Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017

Business Highlights

By By The Associated Press


Trump's health care end run reflects frustrations

WASHINGTON (AP) — Frustrated over setbacks in Congress, President Donald Trump wielded his rule-making power Thursday to launch an end run that might get him closer to his goal of repealing and replacing "Obamacare." Whether Trump's executive order will be the play that breaks through isn't clear. Experts say consumers aren't likely to see major changes any time soon, although the White House is promising lower costs and more options.


Facebook's Sandberg favors release of Russia-linked ads

A top Facebook executive says ads linked to Russia trying to influence the U.S. presidential election should "absolutely" be released to the public, along with information on whom the ads were targeting. Previously, Facebook declined to make the ads public. While Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, now favors the release, she didn't say Thursday when the company would do so.


Russia-backed Facebook page colored with hot-button phrases

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — What does Russia-sponsored political influence look like on Facebook? An Associated Press analysis of the content on a now-shuttered Facebook page called "Being Patriotic" shows it's colored with words like "illegal," ''country" and "American" and phrases like "illegal alien," ''Sharia law" and "Welfare state."


Energy secretary, Dems clash over plan to help coal, nuclear

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Democrats are accusing the Trump administration of falsely suggesting the nation's electricity grid faces severe problems to justify an unnecessary bolstering of the coal and nuclear energy industries. But Energy Secretary Rick Perry is defending his department's proposal. He's told a House energy subcommittee that the country must strengthen its systems for delivering power.


Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico as House weighs aid package

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is lashing out at hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico. He's insisting that federal help will be limited and he's blaming the U.S. territory for its financial struggles. The broadside comes as the House heads toward passage of a $36.5 billion disaster aid package, including assistance for Puerto Rico.


APNewsBreak: Border Patrol tests camera-toting balloon

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The U.S. Border Patrol is considering another type of surveillance balloon to spot illegal activity. It's part of an effort to see if more eyes in the sky translate to fewer illegal border crossings. Agents in Texas recently finished a 30-day trial of the camera-toting balloons made by Drone Aviation Holding Corp., a startup that named a former Border Patrol chief to its board of directors. David Aguilar's stock options may prove lucrative if it the company lands a government contract.


Ethics panel extends review of New York GOP congressman

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics Committee says it is extending its review of Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York, whose work in Congress and stock market trades prompted an advocacy group to request an investigation of Collins for possible violation of insider trading or conflict of interest laws. Collins was the largest shareholder of Australia's Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited and sat on the company's board of directors.


Media and retail losses pull stock indexes away from highs

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes retreated from their record highs Thursday as retailers and media companies declined and investors shrugged at quarterly reports from a few big banks. Clothing companies and other retailers fell after women's clothing company J. Jill slashed its third-quarter forecast. The company's stock lost more than half its value.


EPA orders cleanup at Texas toxic site flooded by Harvey

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has handed a rare victory to environmentalists. It's ordered two big corporations to pay for a $115 million cleanup at a Texas toxic waste site that may have spread dangerous levels of pollution during the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed the directive. The companies say they oppose the decision.


Tesla recalling 11,000 Model X SUVs for seat issue

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla Inc. is recalling 11,000 Model X SUVs worldwide because their rear seats might not lock into place. The recall involves vehicles with fold-flat second row seats made between Oct. 28, 2016, and Aug. 16, 2017. Tesla believes only about 3 percent of the recalled vehicles have the issue.


Mnuchin: Trump hopes to announce Fed chair within a month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says President Donald Trump hopes to decide within a month whom he will choose to lead the Federal Reserve starting next year but is still going through the interview process.


Divorce bill deadlock: EU laments progress on Brexit

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's chief negotiator says slow-moving Brexit talks have hit deadlock on the key issue of Britain's exit bill and won't soon be broadened anytime soon to include future trade relations. Giving a downbeat assessment of the latest round of negotiations, Michel Barnier said that despite the "constructive spirit ... we haven't made any great steps forward."


The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 4.31 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,550.93. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 31.88 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,841.01. The Nasdaq composite dipped 12.04 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,591.51. Those three indexes closed at record highs Wednesday. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slumped 1.76 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,505.16.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 70 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $50.60 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 69 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $56.25 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline dipped 3 cents to $1.58 a gallon. Heating oil shed 2 cents to $1.77 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 10 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $2.99 per 1,000 cubic feet.

2017-10-12 21:58:44 GMT

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