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Update on the latest in business:

September 17, 2018


Trade worries send stocks slightly lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are edging lower on Wall Street as investors wait to see whether the Trump administration will announce more tariffs on Chinese goods.

The two governments have already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of each other’s goods. The White House is expected to announce tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese goods today.

Restaurant chains and technology companies are among the decliners.

At 11:45 a.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,897.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 26,136. The Nasdaq composite slid 65 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,944.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.99 percent.


Wall Street salaries highest since 2008 crisis, report finds

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Salaries on Wall Street rose last year to their highest level since the 2008 financial crisis.

The figures come from a report on Wall Street profits made available today to The Associated Press by New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The average salary in New York City’s securities industry in 2017 was $422,500, a 13 percent increase over the year before the highest since 2008.

Securities jobs have the highest average pay of any occupation in the city. They account for 21 percent of all private-sector wages in the city but make up less than 5 percent of all private-sector jobs.

DiNapoli’s report finds that overall, the industry had $24.5 billion in pre-tax profits in 2017.


Report: Machines to handle over half workplace tasks by 2025

GENEVA (AP) — Organizers of the annual Davos forum say in a new report that machines are increasingly moving in on jobs done by people, projecting that more than half of all workplace tasks will be carried out by machines, not humans, by 2025.

The World Economic Forum estimates that machines will be responsible for 52 percent of the division of labor as share of hours within seven years, up from just 29 percent today. The report says that by 2022, roughly 75 million jobs worldwide will be lost, but that could be more than offset by the creation of 133 million new jobs.


UK leader warns rebels: it’s my Brexit agreement or no deal

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May is warning opponents of her blueprint for Brexit that rejecting it means crashing out of the European Union without a deal, an outcome the International Monetary Fund said today would have “very large” economic costs.

May tells the BBC that if rebel lawmakers shoot down a deal between her government and the EU, “the alternative to that will be having no deal.”

With a little more than six months until Britain is due to leave the 28-nation EU on March 29, the two sides still have big gaps to bridge in divorce negotiations, and May’s Conservative government remains divided over how close an economic relationship to seek with the bloc after Brexit.

May is proposing to keep Britain aligned to EU rules in return for free trade in goods and an open border between the U.K.’s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

EU chiefs warn that the U.K. can’t cherry pick aspects of membership in the bloc’s single market without accepting the costs and responsibilities.


Tyson Foods CEO to step down for ‘personal reasons’

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — Tyson Foods has announced its president and chief executive officer Tom Hayes will step down at the end of September for “personal reasons.”

Tyson’s board of directors said Monday that its group president of beef, pork and international divisions Noel White will succeed Hayes.

Tyson did not elaborate on Hayes’ resignation.

Hayes joined Tyson in 2014 with its acquisition of The Hillshire Brand Company, where he was chief supply chain officer. In 2016, Hayes was appointed president and CEO of the Springdale, Arkansas-based company.

Tyson said White has been with the company since it acquired beef and pork producer IBP in 1983. He previously served as chief operations officer and president of poultry.

Tyson is one of the world’s largest meat producers.


Saudi sovereign wealth fund takes $11B in its first loan

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund says it has taken its first loan, an $11 billion borrowing from global banks as it tries to expand its investments.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund did not say how it would use the money, only describing it as going toward “general corporate purposes.”

The Las Vegas-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute estimates the Saudi fund, known by the acronym PIF, has holdings of $250 billion. Those include a $3.5 billion stake in the ride-sharing app Uber.

Saudi Arabia’s 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has talked about using the PIF to help diversify the economy of the kingdom, which relies almost entirely on money made from its oil sales.


DowDuPont names leaders for Corteva Agriscience, DuPont

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — DowDuPont is naming the chief executives who will lead its agriculture and specialty products businesses once they’re split off from the company.

The chemical giants Dow and DuPont merged last year in a deal valued at close to $70 billion, with plans to split into three distinct companies.

The company says that James Collins, the chief operating officer at DowDuPont’s agriculture unit, will lead Corteva Agriscience. Marc Doyle, the COO for the specialty products division, will become CEO of DuPont. Both companies will be based in in Wilmington, Vermont.

Jim Fitterling has already been picked to lead Dow, the materials science division, based in Midland, Michigan.

The three branches will become independent companies next year. The boards of the companies are anticipated to be finalized by October’s end.


New euro notes feature improved anti-counterfeit holograms

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — New versions of the 100- and 200-euro banknotes have more anti-counterfeiting features and a slimmer size that should make them easier to fit into wallets and purses.

The new notes, shown off today by the European Central Bank, are now the same height as the 50-euro note so that they will be less likely to stick out and become worn. The notes also have an improved “satellite” hologram that shows small euro symbols moving around the number when the bill is held up and tilted.

ECB executive board member Yves Mersch says more than a million cash machines would need to be adjusted before the new notes go into circulation May 28 in the 19 countries that use the shared currency.


Needle-in-strawberry scare spreads across Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Public fears about sewing needles concealed inside strawberries on supermarket shelves have spread across Australia and New Zealand as growers turn to metal detectors and the Australian government launches an investigation to restore public confidence in the popular fruit.

The government of Queensland state, where the contamination scare started last week, is offering a 100,000 Australian dollar ($72,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for inserting needles into strawberries after six brands were recalled: Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries, Oasis, Berry Obsession and Berry Licious.

The scare had spread across the nation, with needles reported found in strawberries in all six Australian states. No injuries have been reported.

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