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Business Highlights

December 21, 2018


A decade-long rally on Wall Street looks like it’s ending

NEW YORK (AP) — The nearly 10-year stock market rally looks like it’s fading after another day of big losses Friday left the U.S. market with its worst week in more than seven years. All of the major indexes have lost 16 to 26 percent from their highs this summer and fall. Investors fear a recession is coming. Barring huge gains during the upcoming holiday period, this will be the worst December for stocks since 1931.


US economy grew at 3.4 percent rate in third quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a solid 3.4 percent annual rate in the third quarter, slightly slower than previously estimated, as consumer spending and exports were revised lower. The expectation is that the economy will slow further in the current quarter.


Report says 16.7M faulty Takata air bags still on US roads

DETROIT (AP) — More than three years after the government took over management of recalls involving dangerous Takata air bag inflators, one third of the inflators still have not been replaced. That’s according to an annual report on the recalls released late Friday. The report touts progress made this year by automakers. The government says average recall repair rates by manufacturers increased 30 percent during the year. But 16.7 million faulty inflators have yet to be replaced.


No US charges against Chinese billionaire in alleged assault

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota prosecutors say there will be no charges filed against Chinese billionaire Richard Liu in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a university student in Minneapolis. Liu is founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com. He was arrested Aug. 31 on suspicion of felony rape and released. Prosecutors said Friday that “profound evidentiary problems” would have made it “highly unlikely” to prove any charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Liu’s attorneys have said he’s innocent.


End of an era: Germany closes its last black coal mine

BERLIN (AP) — Germany has closed the last of its black coal mines, ending an industry that fueled the country’s industrial revolution and its post-war economic recovery. Miners on Friday handed Germany’s president a symbolic last lump of coal hauled up from 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) below ground. It was an emotional ceremony at the Prosper-Haniel mine in the western city of Bottrop. Germany is looking to increase its use of renewable energy.


US consumer spending rises solid 0.4 percent in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans lifted their spending 0.4 percent in November from the previous month, a moderate gain that should sustain steady economic growth. The Commerce Department says personal incomes rose 0.2 percent, down from 0.5 percent in the previous month. Economists closely watch consumer spending because it accounts for about two-thirds of economic activity.


Japan prosecutors file new allegation against Nissan’s Ghosn

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese prosecutors have added an allegation of breach of trust against Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn, dashing his hopes for posting bail quickly. Ghosn and another former Nissan executive, Greg Kelly, are charged with underreporting Ghosn’s income. The breach of trust allegations were filed a day after a court refused to allow longer detention. The new allegation only applies to Ghosn, and Kelly could still be bailed out next week.


Company sues to block order to contain 14-year-old oil leak

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The company that has failed to end a 14-year-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is suing to challenge a Coast Guard official’s order to design and install a new containment system to capture and remove the crude before it forms slicks that often stretch for miles. The federal lawsuit that Taylor Energy Co. filed Thursday in New Orleans asks the court to throw out Coast Guard Capt. Kristi Luttrell’s Oct. 23 administrative order.


Amazon’s fleet of jets is growing

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is expanding its airplane fleet as it tries to cut its reliance on major delivery services like UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. The company said Friday it will lease 10 Boeing 767s planes, bringing its total fleet to 50 with the goal of getting orders to people faster and more reliably. Amazon’s fleet of planes is far smaller than those at UPS and FedEx, which number in the hundreds, but it’s pushed in recent years to close that gap and gain more control over deliveries.


US durable goods orders up 0.8 pct., led by defense spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting goods rose at a modest pace last month, but the gain was driven entirely by demand for military aircraft. Excluding transportation equipment, orders fell. The figures suggest that U.S. factory output, while mostly solid, may slow in the coming months.


The S&P 500 index retreated 50.80 points, or 2.1 percent, to 2,416.62. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 414.23 points, or 1.8 percent, to 22,445.37. The Nasdaq skidded 195.41 points, or 3 percent, to 6,332.99. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 33.92 points, or 2.6 percent, 1,292.09.

The price of U.S. crude slipped 0.6 percent to $45.59 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, fell 1 percent to $53.82 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.32 a gallon. Heating oil fell 1 percent to $1.73 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 6.5 percent to $3.82 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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