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Business Highlights

November 30, 2018


Marriott security breach exposed data of up to 500M guests

NEW YORK (AP) — A security breach inside the Marriott hotel empire has compromised the information of as many as 500 million guests worldwide. The company says the breach announced Friday could have exposed credit card numbers, passport numbers and birth dates for as long as four years. The crisis quickly emerged as one of the largest data breaches on record.


US stands apart as G-20 summit stumbles on trade, climate

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The U.S. is blocking progress at the Group of 20 summit on fixing world trade rules, fighting climate change and tackling migration, according to European officials involved in the discussions. The divisions among the world’s leading economies were evident from the moment the Argentinian president opened it Friday with a call for international cooperation to solve the planet’s problems.


Tariff tensions shadow US, Canada, Mexico trade pact signing

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — President Donald Trump signed a revised North American trade pact with the leaders of Canada and Mexico on Friday, declaring the deal a major victory for workers. But tensions over tariffs, looming GM layoffs and questions about the pact’s prospects in Congress clouded the celebratory moment.


Microsoft surpasses Apple as most valuable public company

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft has surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company. As other tech giants stumble, Microsoft’s steady resilience is paying off. Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has found stability by moving away from its flagship Windows operating system and focusing on cloud-computing services with long-term business contracts. Microsoft eclipsed Apple briefly a few times this week, but didn’t close on top until Friday.


Attorney’s plea caused by Trump’s dream of a Moscow tower

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s decades-long dream of building a luxury tower in the heart of Moscow led his former lawyer Michael Cohen to plead guilty to a charge of lying to congressional investigators about key details in the negotiations. Those plans flared and fizzled several times over the years, most recently when his presidential campaign was gaining momentum. Those talks stretched far deeper into the 2016 campaign than previously thought.


Facebook: Sandberg asked staff to research Soros finances

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says its No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg, asked staff whether billionaire philanthropist George Soros had financial motivations against it. This revelation follows prior disclosures that the company had done opposition research on him. Soros called Facebook a “menace” in a January speech.


UK leader focused on passing Brexit deal despite uncertainty

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday accused the opposition Labour Party of betraying the British people by trying to stop Brexit as she went on the offensive in her battle to win approval of the widely criticized divorce agreement she negotiated with the European Union. With less than two weeks to go before a vote in the House of Commons, May is trying to win support from lawmakers of all parties who have balked at the deal.


Lawyer: Nissan exec arrested with Ghosn asserts innocence

TOKYO (AP) — An attorney for an American executive arrested in Japan on suspicion of collaborating with former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn in financial misconduct says his client is innocent. Aubrey Harwell said Friday that his client, Greg Kelly, did nothing wrong and that Kelly acted “according to the law and according to company policy.”


Trump admin approves seismic surveys for Atlantic drilling

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is authorizing use of seismic air guns to find oil and gas formations deep underneath the Atlantic Ocean floor. This reverses Obama administration policies and is drawing outrage from critics who say the practice can disturb or injure whales, sea turtles and other marine life. Allowing use of seismic surveys is part of President Donald Trump’s bid to expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic.


China’s coal project in Serbia raises climate change worries

KOSTOLAC, Serbia (AP) — China has been seen as the world leader in the battle to cut carbon emissions and prevent a global environmental catastrophe, after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement on global climate change in 2017. China tackles pollution at home, but is pursuing a very different policy abroad. It is investing in coal-powered plants globally, including Serbia, where environmental concerns are getting worse for those living close to the Kostolac power plant complex.


The S&P 500 index gained 22.41 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,760.17. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 199.62 points, or 0.8 percent, to 25,538.46. The Nasdaq composite jumped 57.45 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,330.54. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 7.88 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,533.27.

Benchmark U.S. crude closed down 1 percent at $50.93 a barrel in New York. Brent crude lost 1.3 percent to $58.71 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 0.9 percent to $1.44 a gallon. Heating oil was little changed at $1.85 a gallon. Natural gas fell 0.7 percent to $4.61 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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