Business Highlights

AP News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2016 5:52 PM

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Yahoo deterioration deepens as company mulls possible sale

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo has hung out a "for sale" sign without doing much to improve its curb appeal.

The latest snapshot of the Internet company's deteriorating condition emerged late Tuesday with the release of its first-quarter report.

After subtracting ad commissions, Yahoo's revenue fell 18 percent from to $859 million. It's the largest decline in Yahoo's quarterly net revenue since the company hired Marissa Mayer as its CEO nearly four years ago.

Yahoo lost $99 million during the period, compared with a $21 million profit last year.

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Intel to cut 12,000 jobs as it confronts decline in PCs

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Intel says it will cut 12,000 jobs — about 11 percent of its workforce — as it reorganizes to confront a decline in sales of personal computers.

The chipmaker said the cuts will include "voluntary and involuntary departures" from its operations around the world. Most of the affected workers will be notified in the next 60 days.

Intel said the cuts will provide about $1.4 billion in annual savings by the time the cuts are completed next year.

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Drugstore chain CVS pushes convenience with curbside pickups

CVS Health will spread its curbside pickup service to drugstores nationwide this year, as traditional retailers continue to hone their reputations for convenience and fight fierce competition online.

The nation's second-largest drugstore chain has partnered with the technology firm Curbside to create CVS Express, a program that lets shoppers buy products with an app and then pick them up about an hour later at a nearby store, where an employee will deliver them to the car.

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UnitedHealth ups 2016 outlook after surprisingly strong 1Q

UnitedHealth hiked its 2016 forecast after the nation's largest health insurer topped Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations.

The company now expects annual adjusted earnings ranging from $7.75 to $7.95 per share. That's up 15 cents from when it last reaffirmed its outlook in January.

UnitedHealth's burgeoning Optum segment bolstered results in the first quarter with 54 percent revenue growth. Health insurance is UnitedHealth's main business, but it has been focusing more on growing its Optum business, which provides pharmacy benefits management and technology services and also operates clinics and doctor's offices.

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Visa: new technology for chip cards to speed checkout times

Visa is upgrading its software to process chip-embedded credit and debit cards to function faster — addressing a source of grumbling from businesses and customers who are often forced to wait for transactions to go through.

The company said Tuesday that its program — Quick Chip for EMV — will let customers dip and remove cards, usually in two seconds or less, without waiting for purchases to be finalized.

Though the wait can be just seconds, in today's economy of swipes and scans, the cards have been a nuisance for high traffic retailers.

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Target: Transgender people can use bathrooms matching gender ID

NEW YORK (AP) — Target said Tuesday that transgender employees and customers can use the restroom or fitting room facility that "corresponds with their gender identity."

The statement comes as a national debate is heating up over whether to restrict transgender people from using public bathrooms that only match their gender at birth. North Carolina is facing backlash for its recent ban on local anti-discrimination ordinances. And other states are considering legislation similar to that adopted by North Carolina.

Target Corp. says it regularly assesses issues and considers many factors that would impact business, customers and workers.

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US home construction tumbled in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction of new homes fell in March by the largest amount in five months, with weakness in all regions of the country except the Northeast.

Home construction dropped 8.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million units, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. It was the third decline in the past four months and left construction at its slowest point since October.

Applications for permits to build new homes, a good indicator of future activity, dropped 7.7 percent in March to an annual rate of 1.09 million units.

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Johnson & Johnson rides strong prescription sales in 1Q

Johnson & Johnson beat Wall Street expectations despite flat first-quarter profit, as higher sales of new prescription drugs and other key medicines couldn't quite offset another hit from the strong dollar and other issues.

However, the world's biggest maker of health care products cheered investors Tuesday by raising its forecasts for the year.

J&J posted net income of $4.29 billion, or $1.54 per share. The maker of Band-Aids, prescription medicines and medical devices reported adjusted profit, which excludes one-time items, of $1.68 per share, easily beating analysts' expectations for $1.64 per share.

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Goldman Sachs results fall, hurt by difficult markets

Investment bank Goldman Sachs said its first-quarter profits dropped by 56 percent from a year earlier, as the Wall Street firm was not immune from the difficult trading environment last quarter that hurt much of its competition.

Often considered among the best in the business, Goldman's trading desks were hit hard last quarter. Revenue from fixed income, currency and commodities trading was $1.66 billion in the quarter, down 47 percent from a year earlier. Stock trading revenue was $1.78 billion, down 23 percent.

Goldman earned $1.2 billion, or $2.68 per share, in the first quarter after payments to preferred stockholders. The results beat Wall Street's forecasts.

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VW owners seek trial if there's no fix in emissions case

DETROIT (AP) — Lawyers representing thousands of people who own diesel Volkswagens that cheat on emissions tests are asking a judge to order repairs and compensation if the company and government regulators don't agree to a fix by Thursday.

The request was made in a proposed agenda for hearing Thursday before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco.

Volkswagen said that it does not believe a hearing or trial is appropriate, apparently because progress is being made toward a fix and compensation. A solution could be revealed at Thursday's hearing.

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Blood-testing startup Theranos says it is being investigated

NEW YORK (AP) — Troubled blood-testing startup Theranos acknowledged that it is under investigation by several regulators and agencies.

The investigations follow a series of reports by The Wall Street Journal in which former employees said the company's tests, which use only a few drops of blood, were unreliable.

Theranos said in a letter Monday that investigations or inspections have been opened by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Securities Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California.

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The Dow Jones industrial average rose 49.44 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,053.60. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 6.46 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,100.80. The Nasdaq composite index lost 19.69 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,940.33.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.30, or 3.3 percent, to close at $41.08 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international benchmark, gained $1.12, or 2.6 percent, to close at $44.03 a barrel in London. Natural gas jumped 15 cents, or 7.6 percent, to close at $2.088 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline rose about 4 cents, or 3 percent, to close at $1.48 a gallon. Heating oil added 3 cents, or 2.2 percent, to close at $1.26 a gallon.