Business Highlights

June 6, 2018


China’s Huawei says it hasn’t collected Facebook user data

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese mobile phone maker Huawei says it has never collected or stored Facebook user data, after the social media giant acknowledged it shared such data with Huawei and other manufacturers. Huawei was flagged by U.S. intelligence officials as a national security threat. Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says the news raises legitimate concerns and wanted to know how Facebook ensured data was not transferred to Chinese servers.


Congressional Dems take Trump to court over foreign favors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 200 congressional Democrats are taking President Donald Trump to court, arguing he’s violating the Constitution by accepting favors from foreign governments without first getting congressional consent. A hearing on Thursday will focus on whether the plaintiffs have suffered harm by not being consulted about potential foreign benefits. That includes Chinese government trademarks granted to Trump businesses and foreign stays at his hotels.


US trade deficit falls for second straight month in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — Record exports shaved the U.S. trade deficit in April, the second straight drop. But so far this year, the deficit is still up 11.5 percent from a year ago despite President Donald Trump’s vow to narrow the gap by imposing tariffs on imports and renegotiating trade deals.


EU to impose retaliatory tariffs on US imports from July

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union says it will start imposing duties from July on a list of U.S. products in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe. European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said Wednesday that formalities in finalizing the list should be completed this month and that “the new duties start applying from July.”


Amid tariff fight, Trump faces tough crowd at G7

WASHINGTON (AP) — With his new tariffs escalating U.S. isolation, Trump heads to Canada on Friday for a summit of the Group of Seven industrialized nations. The White House is expecting a chilly reception from Canada and Western allies, already frustrated over Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and the Iran-nuclear agreement. After the Quebec meeting, Trump heads to Singapore for a summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.


China institutes on US campus: Fount of learning or threat?

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. lawmakers are pushing for tighter regulation or even closure of the more than 100 Chinese Confucius Institutes set up on campuses across America. But for university students, they offer a chance to learn about Chinese language and art. The institutes have become a testing ground for the U.S. response to China’s growing global reach, amid concerns that Chinese professors and students could exploit access to universities to gather intelligence and sensitive research.


Secret Obama-era permit let Iran convert funds to dollars

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate report says the Obama administration found a way around sanctions against Iran in 2016. Under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Iran was promised access to its frozen overseas reserves, including $5.7 billion in an Omani bank. But the Obama administration had promised Congress it wouldn’t allow Iran access to America’s financial system. It secretly issued a permit to let Iran sidestep U.S. sanctions to convert the funds through an American bank. The plan failed when U.S. banks wouldn’t agree.


Group that advises gov’t watchdog is disbanded, members say

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dissolved a group of outside experts that acts as an important sounding board for the watchdog agency on economic and financial issues as well as policy. Bureau officials told the 25 members of the Consumer Advisory Board on Wednesday that they will be replaced and the board will be reconstituted, according to two of board members who were on a morning conference call.


At athenahealth, the CEO is out and it may be up for sale

The co-founder and CEO of athenahealth is stepping down and the medical software company is exploring a potential sale. It is already weighing a buyout offer from a frustrated shareholder. The resignation of Jonathan Bush is effective immediately.


Banks jump as stocks post their fourth straight gain

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rise for the fourth day in a row as banks jump along with interest rates. Multinational companies like Boeing and McDonald’s also climb and electric car maker Tesla surges after saying it expects to meet production targets for its Model 3 sedan. Jack Daniel’s maker Brown-Forman skids after it has a weak quarter and says it’s not sure how tariffs on liquors will affect its business.


The S&P 500 index added 23.55 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,772.35. The Dow rose 346.61 points, or 1.4 percent, to 25,146.39. The Nasdaq composite rose 51.38 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,689.24. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gained 11.32 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,675.95.

Benchmark U.S. crude shed 1.2 percent to $64.73 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, inched down to $75.36 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 1.7 percent to $2.07 a gallon. Heating oil slid 0.7 percent to $2.13 a gallon. Natural gas rose 0.2 percent to $2.90 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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