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BC-Business News Digest

December 18, 2018

Here are AP Business News’ latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

TOP STORIES:

FED-5 THINGS TO WATCH FOR — The Federal Reserve is poised Wednesday to raise its key interest rate for the fourth time this year. But beyond that, the Fed’s plans are shrouded in uncertainty. Any clarity it provides could come in a policy statement, in updated economic and interest-rate forecasts or in a news conference Chairman Jerome Powell will hold. Here are five things to watch for after the Fed meeting ends. By Martin Crutsinger. UPCOMING: 800 words by 2 p.m.

ECONOMY-FALLING STOCK MARKET — Employers are hiring, consumers are spending and the economy is growing briskly. And yet the stock market has been free-falling, shrinking the wealth of households and companies and spooking investors. Does this mean a recession is imminent? Not in the view of most economists. But a bear market in stocks, if prolonged enough, would make a recession likely sooner rather than later. By Josh Boak. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m.

And:

ELECTION 2020-TRUMP-ECONOMY — Forget Robert Mueller. The greatest threat to President Donald Trump’s re-election bid may not be the slew of investigations closing in on his Oval Office but a possible economic slowdown. And the president knows it. By Jonathan Lemire and Catherine Lucey. SENT: 950 words, photo.

SOCIAL MEDIA-COMBATTING MISINFORMATION — Tech companies have been spending millions of dollars trying to combat online misinformation and foreign efforts to influence U.S. elections, yet a report released by the Senate this week shows that the meddling continues. While the companies have made progress, adversaries are finding new ways around restrictions and distinguishing misinformation and propaganda from legitimate news can be tough. By Barbara Ortutay. UPCOMING: 700 words by 3 p.m., photos.

DRIVERLESS GROCERY DELIVERY — De Deliveries from an Arizona grocery store will soon be arriving with no one one behind the wheel. A fully autonomous vehicle is about to pilot public roads with no back up driver. SENT: 450 words, photos.

TUCKER CARLSON-ADVERTISERS — Advertisers are abandoning Fox host Tucker Carlson’s show after he made several comments against immigrants. It’s the latest example of sponsors leaving a Fox show after controversy. By Mae Anderson. UPCOMING: 500 words by 2 p.m., photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stocks are broadly higher at midday, putting at least a temporary halt to the steep market losses that circled the globe in prior days. Asian markets sank sharply earlier in the day and European markets continued to slip. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up about 300 points after falling 1,004 points over the past two days. By Stan Choe. SENT: 930 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through 5 p.m.

HOME CONSTRUCTION — U.S. developers broke ground on more homes last month, but the increase occurred entirely in apartments. The construction of new single-family houses fell. By Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 480 words, photo.

INDUSTRY:

ELON MUSK-TUNNEL — Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk is set to unveil an underground transportation tunnel that could move people faster than subways. By Amanda Lee Myers. SENT: 530 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated after tunnel is revealed, timing uncertain. Photos, video, pursuing.

SURGEON GENERAL-TEEN VAPING — The government’s top doctor is taking aim at the best-selling electronic cigarette brand in the U.S., urging swift action to prevent Juul and similar vaping brands from addicting millions of teenagers. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 520 words, photos.

PAKISTAN-BRITISH AIRWAYS — British Airways says it will resume flights to Pakistan in June, a decade after suspending them in the wake of the suicide truck bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that killed dozens. SENT: 130 words, photo.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

CHINA-HUAWEI — The chairman of Huawei challenged the United States and other governments to provide evidence for claims the Chinese tech giant is a security risk as the company launched a public relations effort Tuesday to defuse fears that threaten its role in next-generation communications. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 1,300 words, photo.

CBS-MOONVES — CBS announced Monday that former CEO Les Moonves will not receive his $120 million severance package after the board of directors concluded he violated company policy and was uncooperative with an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations. By Alexandra Olson. SENT: 950 words, photo. First moved Monday night.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

NERDWALLET-MILLENNIAL MONEY-HATE CREDIT CARDS — Millennials have fewer credit cards than other generations, but that doesn’t mean they dislike them. Two events explain why this generation could not access credit and how they used other products instead. SENT: 720 words, photo.

WASHINGTON:

TRUMP-SPACE COMMAND — President Donald Trump launched the Pentagon’s new Space Command Tuesday, an effort to better organize and advance the military’s vast operations in space that could cost as much as $800 million over the next five years. By Zeke Miller and Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 770 words, photos.

TRUMP-BUMP STOCKS — The Trump administration moved to officially ban bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like automatic firearms, and has made them illegal to possess beginning in late March. By Michael Balsamo. SENT: 590 words, photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

CHINA-REFORM ANNIVERSARY — China will never pursue hegemony, President Xi Jinping said Tuesday as global concerns persist over the country’s growing economic influence. By Yanan Wang. SENT: 570 words, photos.

BREXIT — Britain’s government ramped up preparations Tuesday for the possibility the U.K. could leave the European Union in 101 days without a deal, urging thousands of businesses and millions of households to make sure they are ready for the worst. By Jill Lawless and Danica Kirka. SENT: 800 words, photos.

GERMANY-ECONOMY — Worries are growing about the strength of the German economy, Europe’s largest, after a key indicator suggested fears about trade wars and Brexit are hitting business activity and after the country’s main stocks index slid into a bear market. By David McHugh and David Rising. SENT: 520 words, photo.

SAUDI-ECONOMY —Saudi Arabia’s expenditures will hit a record-high in 2019 as the government plans to increase state spending by 7 percent to reach $295 billion despite plunging oil prices. By Abullah Al-Shihri and Aya Batrawy. SENT: 410 words, photos.

JAPAN-DEFENSE — Japan plans its first aircraft carrier and big increases in defense spending and weapons capability in the coming years, according to new defense guidelines approved Tuesday that cite its need to counter potential threats from North Korea and China and other vulnerabilities. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:

SPOTLIGHT

Never ending profit at Olive Garden

Darden Restaurants shares jumped Tuesday after the owner of the Olive Garden chain raised its forecast for earnings and sales in the fiscal year ending in May.

CENTERPIECE

Bitcoin’s bubble bursts

A year after hitting a record high, the virtual currency’s price has collapsed, intensifying fears of a wider “crypto winter.”

Business News Supervisor Richard Jacobsen (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos (ext. 1900.) For graphics/interactives (ext. 7636.) For access to AP Newsroom and technical issues: customersupport@ap.org, or 877-836-9477. Questions about transmission of financial market listings, call 800-3AP-STOX.

The full digest for AP’s Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. For questions about M&M content, contact Greg Keller at (212) 621-7958

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