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Update on the latest business

August 29, 2018


Asian stocks edge higher after Wall Street gains

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets edged higher Wednesday after Wall Street gained on strength in technology and retailing shares.

The S&P 500 closed at a new record Tuesday, but the gain was less than a point, closing at 2,897.52. Shoe retailer DSW surged 20.2 percent after reporting stronger-than-expected results. Apple added 0.8 percent and chipmaker Qualcomm gained 3.6 percent. The Dow added 14 to 26,064, while the Nasdaq composite gained 12 to 8,030.04. Energy companies dipped along with oil prices.


Major business and economic events scheduled for Wednesday:

WASHINGTON — We’ll get a fresh read on how the economy is faring this morning when the Commerce Department releases its revised estimate of the second-quarter gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The government’s initial estimate last month put GDP grow at an annual rate of 4.1 percent.

Also this morning, the National Association of Realtors releases its pending home sales index for July.


Canadian Foreign Minister optimistic on trade with US

WASHINGTON (AP) — Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says her meeting Tuesday with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was “a very good, constructive conversation” about how to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Freeland told reporters after the meeting she and her team plan to work this week in “a full-steam effort” and said both parties will start diving into specific issues Wednesday morning.

Freeland hurried to Washington a day after the Trump administration reached a preliminary deal Monday with Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

She doesn’t have much time, because Lighthizer intends to formally notify Congress of the deal with Mexico on Friday.

Freeland said both parties “are set for an important and constructive week” but also warned that “we are prepared for all scenarios.” She said significant concessions from Mexico in the areas of labor and rules of origin on cars “really paved the way for what Canada believes will be a good week.”

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Mexico had agreed to ensure that 75 percent of automotive content be produced within the trade bloc (up from a current 62.5 percent) to receive duty-free benefits and that 40 percent to 45 percent be made by workers earning at least $16 an hour. Those changes are meant to encourage more auto production in the United States.


Mexico says again it will never pay for wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mexico’s foreign minister is again insisting his country will never pay for President Donald Trump’s long-promised border wall.

Trump was meeting with the president of FIFA Tuesday when he said his stalled wall “will be paid for, very easily, by Mexico. It will ultimately be paid for by Mexico.”

The comment came a day after Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto held a celebratory call to announce the new deal.

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray Caso tweets that Mexico “just reached a trade understanding with the US, and the outlook for the relationship between our two countries is very positive.” But he says his country has been “absolutely clear” that Mexico “will NEVER pay for a wall.”


No censored search in China, rights groups tell Google

BEIJING (AP) — More than a dozen human rights groups have sent a letter to Google urging the company not to offer censored internet search services in China.

The joint letter dated Tuesday calls on CEO Sundar Pichai to explain what Google is doing to safeguard users from the Chinese government’s censorship and surveillance.

That follows a letter earlier this month signed by more than a thousand Google employees protesting the company’s secretive plan to build a search engine that would comply with Chinese censorship, and calling on executives to review ethics and transparency at the company.

Google had previously complied with censorship controls starting in 2006 as it sought a toehold in the booming Chinese economy. But it faced unrelenting pressure from human rights groups and some shareholders to leave.


Senate approves monetary policy expert as Fed vice chairman

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee for the No. 2 post at the Federal Reserve.

Richard Clarida was approved Tuesday on a 69 to 26 vote. The Senate also backed Clarida’s nomination for a Fed board term.

Clarida is an economics professor at Columbia University and considered one of the nation’s leading experts on monetary policy

The Senate action means the Fed board will now have four of its seven seats filled.

Trump will have the ability in his first two years in office to fill six of the seven seats on the board. Trump last year tapped Jerome Powell to be Fed chairman after deciding not to nominate Janet Yellen for a second term.


Dry eyes: Tesla’s Musk says he shed no tears in interview

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk is denying that he cried during a recent interview with The New York Times in which he described how he’d become overwhelmed by the stress of running electric car company Tesla.

On Twitter Tuesday Musk acknowledged his voice cracked once during the interview. But, he added, “That’s it. There were no tears.”

Musk was responding to a Forbes article shared on Twitter and written by Amy Nelson, the founder and CEO of workspace company The Riveter. Nelson wrote that she doesn’t think she could cry in an interview, given the double standards that men and women face in the business world.

Times Finance Editor David Enrich, meanwhile, said on the social media site that the paper stands by its description of Musk’s emotions during the interview.


Boston Herald to move offices out of Boston

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Herald is leaving Boston.

Publisher Kevin Corrado told employees in a memo on Tuesday that the newspaper will be moving its offices to Braintree later this year. Braintree is about 13 miles (21 kilometers) south of Boston.

The Herald’s offices have been located in Boston’s Seaport District since the newspaper left its longtime home in the South End in 2012.

The newspaper filed for bankruptcy in December 2017 and was later bought by Denver-based Digital First Media. Digital First owns hundreds of publications, including the Lowell Sun and Sentinel & Enterprise of Fitchburg in Massachusetts.

Corrado says in the memo that the move will happen between late November and early December.

Corrado didn’t immediately respond to an email on Tuesday.

Update hourly