, to 23,932.76. The Nasdaq composite slid 161.44 points, or 2.3 percent, to 6,915.11. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 29.63 points, or 1.9 percent, to 1,513.30.

Benchmark U.S. crude dropped $1.48, or 2.3 percent, to $62.06 a barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost $1.22, or 1.8 percent, to $67.11 per barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline dipped 3 cents to $1.95 a gallon. Heating oil lost 2 cents to $1.96 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3 cents to $2.70 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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