FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks wobble

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are wobbling in midday trading on Wall Street as losses for big technology companies and banks cancel out gains elsewhere in the market.

Facebook sank 2.2 percent Wednesday and Wells Fargo gave up 2.3 percent.

Energy stocks rose along with the price of crude oil. Chevron climbed 1.5 percent.

Cigarette makers rose sharply after the Food and Drug Administration said it is looking at steps to combat "an epidemic" of e-cigarette use by teenagers. Altria soared 7.4 percent.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.96 percent.

PRODUCER PRICES

US producer prices dip 0.1 percent in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices fell unexpectedly last month for the first time since February 2017, pulled down by falling prices for transportation and warehousing services. The drop suggests that inflationary pressures may be easing despite the strength of the U.S. economy.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that its producer price index — which measures inflation before it reaches consumers — fell 0.1 percent in August after being flat in July. Producer prices were up 2.8 percent from August 2017.

Wholesale prices for services slid 0.1 percent; prices of goods were flat. Over the past year, goods prices for producers have risen 3.9 percent.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core wholesale inflation also slipped 0.1 percent from July but rose 2.3 percent from July 2017.

ECONOMY-HOUSEHOLD INCOME

US median incomes grew in 2017 for a 3rd straight year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The income of a median U.S. household rose for a third straight year in 2017, boosted by a rise in the number of Americans with full-time jobs.

The Census Bureau says incomes for a typical household, adjusted for inflation, rose 1.8 percent, from $60,309 in 2016 to $61,372. Yet households are still earning essentially the same income they did in 2007 just before the Great Recession. Their inflation-adjusted median income remains below the record for a typical household — the $62,000 reached in 1999.

Last year, the number of people with jobs rose 1.7 million. And the number of workers with full-time permanent jobs increased 2.4 million. For years after the recession ended in 2009, the number of part-time workers who would have preferred full-time jobs remained elevated.

GENERAL MOTORS-BRAKE RECALL

GM recalls over 240,000 vehicles to fix rear brake problem

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling more than 240,000 vehicles, mainly in the U.S. and Canada, to fix a problem that could hamper rear brake performance.

The recall covers many GMC Terrain, Buick Lacrosse and Regal, Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Cruze, Equinox, Volt, Impala and Bolt vehicles from 2018 and 2019. Also covered is the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu.

GM says the rear brake caliper pistons can contain trapped hydrogen gas that could make the brakes feel soft and increase the risk of a crash. GM says it's not aware of any crashes.

Dealers will bleed the brakes to remove gas. Once the gas is out GM says the problem won't happen again.

GM is preparing to notify owners, but those with concerns can call dealers and schedule repairs now.

E-CIGARETTES-TEENS

US officials call teen vaping 'epidemic,' weigh flavor ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials say teenage use of e-cigarette has reached "epidemic" levels and are calling on the industry to address the problem or risk having their flavored products pulled off the market.

The warning from the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday marks a stark shift in the agency's tone on e-cigarettes, which have become the most used tobacco product among teenagers.

Since 2017, FDA officials have discussed e-cigarettes as a potential tool to ween adult smokers off cigarettes.

But FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the agency did not predict an "epidemic of addiction" among youth, mainly driven by flavored products.

Gottlieb says the five largest e-cigarette manufacturers will have 60 days to produce plans to immediately reverse underage use of their products.

TRUMP-ELECTION SECURITY

Trump OKs sanctions for foreigners who meddle in elections

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is signing an executive order authorizing sanctions against foreigners who meddle in U.S. elections.

Trump has drawn widespread criticism for not taking threats to the U.S. electoral system seriously enough, particularly Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

National Security Adviser John Bolton and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats told reporters Wednesday that the executive order is evidence the president is making election security a priority.

Bolton says the executive order will work to stem disinformation campaigns or any attempt to manipulate the outcome of ballots.

Coats says the U.S. is not currently seeing the intensity of Russian intervention that was experienced in 2016, but didn't rule it out. He said the U.S. is also worried about the cyber activities of China, North Korea and Iran.

TRUMP-JP MORGAN CEO COMMENTS

Jamie Dimon says he could beat Trump, walks back comment

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation's most powerful banker, JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, is saying he would be able to beat President Donald Trump in an election, but also says he isn't running for the nation's top office.

Dimon, a brash Wall Street executive with a long history of making off-the-cuff remarks, told reporters at an event at JPMorgan headquarters Wednesday that "I think I could beat Trump."

In the remarks, first reported by CNBC, Dimon also said he just as tough as Trump and smarter than the president.

Shortly after the event ended, Dimon released a statement saying he shouldn't have made the comments and indicating they were prompted by frustration over Washington gridlock on important issues.

Dimon said he's not running for president, something he has said in the past.

TRADE-MASTERCARD

Mastercard unveils digital trade platform for small business

UNDATED (AP) — Mastercard is rolling out a digital trade platform designed to make it easier for small- and medium-sized companies to do business around the world.

The company's Mastercard Track will, among other things, help businesses identify and assess potential international customers and suppliers, and manage global payments electronically. The database will include information on more than 150 million companies worldwide.

Michael Froman, Mastercard's vice chairman and president of strategic growth, says that global commerce is surprisingly inefficient and difficult for modest-sized companies to break into.

Froman, who was U.S. trade representative in the Obama administration, says firms still often keep records on paper and conduct business in cash.

Mastercard developed Track in collaboration with Microsoft and is working with nine companies that supply business-to-business software.

EUROPE-ONLINE EXTREMISM

EU to give internet firms 1 hour to remove extremist content

BRUSSELS (AP) — European authorities are planning to slap internet companies like Google and Facebook with big fines if they don't take down extremist content within one hour.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a speech Wednesday that the Commission is proposing the new rules as part of efforts to step up the bloc's security.

He said that removing material within an hour is important because it's "the critical window in which the greatest damage is done."

The EU's executive body said extremist material "that prepares, incites or glorifies acts of terrorism" must be taken offline. Content would be flagged up by national authorities, who would issue removal orders to the internet companies hosting it. Those companies would be given one hour to delete it.

EUROPE-COPYRIGHT

EU lawmakers vote for new online copyright rules

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union lawmakers have voted in favor of new copyright rules that could shake up the way internet companies use media, books, music and other content posted online.

In Strasbourg, France on Wednesday, lawmakers voted by 438 to 226 to back a report aimed at shielding the rights that protect the author or creator of a work like a book, film or computer software.

German lawmaker Axel Voss, who chaperoned the report through the assembly, said the vote "is a good sign for the creative industries in Europe."

Media and publishers say the changes would help them get paid for their work. Opponents say they are too hard to put into effect, and might lead to filtering or even greater control over the internet.

UBER-PASSENGERS RECORDED-TAXIS

St. Louis bans taxis from livestreaming videos of passengers

(Information in the following story is from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Taxi drivers in St. Louis have been banned from livestreaming video of their passengers after a local driver for Uber and Lyft broadcast live video of his riders online without their knowledge or consent.

St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission executive director Ronald Klein instituted the rule Tuesday. The commission does not regulate ride-share services including Uber and Lyft.

The ruling comes after Uber and Lyft cut ties with Jason Gargac, of Florissant, Missouri, who streamed hundreds of his rides to his channel on the video website Twitch.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the taxicab commission can overrule Klein's rule, but that it's expected to keep the new policy in place. The commission already had rules requiring visible signage notifying customers if the taxi has video or audio recording devices.

MCDONALD'S-SEX HARASSMENT STRIKE

Some McDonald's workers vote to strike over sex harassment

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's workers are going on strike next week.

Emboldened by the #MeToo movement, McDonald's workers have voted to stage a one-day strike next week at restaurants in 10 cities. They want to pressure management to take stronger steps against on-the-job sexual harassment.

The cities include Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Milwaukee.

Organizers said they could not predict with precision how many workers would join the strike, but noted that hundreds of workers had participated in the committee meetings at which the strike was planned.

McDonald's defended its anti-harassment efforts and said it has specific policies designed to prevent sexual misconduct at its restaurants.

TROPICAL WEATHER-AIRLINES

Flights being canceled ahead of Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Airlines are starting to cancel more flights as Hurricane Florence approaches the Southeast coast.

At midday Wednesday, tracking service FlightAware said more than 400 U.S. flights scheduled for Thursday had been canceled, most of them in the Southeast.

In Wilmington, North Carolina, four-fifths of Thursday's departures have been scrapped. Anywhere from about one-third to more than half of departures have been canceled in Myrtle Beach and Charleston, South Carolina, and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

The numbers are sure to rise as airlines begin cutting flights scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Airlines typically wait until about 24 hours before takeoff before canceling a flight.

Delta Air Lines says it's adding about 1,000 seats on flights to and from the Southeast for people trying to flee the storm.

TOY HALL OF FAME-FINALISTS

Tic-Tac-Toe, Tickle Me Elmo among Toy Hall of Fame finalists

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The National Toy Hall of Fame is out with this year's finalists.

This may be the year that chalk makes its mark on the western New York hall, or American Girl outmuscles He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. But don't count out Uno or Magic 8 Ball, which are also in the running, along with Chutes and Ladders, the Fisher-Price Corn Popper, pinball, the sled, tic-tac-toe, Tickle Me Elmo and Tudor Electric Football.

A committee of experts will choose which of the finalists should take their place alongside other toy box mainstays like Barbie and Play-Doh.

Fans are invited to weigh in online through Sept. 19.

The induction ceremony is Nov. 8 at The Strong museum in Rochester, where the National Toy Hall of Fame is housed.