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Business Highlights

October 12, 2018


Tech stock rally helps snap losing streak as rough week ends

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rebound and finish with solid gains after big losses the past few days, but the S&P 500 still finishes with its worst week in six months. An extended period of calm on the market has ended as investors worry about a surge in interest rates. The benchmark S&P 500 index is coming off a six-day losing streak. Apple and Amazon made big gains as technology and internet companies and retailers recovered some of their recent losses.


Facebook: Hackers accessed personal data from 29M accounts

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says hackers accessed data from 29 million accounts as part of the security breach disclosed two weeks ago, fewer than the 50 million it initially believed were affected. The hackers accessed name, email addresses or phone numbers. In some cases, hackers got even more data, such as hometown, birthdate, the last 10 places they checked into or the 15 most recent searches. Facebook plans to send messages to people whose accounts were hacked.


Prospect of Trump-Xi talks raises hope for thaw in trade war

BEIJING (AP) — With China and the United States opening the door to a meeting next month between Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, hopes are rising for a potential easing of tensions in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Worries about the increased tariffs the two sides have imposed on each other’s goods have contributed to this week’s dizzying volatility in financial markets.


Retailers up their game after Toys R Us closures

NEW YORK (AP) — When Toys R Us closed its doors, customers mourned the loss. But retailers saw an opportunity. Rather than cede that ground to online behemoth Amazon, companies like Target, Walmart and Party City ramped up their offerings. And now, ahead of the pivotal holiday season, they are going even further by trying to replicate the Toys R Us experience, creating play areas for kids, offering demos of new toys and staging events like scavenger hunts in the stores.


Global business leaders suspend ties with Saudi Arabia

LONDON (AP) — British billionaire Richard Branson has frozen business links with Saudi Arabia amid reports that journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have been murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Branson says that if the reports are true, it would “clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government.”


Citigroup profit rises to $4.6 billion, beats Street views

NEW YORK (AP) — Citigroup said Friday that its third-quarter profits rose 12 percent from a year earlier, as the banking conglomerate was able to cut expenses and benefited from lower taxes. That was more than enough to make up for a small drop in revenue. Most of Citi’s profit growth came because of lower taxes. Like other big companies, Citi got a big tax break from the tax law passed last year. The amount of money the bank set aside for income taxes last quarter was down 21 percent from a year earlier.


New technology, housekeeping among concerns in hotel strikes

BOSTON (AP) — New technology threatening to make some hotel jobs obsolete is among the concerns prompting thousands of Marriott workers to walk off their jobs across the U.S. in recent weeks. Unionized workers are also seeking higher wages, changes to the work demands for housekeepers and job protections for restaurant and bar staff as some hotels shutter those facilities. Some 7,700 hotel workers are on strike in Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Oakland, San Jose, Detroit and Honolulu.


Mnuchin says Trump respects the independence of the Fed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says President Donald Trump respects the independence of the Federal Reserve and his recent comments were simply a reflection of the fact that he favors low interest rates. In a CNBC interview, Mnuchin says that Trump respects the Fed and understands that they are doing their job.


China trade surplus with US widens to record $34.1B

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese exports to the United States have at least temporarily defied forecasts that they would weaken after being hit by punitive tariffs in a fight over American complaints about Beijing’s technology policy. China’s trade surplus with the US widened to a record $34.1 billion in September as exports to the American market rose by 13 percent over a year earlier. Customs data show that exports to the US rose to $46.7 billion, down from August’s 13.4 percent growth.


The S&P 500 index rose 38.76 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,767.13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a gain of 287.16 points, or 1.1 percent, at 25,339.99. The Nasdaq composite jumped 167.83 points, or 2.3 percent, to 7,496.89. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose just 1.30 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,546.68

U.S. crude oil added 0.5 percent to $71.34 a barrel in in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, picked up 0.2 percent to $80.43 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 0.5 percent to $1.94 a gallon. Heating oil fell 0.5 percent to $2.32 a gallon. Natural gas lost 1.9 percent to $3.16 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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