Business Highlights

November 9, 2017


AP Exclusive: Russia Twitter trolls deflected Trump bad news

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A study of some Twitter accounts reveals that when there was bad news about Donald Trump during last year’s campaign, Russian agents tried to turn attention away from it on social media. The Associated Press analyzed the accounts, which have since been deleted. When the story broke about Trump’s crude comments about groping women, the Twitter accounts backed by Russia highlighted hacked emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman


Senate GOP tax bill would delay biz cut, undo deductions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans revealed the details of their sweeping tax legislation Thursday, including a one-year delay in plans for a major corporate tax cut despite strident opposition from the White House and others in their own party. Their bill would leave the prized mortgage interest deduction untouched for homeowners in a concession to the powerful real estate lobby but would ignore a House compromise on the hot-button issue of state and local tax deductions. On the other side of the Capitol, the House Ways and Means Committee approved its own version of the legislation on a party-line 24-16 vote, amid intense political pressure on the GOP to push forward on the first major rewrite of the U.S. tax code in three decades.


Disney hopes for its next blockbuster in newest ‘Star Wars’

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney’s $4 billion deal for Lucasfilm and “Star Wars” just keeps getting better for the House of Mouse. The company is banking on the latest installments, “The Last Jedi” in December and a Han Solo movie in May, to drive people to theaters. But that’s far from the end of money-making opportunities from Han Solo, R2-D2, Kylo Ren and Rey. Disney also wants to squeeze cash from “Star Wars” fans in the forms of toys and, theme park visits and hotel stays.


How 1-year Trump rally stacks up against other presidents

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump warned that the stock market was a “big, fat, ugly bubble” just weeks before he was elected. A year later, Wall Street remains on a milestone-shattering run that the president has been eager to tweet about. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has notched 61 record highs and climbed 21.3 percent since Trump’s election. That exceeds the S&P 500′s gain in the first-term election anniversaries of all but two presidents since World War II: George H.W. Bush and John F. Kennedy.


Kindle with your kale? Amazon to open shops in Whole Foods

NEW YORK (AP) — You may see more of Amazon inside Whole Foods soon: The online retailer, which has already been selling its voice-activated Echos at Whole Foods, will start to sell Kindles, Fire tablets and other Amazon devices at its grocery stores. The move gives Amazon, which bought Whole Foods this summer, another place where shoppers can touch or try out its gadgets during the holiday shopping season.


Zuckerberg nears end of US tour, wants to boost small biz

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his biggest takeaway of his year traveling to dozens of states is the importance of “community.” To this end, he’s announcing a new program to boost small businesses and give people technical skills on and off Facebook. The move shows how intertwined Facebook has become not just in our social lives, but in entrepreneurs’ economic survival and growth.


AP FACT CHECK: China-US business deals are largely gloss

BEIJING (AP) — U.S. and Chinese officials have signed a package of trade and investment deals during President Donald Trump’s visit they say it’s worth more than $250 billion. But an AP Fact Check finds that the package is more about the art of diplomacy than the art of the deal. It draws together some new orders, previously worked-out deals, tentative investments and statements of intent that may or may not turn into new dollars and jobs for the U.S.


Department stores: Macy’s sales fall, Kohl’s profit drops

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy’s sales fell as it had a hard time pulling shoppers through its doors and Kohl’s reported a drop in quarterly profit Thursday, underscoring just how challenging the holiday shopping season will be for department store chains. Like many retailers, Macy’s and Kohl’s have wrestled with weak sales as customers go online.


RT editor says company will register as foreign agent in US

MOSCOW (AP) — The chief editor of Kremlin-funded satellite TV channel RT says the company will accede to a U.S. demand to register as a foreign agent but intends to challenge the issue in court. RT reported Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice has demanded the registration by Monday. RT chief editor Margarita Simonyan said failing to register could mean the arrest of RT’s American director and the freezing of its accounts, so they will do it even though “we categorically disagree” with the demand.


The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 9.76 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,584.62. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 101.42 points, or 0.4 percent, to 23,461.94. The Nasdaq composite slid 39.07 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,750.05. Each closed at an all-time high on Wednesday. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 6.71 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,475.02, its lowest level since late September.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 36 cents to $57.17 a barrel in the New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 44 cents to $63.93 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline held steady at $1.82 a gallon. Heating oil rose 3 cents to $1.95 a gallon. Natural gas climbed 3 cents to $3.20 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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