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BC-Business News Digest

March 20, 2019

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:

FEDERAL RESERVE _ The soothing message the Federal Reserve has been sending in recent weeks — no interest rate hikes are likely for months to come — will likely be reinforced when it ends its latest policy meeting Wednesday. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 700 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated with Fed rate decision and economic outlook at 2 p.m. and Powell news conference at 2:30 p.m.

DISNEY-FOX _ Disney has closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment business in a move set to shake up the media landscape. The closure paves the way for Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney Plus. By buying the studios behind “The Simpsons” and X-Men, Disney aims to better compete with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers’ attention - and dollars. By Mae Anderson. SENT: 500 words, photos. Moved overnight, should stand.

With:

_ DISNEY-FOX-GLANCE

EUROPE-GOOGLE _ European Union regulators have fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominant role in online advertising, the third big antitrust penalty they’ve given the internet giant since 2017. By Kelvin Chan and Raf Casert. SENT: 550 words, photos.

BREXIT _ Prime Minister Theresa May formally asks the European Union to postpone Britain’s departure from the bloc — due in nine days — until June 30. But an exasperated EU said Britain would have to accept either a shorter delay or a much longer one. By Danica Kirka, Jill Lawless and Geir Moulson. SENT: 830 words, photo.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS _ U.S. stocks edge lower in early trading on Wall Street ahead of the latest interest rate policy decision by the Federal Reserve. By Damian J. Troise. SENT: 500 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through trading, about 700 words by 5 p.m.

INDUSTRY:

FORD-FACTORY INVESTMENT _ Ford Motor Co. will invest $900 million in a factory near Detroit and add 900 jobs over the next four years to build electric vehicles. The company expects increasing demand despite low gasoline prices. By Tom Krisher. UPCOMING: 500 words by 11 a.m.

GERMANY-BMW _ German automaker BMW says its profits this year will be “well below” last year’s due to higher raw materials prices, the costs of compliance with tougher emissions requirements and unfavorable shifts in currency exchange rates. By David McHugh. SENT: 420 words, photos.

GERMANY-BAYER _ Shares in Germany’s Bayer have plunged after a U.S. jury found the Roundup weed killer was a substantial factor in a California man’s cancer — the second case that has gone against manufacturer Monsanto, acquired by Bayer last year. SENT: 130 words, photo.

STARBUCKS-REDESIGN _ Starbucks says it plans to test both recyclable and compostable cups over the next year. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: May be updated following annual meeting, which begins at 1 p.m.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

SMALLBIZ-EMPLOYEE THEFT _ Employees may steal from companies of any size, but small and mid-sized businesses can be more vulnerable because they lack practices and systems designed to prevent wrongdoing. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos.

With:

_ SMALLBIZ-EMPLOYEE THEFT-TIPS _ Small businesses can reduce their chances of employee theft or limit their losses by implementing technological controls and checks and balances in their daily operations. Five ways that companies can protect themselves. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. UPCOMING: 350 words.

ON THE MONEY-DECLUTTERING TIPS _ World-renowned tidying expert Marie Kondo is sparking joy among shoppers who are feeling the urge to clean out their closets and homes. But once you master Kondo’s novel approach, what do you do with all the stuff you decide to throw out? By Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 800 words, photos.

BEHIND THE WHEEL-BLAZER OR PASSPORT _ Edmunds compares the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer and 2019 Honda Passport, two new entries in the midsize two-row crossover SUV class. For overall utility, the Honda Passport leads the pack, but the Chevrolet Blazer makes a compelling choice for a suburban family shuttle. By Dan Frio of Edmunds. UPCOMING: 870 words, photos. First sent Tuesday, resending.

INTERNATIONAL:

THAILAND-ELECTION-ECONOMY _ Pocketbook issues may not sway the outcome of Sunday’s election in Thailand, given the bigger debate among voters over whether they support or oppose the military junta that has ruled the country since a 2014 coup. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

BRITAIN-INDIA-DIAMOND TYCOON _ Diamond tycoon Nirav Modi, whose jewels once adorned stars from Bollywood to Hollywood, was arrested in London Tuesday, more than a year after Indian authorities alleged he was involved in a $1.8 billion bank fraud. By Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless. SENT: 360 words, words.

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 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