Update on the latest in business:
Aug. 08, 2018
Asian shares mixed on news of US tariffs for Chinese exports
BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed in Asia today after the U.S. followed through with plans to put higher tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese exports.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index gave up early gains to fall 0.1 percent and the Shanghai Composite index fell 1.0 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.1 percent. Australia's S&P ASX 200 climbed 0.2 percent while South Korea's Kospi was flat. Shares rose in Indonesia and Thailand but fell in Singapore.
On Wall Street Tuesday, earnings helped drive a fourth straight day of gains, led by industrial companies and banks. Gains for Microsoft and Google's parent company Alphabet helped technology companies. The S&P 500 index rose 0.3 percent to 2,858.45. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.5 percent to 25,628.91 and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.3 percent, to 7,883.66. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks edged up 0.2 percent to 1,688.30.
TRUMP TRADE-CHINA TARIFFS
Trump going ahead with taxes on $16B in Chinese imports
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it will go ahead with imposing 25 percent tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese imports. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Customs says officials will begin collecting the border tax Aug. 23 said. The list is heavy on industrial products such as steam turbines and iron girders.
Tuesday's announcement was not a surprise. In April, the administration had announced plans to slap tariffs on 1,333 Chinese product lines worth $50 billion a year. After receiving public feedback, it cut 515 products from the list in June and added 284. On July 6, the U.S. began taxing the 818 goods, worth $34 billion, remaining from the April list.
China has been retaliating in kind.
China's July exports accelerate despite hike in US tariffs
BEIJING (AP) — China's exports accelerated in July, showing little impact from a U.S. tariff hike, while sales to the United States rose 13.3 percent over a year earlier.
Customs data released today showed exports rose 12.2 percent to $215.5 billion, up from June's 11.3 percent growth. That was despite Washington's imposition of 25 percent duties on $34 billion of Chinese goods on July 6 in a dispute over technology.
Imports surged 27.3 percent to $187.5 billion, outpacing the previous month's 14.1 percent.
Growth in exports to the United States was off slightly from June's 13.6 percent. That was more than offset by stronger exports to the rest of the world, possibly helped by a weaker Chinese currency.
Beijing has warned its exporters face "rising instabilities."
IRAN SANCTIONS-CYBER THREAT
Experts: Iran could answer US sanctions with cyberattacks
WASHINGTON (AP) — Cybersecurity and intelligence experts say the U.S. is bracing for cyberattacks Iran could launch in retaliation for the re-imposition of sanctions this week by President Donald Trump.
Concern over cyberattacks from Iran has been rising since May, when Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal. Experts say the threat went up Tuesday after Washington reimposed economic sanctions on Tehran.
Iran denies using its cyber capabilities for offensive purposes, and accuses the U.S. of targeting Iran.
But a cybersecurity company, Recorded Future, says it has seen an increase in chatter related to Iranian threat activity during the past several weeks.
And the former Iran manager for the U.S. national intelligence director's office, Norm Roule (Rool), says he thinks there is a good chance Iran will retaliate in cyberspace.
MISSOURI-RIGHT TO WORK
Missouri voters reject right-to-work law
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri voters have rejected a right-to-work law that would have banned mandatory union fees in workplace contracts.
The vote Tuesday marked a major victory for unions, which poured millions of dollars into a campaign to defeat Proposition A. The right-to-work law originally was enacted in 2017 by Missouri's Republican-led Legislature and governor. But it never took effect, because unions gathered enough petition signatures to force a public referendum on it.
Unions argued the measure would have led to lower wages, while business groups claimed it could have led to more jobs. Economic studies showed mixed and sometimes conflicting results. Twenty-seven other states have similar laws against compulsory union fees.
Wynn Resorts adds former Deutsche Bank CEO to board
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Casino operator Wynn Resorts has appointed its current CEO and the former CEO of Deutsche Bank to its board of directors.
The Las Vegas-based company announced the appointments Tuesday. The addition of Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox and former Deutsche Bank executive Richard Byrne brings the number of board members to 11. The company's board has been overhauled since founder Steve Wynn resigned as chairman and CEO in February after sexual misconduct allegations against him first surfaced. He has denied the accusations.
PAPA JOHN'S RESULTS
Papa John's sales drop amid founder controversy
NEW YORK (AP) — Papa John's says a key sales figure dropped 10.5 percent in July, and that it can't predict how long and badly it will be affected by the fallout with its founder.
The pizza chain slashed its sales outlook for the year, and its shares fell more than 10 percent.
Last month, Forbes reported that Papa John's founder John Schnatter (SHNAH'-tur) used the N-word during a media training call. Schnatter said the comment was taken out of context and has since criticized Papa John's for its handling of the matter.
Papa John's said sales dropped in the second quarter, before the controversy.
That underscores the multiple challenges facing Papa John's. It is trying to distance itself from Schnatter, its biggest shareholder and a board member. Meanwhile, Domino's Pizza has seen sales increase.
SeaWorld eliminating 125 positions, despite attendance jump
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — SeaWorld Entertainment is eliminating 125 positions, despite recent increases in attendance and revenue.
Interim CEO John Reilly noted in the company's earnings report Monday that the company had identified $50 million of "additional cost reductions." SeaWorld spokesman Travis Claytor says the restructuring affects all of the company's theme parks as well as corporate offices in Orlando, Florida.
Besides SeaWorld parks, the company has Sesame Place and Busch Gardens parks. SeaWorld said affected workers would get severance benefits. The company cut 350 positions last fall.
Park, load, go: Amazon brings grocery pickup to Whole Foods
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon, known for bringing items to shoppers, is adding a curbside pickup option at Whole Foods for Prime members.
Shoppers will be able to order groceries on the Prime Now app and park in reserved spaces for workers to place the items in their cars.
Curbside grocery pickup is a feature that Walmart, Kroger and other grocers have been expanding to make shopping more convenient and boost sales. At Walmart, for example, the service has been a major driver of its online sales growth.
The Whole Foods service will start today in Sacramento, California, and Virginia Beach, Virginia. It will expand to more cities this year. Orders of $35 and up are free if pickup is in an hour. Pickups within 30 minutes of ordering will cost $4.99.
Samsung plans $22 billion for artificial intelligence, autos
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics plans to spend $22 billion over the next three years on artificial intelligence, auto components and other future businesses as the company maps out its strategy under the restored leadership of Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong after he was freed from prison.
Today's announcement by South Korea's biggest business group was welcome news, coming at a time of deepening unease over slowing growth in Asia's fourth largest economy.
Samsung says it will spend the sum, amounting to 25 trillion won, on hiring artificial intelligence researchers, ensuring it will be a global player in next generation telecoms technology called 5G and deepening its involvement in electronic components for future cars.
Some of the funding will go to Samsung's biopharmaceutical businesses. Samsung has been beefing up its contract drug making operations to help counter a potential decline in its mainstay electronics businesses.
5 busted in counterfeit Nike Air Jordan sneaker ring
NEW YORK (AP) — Five people have been charged in federal court in New York in connection with a $70 million counterfeit Nike Air Jordan sneaker ring.
Federal prosecutors say the people imported hundreds of thousands of athletic shoes from China made to resemble Nike Air Jordans and then affixed counterfeit Nike trademarked logos to the knockoffs in New York and sold them across the country. Real Air Jordans can sell for hundreds of dollars a pair.
The people were arrested Tuesday on charges of conspiring to traffic in counterfeit goods. They each face a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted.
MED-HOOKING KIDS ON TECH
Advocates condemn psych techniques used to keep kids online
CHICAGO (AP) — Children's advocates want the American Psychological Association to condemn the tech industry's practice of using persuasive psychological techniques to keep kids glued to their screens.
The advocates, citing research that links excessive use of social media and video games with depression and academic troubles, say it's unethical for psychologists to be involved in tactics that risk harming kids' well-being. Skeptics say the research is inconclusive, and they note that psychologists have been involved in other industries' marketing and advertising for decades.
The group seeking intervention includes 60 U.S. psychologists, researchers, children's advocates and the Children's Screen Time Action Network, a project of the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Critics say the industry is applying technology that uses computers to help figure out what motivates people and influence their online behavior.
13 years after Katrina, Dixie Beer returning to New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Nearly 13 years after Hurricane Katrina laid waste to a landmark brewery, plans have been announced for Dixie Beer to be brewed in New Orleans again.
The brand, established in 1907, never left. And it has enjoyed a resurgence in the city since New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson purchased the Dixie Brewing Company last year.
But it has been brewed out of state since the 2005 storm.
Benson's widow, Gayle Benson, attended a news conference Tuesday to announce the brewery will be in eastern New Orleans. She says her husband had intended to return production to New Orleans after purchasing the brand.
Dixie's old brewery in the city is gone. Part of it, including its distinctive metal dome, was incorporated into a new medical complex.