FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks tumble after weak earnings as tech, industrials sink

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are falling today as technology companies, banks and industrial firms take sharp losses. Weak third-quarter reports are affecting companies including AT&T and 7UP maker Dr Pepper Snapple Group, while high-dividend stocks are falling as bond yields climb higher. All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 index are down.

At 12:47 p.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 index dropped 21 points to 2,548.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 176 points, to 23,266.

And the Nasdaq sank 63 points, at 6,536.

AVIATION SECURITY

New screenings for US-bound passengers on global airlines

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) —Four global long-haul airlines say passengers on U.S.-bound flights face new security interviews at the request of American officials.

Cathay Pacific, EgyptAir, Emirates and Lufthansa all say they will begin the interviews Thursday.

It wasn't immediately clear if other global airlines would be affected, though the Trump administration previously rolled out a laptop ban and travel bans that have thrown global airlines into disarray.

NAACP-AMERICAN AIRLINES

NAACP warns African-Americans against travel on American Air

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The NAACP is warning African-Americans that if they fly on American Airlines they could be subject to discrimination or even unsafe conditions.

American says it's disappointed by the announcement and will invite the civil rights group to meet and talk about the airline.

The NAACP says that for several months it has watched a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers. Among them was activist Tamika Mallory's claim last week that she was a victim of racial bias when a pilot ordered her off a flight after a dispute with another airline employee over her seat.

The NAACP says that and other recent incidents involving African-Americans "suggest a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias on the part of American Airlines." American says that it's "proud to serve customers of all backgrounds."

AP POLL-TAXES

In poll, people say Trump tax plan benefits rich, companies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans say President Donald Trump's tax plan would benefit the wealthy and corporations, and less than half believe his message that "massive tax cuts" would help middle-class workers.

Those are among the findings in an Associated Press-NORC poll.

The survey could serve as a warning sign for Trump as he pushes Republicans to support his proposal. The president and GOP lawmakers are seeking a major legislative victory before the 2018 elections.

The poll shows a bipartisan appetite for tax cuts for middle-class families. Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats think the middle class and small businesses pay too much in taxes, and that the wealthy and large corporations pay too little.

But just 43 percent in the survey think the Trump plan would help the middle class.

NEW HOME SALES

US new home sales soar to highest level in a decade

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes jumped last month to the highest level since October 2007. It's a sign that Americans, unable to find existing homes, are turning to new construction.

The Commerce Department says new home sales leapt 18.9 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000, the most in a decade. Sales rose in all regions, including the South, where they increased nearly 26 percent.

The government says it couldn't estimate what impact, if any, last month's hurricanes had on the data.

A supply crunch of existing homes has frustrated many would-be buyers and hobbled the housing market this year. September's figures suggest that Americans are increasingly looking to new homes instead, which could encourage more construction. Yet developers have struggled to keep up with demand.

DURABLE GOODS

Durable goods orders rise moderate 2.2 percent in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 2.2 percent in September, the biggest gain in three months, led by a big increase in orders for commercial aircraft. A key category that tracks business investment posted a third straight solid monthly gain.

The Commerce Department says the September advance in durable goods followed a 2 percent rise in August and was the sharpest increase since a 6.4 percent jump in June.

Analysts believe manufacturing is rebounding after two years of weakness.

The strength reflected a big 31.5 percent surge in orders for commercial aircraft, a volatile category that can swing widely from month to month. A key category that serves as a proxy for business investment was up 1.3 percent in September, following identical 1.3 percent gains in August and July.

Manufacturing has been improving since the middle of 2016, following a two-year slump caused by cutbacks in the energy industry and a strong dollar that made U.S. goods costlier overseas.

FORD RECALL

Ford recalls big vans; wiring issue could cause fires

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling more than 73,000 full-sized vans in North America to fix a wiring problem that could cause fires and other electrical issues.

The recall covers Ford Transit vans from 2015 through 2017 that have a trailer tow computer module.

Ford says water can enter the module and cause corrosion. That could cause an electrical short and an increased fire risk. Corrosion also can cause unexpected seat belt pretensioner activation, rapid flashing of turn signals, loss of heating and air conditioning controls and other problems.

Ford says fires could happen when the ignition is off so it's recommending they be parked outdoors until repairs are made.

The company says it knows of two fires in Canadian fleet vehicles that could be related. There've been no injuries reported.

DEADLY CHEMICALS

EPA chemical review would exclude millions of tons of toxins

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Firefighters and construction workers say a move by the Trump administration jeopardizes their health.

The Obama administration had proposed reviewing some of the most dangerous chemicals already in public use, such as millions of tons of asbestos, flame retardants and other toxins in homes, offices and industrial plants.

The Trump administration instead wants to limit the review to products still being manufactured and entering the marketplace.

AMAZON IN-HOME DELIVERY

Not at home? Amazon wants to come in and drop off packages

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon wants the keys to your house.

The online retailer will launch a service next month called Amazon Key that would allow delivery people to walk into your home to drop off a box when you're not there.

Those that want the service would first have to buy a camera and a Wi-Fi connected lock from the Seattle company that starts at $250. Shoppers can then select in-home delivery on the Amazon app. When the delivery person shows up, the camera starts recording and the door unlocks.

Rival Walmart is currently testing a similar service in California's Silicon Valley, which lets delivery people drop off packages.

Amazon.com Inc. says its service will be available in 37 cities on Nov. 8.

WALGREENS-STORE CLOSINGS

Walgreens to shut down 600 stores as part of Rite Aid deal

UNDATED (AP) — Walgreens plans to close about 600 drugstores as it completes a $4.38 billion deal to buy nearly 2,000 from rival Rite Aid.

Company spokesman Michael Polzin says that most of the closings will be Rite Aid stores, and the vast majority will be within a mile of another store in the Walgreens network.

Walgreens isn't saying which stores will close.

The store closings will start next spring and be completed over 18 months. Walgreens operates more than 13,200 stores worldwide.

BEST BUY-TRAINING

Best Buy expands after-school tech program

NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy is expanding an after-school tech program for underprivileged teens as it hopes to create workers with the skills to serve increasingly savvy shoppers as well as groom future inventors who can help fill its stores with new gadgets.

The Minneapolis-based chain says the number of tech centers will grow to 60 from 11 over the next three years. The centers, hosted by nonprofit organizations with strong financial support from Best Buy, let teens explore technology such as robotics and 3-D printing.

Best Buy is also creating post-high school mentorship programs that will serve 2,000 students per year in poorer neighborhoods. That training will include internship opportunities at local businesses. And Best Buy will expand its Geek Squad Academy summer camps for youths aged 10 to 18, which number around 40. The camps feature classes in areas like 3-D design, digital music production, and coding.

The company says it will invest $30 million in the programs over the next three years.

MCDONALD'S-DEBIT CARD LAWSUIT

McDonald's owners who paid workers with debit cards settle

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — The owners of 16 McDonald's restaurants in Pennsylvania are paying nearly $3 million to settle a lawsuit claiming they violated state law by paying hourly employees strictly with fee-laden debit cards.

A state appellate court last year upheld a lower court finding that the payroll cards were not "lawful money" or a "check," as required under Pennsylvania wage law. That decision paved the way for the settlement.

The judge's order Tuesday shows franchisees Albert and Carol Mueller will pay $1,200 to each of the nearly 2,400 plaintiffs. The plaintiffs' attorneys will also receive $858,000 in fees and court costs.

Both sides had previously announced the settlement, but not its terms.

The cards had required employees to pay fees for bank withdrawals, online bill payments and other charges.

LUMBER LIQUIDATORS-SETTLEMENT

Lumber Liquidators agrees to $36M settlement in lawsuits

TOANO, Va. (AP) — Lumber Liquidators has agreed to a $36 million settlement to resolve claims brought by people who bought Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring reported to contain unsafe levels of formaldehyde.

The Virginia-based company says the company will pay $22 million in cash and provide $14 million in store-credit vouchers to consumers who bought the flooring between Jan. 1, 2009 and May 31, 2015, when the company stopped selling the flooring.

Lumber Liquidators announced the proposed settlement Tuesday, saying it has signed a memorandum of understanding to settle all claims brought on behalf of consumers in two lawsuits filed in Virginia. The agreement still needs court approval.

HOTEL SOLD

Providence Biltmore sold to Chicago-based company

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Chicago-based hospitality company says it has purchased the Providence Biltmore Hotel for an undisclosed price.

Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners says it's planning a renovation for the hotel as it will be converted into a Graduate Providence hotel by 2019. A spokesman for the company tells The Providence Journal the sale closed on the building Oct. 20.

The 294-room hotel was built in 1922, and city tax records show the building has an assessed value of $26.2 million.

The president of Graduate Hotels says they plan to offer local residents a "dynamic community-centric gathering space" once the location opens.

ITALY-GLOBAL LUXURY

Street wear bringing steady growth to global luxury market

MILAN (AP) — A new study of the global luxury market says the spread of street wear is helping to usher in a new era of steady growth for the sector.

Consultancy Bain & Company says high-end street wear helped boost global sales of luxury personal goods by 5 percent this year to an estimated 263 billion euros ($309 billion).

The trend is helping to bring the under-22 set into the luxury market.