Business Highlights

November 27, 2017


Who’s in charge? 2 fight for control of US consumer watchdog

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dueling acting directors are fighting for control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with one selected by President Donald Trump and the other hand-picked by the outgoing director. With the fate of the department stalled in court, it has become a war of optics for control of the agency. The outgoing director’s pick, Leandra English, sent staff an email offering Thanksgiving wishes, while Trump’s pick, Mick Mulvaney, emailed to tell staff to “disregard” any instructions from English.


Senators consider automatic tax hikes if revenue falls short

WASHINGTON (AP) —Senate Republicans are considering a trigger that would automatically increase taxes if their tax package doesn’t generate as much revenue as they expect. It’s an effort to mollify deficit hawks who worry that tax cuts for businesses and individuals will add to the nation’s already mounting debt. The effort comes as a second Republican senator, Steve Daines of Montana, announced that he opposes the tax bill in its current form.


Tech firm: Thanksgiving-Black Friday sales rose 11.9 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — Despite holiday deals all month, shoppers still picked up their spending on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, one technology company says. Spending for Thursday and Friday together increased 11.9 percent compared with the same two-day period last year, says First Data, which analyzed online and in-store payments across different forms of cards from 1.3 million merchants. Retail spending, which excludes grocery stores, restaurants, auto parts merchants and gas stations, rose 9.3 percent.


How Powell could differ from Yellen: Nominee faces hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jerome Powell’s confirmation to be chairman of the Federal Reserve is considered all but certain. Yet when a Senate committee holds a hearing Tuesday on Powell’s nomination, one question will hover above the discussions: Will Jerome Powell be Janet Yellen by another name — or a different kind of Fed leader?


Meredith buying Time Inc. for about $1.8 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Magazine and broadcasting company Meredith is buying magazine publisher Time for about $1.8 billion, with help from the billionaire Koch brothers, to bulk up on readers as the publishing industry navigates the difficult transition to digital from print. Iowa-based Meredith Corp. owns 17 TV stations that reach 12 million U.S. households. Its women- and lifestyle-focused magazines and websites include Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle and Allrecipes. Time Inc., based in New York, has publications including Time, Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune and Entertainment Weekly. Including Time’s debt, Meredith values the deal at $2.8 billion.


US new-home sales jumped 6.2 percent in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans bought new homes in October at the fastest pace in a decade. The 6.2 percent monthly increase that reflects both the underlying strength of the economy and the worsening shortage of existing homes for sale. The Commerce Department says new-home sales last month rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000. That marks the third straight monthly gain and the best sales clip since October 2007. Much of the sales growth came from the Northeast and Midwest.


California farmworker unions win battle to ensure contracts

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court handed a victory to organized farm labor Monday in a lawsuit that pitted the union launched by iconic labor leader Cesar Chavez against one of the largest U.S. fruit farms. In a unanimous ruling, the high court in the nation’s leading agricultural state upheld a law that aims to get labor contracts for farmworkers whose unions and employers do not agree on wages and other working conditions.


Effort to oust Trump name, management in luxury Panama hotel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Owners of the Trump International Hotel in Panama are working to strip President Donald Trump’s name from the 70-story building and fire the hotel management company run by Trump’s family. The property once paid at least $32 million to associate with Trump. The uprising by Panama hotel owners — following news that Trump was effectively being paid to end a similar management contract for the Trump Soho hotel in New York — points to continued struggles for the Trump brand outside strongholds like Mar-a-Lago in Florida and the Trump Hotel in Washington.


Energy firms lead US stocks mostly lower as oil prices slip

NEW YORK (AP) — A sluggish day of trading on Wall Street finished Monday with stocks edging mostly lower as investors came back from the Thanksgiving holiday. Energy stocks declined the most following a slide in crude oil prices. Materials companies also declined, partly offsetting gains among utilities and industrial stocks. Retailers posted solid gains on reports the holiday shopping season is off to a strong start.


The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 1 point to 2,601.42. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 22.79 points, or 0.1 percent, to 23,580.78. The Nasdaq composite fell 10.64 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,878.52. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 5.85 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,513.31.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 84 cents, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $58.11 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 2 cents to close at $63.84 in London. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.79 a gallon. Heating oil slipped 1 penny to $1.95 a gallon. Natural gas rose 12 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $2.93 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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