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Update on the latest in business:

September 18, 2018


Technology shares lead market higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology stocks are leading U.S. indexes broadly higher as the market claws back ground it lost a day earlier.

Microsoft climbed 1.2 percent Tuesday, and chipmaker Micron jumped 4.9 percent.

Apple, which got an exemption to new tariffs announced on imports of goods made in China, was up 0.8 percent.

Ferrari rose 3 percent after the sportscar maker announced a new lineup of models.


Tesla shares fall after report of criminal investigation

DETROIT (AP) — Shares of electric car maker Tesla Inc. fell more than 5 percent Tuesday after a report that it’s under criminal investigation over statements about taking the company private.

Bloomberg News reported that the Justice Department probe is running parallel to an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The news service cited two people familiar with the matter that it did not identify.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted last month that funding was secured to take the company private. The announcement raised the stock price 11 percent in one day, but it has since fallen.

Later the company admitted that funding wasn’t lined up and eventually Musk abandoned the idea.

Tesla shares fell 5.3 percent to $279.13 in midday trading. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


SunTrust’s online banking outage enters third day

NEW YORK (AP) — Customers of the large regional bank SunTrust are experiencing a third day of outages and difficulties from its online banking services, a particular problem for its customers in North and South Carolina who are currently dealing with Hurricane Florence.

SunTrust’s online banking services went down on Sunday after a routine technical upgrade. As of Tuesday afternoon, the bank says some services have been restored but customers are still experiencing issues. The bank says it will refund any ATM or overdraft fees incurred by customers during the outage.

While online banking outages happen, it is uncommon for outages to last more than a day.

SunTrust is the 12th largest bank in the U.S., holding nearly $200 billion in assets and operating more than 1,200 branches, located almost entirely in the South.


Visa, Mastercard in new settlement of credit card fee suit

NEW YORK (AP) — Visa and Mastercard say they and several banks will pay $6.2 billion to settle part of a long-running lawsuit brought by merchants over fees on credit card transactions.

Visa says it’s paying $4.1 billion and Mastercard is paying about $900 million. The two companies say they’ve already set aside money to cover the payment.

A group of 19 merchants and trade groups alleged Visa and MasterCard conspired to fix fees that are charged to stores for handling credit card payments. Tuesday’s settlement covers the monetary claims in the lawsuit, but a lawsuit over their network rules is ongoing.

The parties agreed to a financial settlement in 2012, but some retailers and consumer groups objected and that settlement was ultimately thrown out by a federal appeals court.


ACLU says Facebook allows gender discrimination in ads

NEW YORK (AP) — The ACLU is accusing Facebook of discrimination, saying the company violated federal and state laws prohibiting businesses from excluding women from job ads.

In a complaint filed Tuesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the ACLU also lists 10 employers that it claims have placed discriminatory ads. The group says changes that Facebook made to its ads systems this year to prevent discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion and other characteristics didn’t extend to gender.

Facebook says there is no place for discrimination at the company and that it will defend its practices once it can review the complaint.

The complaint says Facebook allows those placing job ads to target potential applicants based on their gender, including women or those who do not identify as either men or women.


Papa John’s new ads: John’s out, diverse franchisees are in

NEW YORK (AP) — Papa John’s, which wants to distance itself from famous founder John Schnatter, is releasing new ads Tuesday that replaces him with a diverse group of franchisees.

The commercials show several franchisees looking into the camera and introducing themselves to viewers.

“You’ve heard one voice of Papa John’s for a long time,” one of them says, followed by another who says, “It’s time you heard from all of us.”

The pizza chain started to remove Schnatter from its logos, pizza boxes and restaurants this summer after a report said he used a racial slur during a media training session. Schnatter, who has apologized for the slur, says it was taken out of context. He remains the Louisville, Kentucky-based company’s biggest shareholder.

The new ads begin airing this week.


BMW moves annual shutdown to guard against Brexit disruption

LONDON (AP) — BMW says it is scheduling a weeks-long shutdown of its Mini plant in England to coincide with Brexit as insurance against supply hiccups from a disorderly British departure from the European Union.

The German automaker says annual maintenance at its Cowley factory will begin April 1 — the first working day after Brexit on March 29 — and last several weeks. The shutdown usually takes place in summer.

BMW said Tuesday that it had made the decision “to minimize the risk of any possible short-term parts-supply disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”

The company said it considered that “worst-case scenario” unlikely, but added “we have to plan for it.”

Britain and the EU have not yet finalized their divorce agreement, stirring fears among businesses of disruption to trade.

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