Business Highlights

November 21, 2017


FCC chairman sets out to repeal ‘net neutrality’ rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is following through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations designed to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally. Pai’s attempt to roll back the current rules, known as net neutrality, sets up a showdown with consumer groups and internet companies who fear the move will stifle competition and innovation. Pai says his plan will encourage ISPs such as Comcast and AT&T to improve their networks.


AT&T suit may herald a new antitrust era — or Trumpian pique

NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump administration’s decision to oppose the AT&T-Time Warner mergers, though clouded by suspicions of political influence, could mark a significant departure for antitrust enforcement. If the government’s stance is part of a policy shift, it could expand concerns about consumer harm to a broader set of mergers, which has consumer groups applauding. But it might also simply reflect President Donald Trump’s long-running feud with CNN.


Uber reveals cover-up of hack affecting 57M riders, drivers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber is coming clean about its cover-up of a year-old hacking attack that stole personal information about more than 57 million of the beleaguered ride-hailing service’s customers and drivers. The revelation Tuesday marks the latest stain on Uber’s reputation. Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, criticized the company’s handling of the data theft in a blog post that said there’s no evidence the stolen information has been misused. The heist took the names, email addresses and phone numbers of 57 million riders. The thieves also nabbed the driver’s license numbers of 600,000 Uber drivers.


Iran-based hacker charged with trying to extort HBO

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. prosecutors say a member of an Iran-based hacking group tried to extort HBO out of $6 million in digital currency by stealing unaired episodes and scripts of hit shows such as “Game of Thrones.” An indictment filed Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan accuses Behzad Mesri of hacking into computer accounts of HBO employees in New York. It says he stole episodes of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Deuce” and scripts of “Game of Thrones.”


US home sales rose in October as hurricane impact wanes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans bought more homes last month, as sales snapped back in hurricane-hit Texas and Florida. Yet the market is still suffering from a dwindling supply of available homes. The National Association of Realtors says sales rose 2 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million.


Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, U.S. tobacco companies will run court-ordered advertisements laying out the deadly, addictive effects of smoking. The messages come more than a decade after a judge ruled that the industry had lied and misrepresented the risks of cigarettes for more than 50 years. But tobacco control experts say the campaign built around newspapers and network TV won’t reach people when they are young and most likely to begin smoking. The ads start this weekend.


Disney Animation, Pixar chief John Lasseter taking leave

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pixar co-founder and Walt Disney Animation chief John Lasseter is taking a six-month leave of absence citing “missteps” with employees. In a vaguely-worded memo to employees Tuesday, Lasseter says it has been brought to his attention that he has made some employees feel disrespected and uncomfortable. He apologized to anyone who has received an unwanted hug or gesture and to those he has “let down.”


CBS News and PBS cut ties to Rose following sex allegations

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS News and PBS have cut ties to Charlie Rose after several women accused him of sexual misconduct at his PBS interview show. He was also co-host of ‘CBS This Morning’ and a contributor to ’60 Minutes.′ The allegations that Rose groped women and walked naked around them happened to staffers and prospective workers at the PBS show he owns


Led by technology and health care, stocks set more records

NEW YORK (AP) — The market’s biggest winners this year, technology and health care, powered U.S. stock indexes to more all-time highs on Tuesday. Huge technology companies like Apple and Facebook continued their ascent, while strong reports from companies including medical device maker Medtronic and construction and technical services company Jacobs Engineering helped health care and industrial companies, respectively.


Meg Whitman steps down as HP Enterprise CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Meg Whitman, who oversaw the breakup of one of Silicon Valley’s pioneering companies, is stepping down as the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. HPE said Tuesday that Whitman will hand over the reins of the company to its president, Antonio Neri, on Feb. 1. Whitman, 61, took over in 2011 at the former Hewlett-Packard Co., a company founded in 1939 and for years a tech bellwether. But it had struggled to keep up with industry trends toward mobile and cloud computing. In 2015, Hewlett Packard was split in two.


The S&P 500 index climbed 16.89 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,599.03. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 160.50 points, or 0.7 percent, to 23,590.83. The Nasdaq composite added 71.77 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,862.48. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose for a fourth day and picked up 15.49 points, or 1 percent, to 1,518.89.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 41 cents to $56.84 a barrel in New York, while Brent crude, the international standard, added 35 cents to $62.57 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline climbed 3 cents to $1.77 a gallon. Heating oil was little changed at $1.94 a gallon. Natural gas slipped 3 cents to $3.02 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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