Business Highlights

June 5, 2018


Trustees report warns Medicare finances worsening

WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare’s financial problems have gotten worse, and Social Security’s can’t be ignored forever. The government’s annual assessment is a sobering checkup on programs vital to the middle class. The report from program trustees says Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 — three years earlier than previously forecast. The report says Social Security will become insolvent in 2034 — no change from the projection last year.


Milestone for US job market: More openings than unemployed

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time on record, the number of job openings in the United States exceeds the number of unemployed Americans — a trend that may soon give workers more leverage for pay raises. The number of available jobs in April rose 1 percent to 6.7 million from 6.6 million in March, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That’s the most since records began in December 2000.


Trump seeks separate talks with Canada and Mexico over NAFTA

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump couldn’t get what he wanted from months of three-way trade talks with Canada and Mexico. So now his administration wants to pursue separate negotiations with the two U.S. neighbors to try to overhaul the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has condemned as a job-killing disaster.


Handbag designer Kate Spade found hanged in apparent suicide

NEW YORK (AP) — Police officials say New York fashion designer Kate Spade apparently hanged herself in the bedroom of her Park Avenue apartment. The officials say she was found by a housekeeper Tuesday morning. Spade was 55 and was known for her sleek handbags.


Maker of fearsome animal robots slowly emerges from stealth

BOSTON (AP) — It’s never been clear whether robotics company Boston Dynamics is making killing machines, household helpers, or something else entirely. But the secretive firm, which for nine years has unnerved viewers with YouTube videos of robots that jump, gallop or prowl like animal predators, is starting to emerge from a quarter-century of stealth.


World Bank: Global economy is healthy but growth will slow

WASHINGTON (AP) — The steadily expanding global economy should remain resilient — at least for a couple of years — the World Bank says. The anti-poverty agency predicts that global growth will decelerate slightly from a solid 3.1 percent this year to 3 percent next year and 2.9 percent in 2020.


What’s in your 401(k)? For more investors, just 1 fund

NEW YORK (AP) — More and more retirement savers have their entire 401(k) account in just a single mutual fund, and investment advisers are fine with it. Last year, for the first time, the majority of savers had their accounts invested in a single target-date retirement fund, out of the 4.6 million participants at 401(k) and similar programs that Vanguard keeps records for.


Conservative icon David Koch leaving business, politics

NEW YORK (AP) — Billionaire conservative icon David Koch is stepping down from the Koch brothers’ network of business and political activities. Older brother Charles Koch said in a letter to company officials that his brother, 78, is suffering from deteriorating health. Charles Koch will continue in his leadership role at the network, which has been demonized by Democrats for its outside influence in national politics. The Koch network has promised to spend $400 million to shape the 2018 midterm elections.


Lord & Taylor to close storied flagship on Fifth Avenue

NEW YORK (AP) — Lord & Taylor is abandoning plans to keep a store in the Fifth Avenue flagship it is selling, as the chain’s owner closes more stores and focuses on online sales.

The announcement Tuesday comes about seven months after the company said it would sell the century-old building to office space sharing company WeWork. Hudson’s Bay Co. had said then it would keep less than a quarter of the 11-story building for a Lord & Taylor store.


US stocks edge higher as technology, retail companies rise

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes finish mostly higher and the Nasdaq composite closes at another record high as technology firms, retailers and smaller companies continue to rise. Banks slip along with interest rates and energy companies also finish lower. Starbucks slips after Howard Schultz said he is stepping down as the coffee company’s chairman.


The S&P 500 added 1.93 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,748.80. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 13.71 points, or 0.1 percent, to 24,799.98. The Nasdaq composite rose 31.40 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,637.86 and the Russell 2000 climbed 11.25 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,664.63.

U.S. crude picked up 1.2 percent to $65.52 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 0.1 percent to $75.38 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 0.8 percent to $2.11 a gallon. Heating oil slipped 0.5 percent to $2.14 a gallon. Natural gas sank 1.4 percent to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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