Business Highlights

July 2, 2018


US-China tariffs: What’s behind them, who stands to be hurt?

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has boldly declared that trade wars are easy to win. He’s about to find out. Barring a last-minute breakthrough, the Trump administration on Friday will start imposing tariffs on $34 billion in goods imported from China, And China will promptly strike back with tariffs on an equal amount of U.S. goods. And just like that, a high-risk trade war between the world’s two biggest economies will begin — one that could quickly escalate.


EU warns Trump: auto tariffs could lead to $300B retaliation

BRUSSELS (AP) — The EU on Monday slammed the Trump administration for considering tariffs on auto imports, saying they could lead to global retaliation against some $300 billion in U.S. goods, amid fresh signs of a looming trade war. European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the U.S. investigation into the possibility of auto tariffs “lacks legitimacy, factual basis and violates international trade rules,” just like last month’s U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.


US factories register faster-than-expected growth in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — American factories expanded at an unexpectedly fast pace in June, another sign of strength for U.S. industry. But U.S. manufacturing will have to contend in coming months with uncertainty over trade and a strengthening dollar. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchase managers, says its manufacturing index rose last month to 60.2. That’s the highest level since February and up from 58.7 in May.


Tesla makes 5,000 Model 3s per week, but can it continue?

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla Inc. made 5,031 lower-priced Model 3 electric cars during the last week of June, surpassing its often-missed goal of 5,000 per week. But the company still only managed to crank out an average of 2,198 per week for the quarter. Tesla reported making 28,578 Model 3s from April through June, according to its quarterly production release. Critics wonder whether it can keep up the pace that it achieved in those last seven days.


California high court: Yelp can’t be ordered to remove posts

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A divided California Supreme Court has ruled that online review site Yelp.com cannot be ordered to remove posts against a San Francisco law firm that a judge had determined were defamatory. The 4-3 ruling on Monday came in a closely watched case that internet companies warned could be used to silence all types of online speech.


Trump: WTO needs to change ways or US will do ‘something’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is warning the World Trade Organization that if the United States isn’t treated “properly, we will be doing something.” Trump is again denying plans to withdraw the US from the WTO but tells reporters that the trade organization needs to change its ways.


Seattle bans plastic straws, utensils at restaurants, bars

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle bars and restaurants can no longer offer plastic straws and utensils under a rule that aims to reduce marine plastic pollution. The ban that took effect Sunday affects businesses that sell food or drinks, and they could face a fine of up to $250 if they don’t comply. Seattle is believed to be the first major U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service.


Facebook: 800K users may have had bug unblock blocked people

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says more than 800,000 users may have been affected by a bug that unblocked people they previously had blocked. The company said Monday that the bug was active between May 29 and June 5. While the person who was unblocked by this bug could not see content users shared with their friends, they could have seen things that were posted to a wider audience.


Trump delaying NAFTA deal until after midterm elections

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) — President Donald Trump says he’s delaying signing a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement until after the fall midterm elections in hopes of reaching a better deal. Trump says in a Fox News interview that aired Sunday that he could quickly sign an agreement on NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, “but I’m not happy with it. I want to make it more fair.”


The S&P 500 index rose 8.34 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,726.71. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 35.77 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,307.18. The Nasdaq composite jumped 57.38 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,567.69. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 12.02 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,655.09.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 21 cents to settle at $73.94 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost $1.93, or 2.4 percent, to close at $77.30 in London. Heating oil dropped 5 cents to $2.16 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline also fell 5 cents to $2.11 a gallon. Natural gas slid 6 cents to $2.86 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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