Business Highlights

March 9, 2018


US hiring surge last month pulls in flood of new workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers went on a hiring binge in February, adding 313,000 jobs, amid rising business confidence lifted by the Trump administration’s tax cuts and a resilient global economy. The robust hiring, reported by the Labor Department on Friday, was the strongest in 1½ years.


US bull market, 2nd longest since WWII, turns 9

NEW YORK (AP) — The bull market turned nine Friday, extending a run that began in the depths of the Great Recession. On March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 hit a cycle low of 676.53 and has more than quadrupled since. If the market continues on this trend until August 21, it will be the longest bull market in post-World War II history.


US stocks soar on strong jobs report; inflation fears ease

NEW YORK (AP) — On the ninth anniversary of the bull market, Wall Street gets just what it wanted from the latest jobs report, and stocks and bond yields move sharply higher. The government reported strong hiring, low unemployment, slower wage growth. The Nasdaq composite cruised to a record high as technology companies have more than recovered their losses from early February.


Does Cohn’s exit mark end of Trump’s Goldman era?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Has President Donald Trump’s romance with the Goldman Sachs crowd gone cold? Top economic adviser Gary Cohn is only the latest Goldman figure to head for the White House exits. His departure suggests the influence of the oh-so-establishment banking powerhouse has been overwhelmed by the more nationalistic voices in the West Wing. Cohn announced his resignation this week after an unsuccessful effort to block Trump from imposing sweeping new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.


‘Pharma Bro’ gets 7 years in prison in securities fraud case

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has wiped the smirk off Martin Shkreli, sentencing the pharmaceutical executive to seven years in prison for securities fraud. The 34-year-old Shkreli was vilified in 2015 for jacking up the price of a lifesaving medicine. The fraud case unrelated to the uproar.


US may tie NATO contributions to tariff exemptions

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. allies seeking to avoid the steel and aluminum tariffs approved by President Donald Trump may be asked to step up their financial commitments to NATO. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says in an interview with CNBC that the president will consider national security in the tariff discussions. He says Trump wants to be sure that NATO gets more funding from European allies.


China floods Africa with needed dollars, stoking US concern

DJIBOUTI (AP) — The United States is warning African nations that Chinese money flooding their continent comes with significant strings attached. The U.S. says with Beijing’s astonishing investments in ports, roads and railways come dependency, exploitation of local resources and intrusion on nations’ sovereignty. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is visiting several heavily indebted African countries this week, including Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya.


Trump Org says it donated $151,470 in profits to US Treasury

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Trump Organization executive says the company has donated $151,470 in foreign government profits at its hotels and similar businesses last year to the U.S. Treasury. Company official George Sorial says the voluntary donation fulfills the company’s pledge to donate profits from foreign government patronage while Donald Trump is president. Ethics experts say Trump’s refusal to divest from his business ventures violates the Constitution’s emoluments clause.


Insurers get into care, but is it good for your health?

As costs spiral and traditional boundaries blur in health care, insurers are taking more control over monitoring customer health and delivering care. They say getting involved like this can keep people healthy and away from expensive hospitals. But this raises questions about whether the patient’s best interests will remain the focus. One medical ethicist wonders how hard doctors will fight for patients if it means clashing with their own employers.


Facebook to stream 25 MLB games in exclusive deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is getting deeper into the professional sports streaming game, signing a deal with Major League Baseball to air 25 weekday afternoon games in an exclusive deal. Facebook, Twitter and Amazon and other tech companies are in a race to acquire sports streaming rights. Verizon recently signed a deal with the NBA to stream eight basketball games on Yahoo. And Amazon paid $50 million last year to stream NFL games to Prime members last season.


The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 47.60 points, or 1.7 percent, to 2,786.57. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 440.53 points, or 1.8 percent, to 25,335.74. The Nasdaq composite jumped 132.86 points, or 1.8 percent, to 7,560.81. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 25.18 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,597.14.

U.S. crude added $1.92 or 3 percent, to $62.04 a barrel in New York, while Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.88, or 3 percent, to $65.49 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline added 4 cents to $1.90 a gallon. Heating oil rose 3 cents to $1.89 a gallon. Natural gas lost 4 cents to $2.73 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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