Business Highlights

AP News
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Posted: Mar 09, 2017 5:48 PM

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An aging, maligned bull market gets some birthday love

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the stock market's greatest — and most-mistrusted — runs in history is marking its eighth anniversary, and it's finally getting some love. Investors are once again putting money into stock funds on hopes that the market will celebrate a ninth birthday. Critics, though, still see a long list of reasons for caution.

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IRS strikes back as agents make big dent in identity theft

WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS says the number of identity theft victims plummeted last year after agents struggled for years to combat what has become a multibillion-dollar industry. The IRS said the number of victims dropped by 46 percent, to 376,000. The victims had their identities stolen by criminals who used their Social Security numbers and birthdates to obtain fraudulent tax refunds.

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SEC nominee reveals possible Wall Street conflicts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Wall Street attorney chosen by President Donald Trump to head the Securities and Exchange Commission has worked on many of the kinds of deals the agency regulates and has represented some of the biggest financial firms. Jay Clayton's array of clients — including Goldman Sachs — poses potential conflicts of interest for the SEC job, and he may have to recuse himself from some cases to come before the agency.

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WikiLeaks aid on CIA software holes could be mixed blessing

NEW YORK (AP) — WikiLeaks has offered to help the likes of Google and Apple identify the software holes used by purported CIA hacking tools — and that puts the tech industry in a bind. While companies have both a responsibility and financial incentive to fix problems in their software, accepting help from WikiLeaks raises legal and ethical questions. And it's not even clear at this point exactly what kind of information WikiLeaks has to offer.

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Behind NYC's 'Fearless Girl' statue are 2 corporate giants

NEW YORK (AP) — A little girl in bronze defiantly facing Wall Street's mammoth Charging Bull didn't appear suddenly or spontaneously in Manhattan's financial district in the middle of the night. Rather, "Fearless Girl" is the product of a $2.5 trillion asset managing firm working with a top ad agency to install the figure in time for International Women's Day. She came with a message: that there should be more women on corporate boards.

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Man picked to fix AIG will step down after massive loss

NEW YORK (AP) — Three weeks after AIG reported a massive loss, the person chosen to turn things around at the insurance company is stepping down. The company said Thursday that CEO Peter Hancock, appointed less than three years ago, will remain as the company's chief executive until a successor is found.

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RadioShack files for second bankruptcy in 2 years

Troubled electronics retailer RadioShack has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in just over two years. The Fort Worth, Texas-based electronics retailer says it's closing about 200 stores and evaluating options on the remaining 1,300. Once known as the place to buy batteries and obscure electronic parts, RadioShack has struggled to hang on to customers as more people shop on Amazon.com and other online retailers.

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Feds probe listeria outbreak linked to cheese; 2 people dead

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a multistate listeria outbreak linked to a recalled cheese that has sickened several people and killed two, in Connecticut and Vermont. Federal officials say the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium linked to the outbreak likely originated from a soft raw milk cheese made by Vulto Creamery in Walton, New York, that recalled several soft cheeses Tuesday.

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Bird flu cases revive fear of repeat of major 2015 outbreak

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The detection of a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu at a Tennessee chicken farm is reviving memories of a devastating outbreak in 2015 that required the destruction of millions of turkeys and chickens in the Midwest. Milder forms have also been found at a Wisconsin turkey farm and another Tennessee farm. But producers have done a lot of preparing since 2015, and they've stepped up biosecurity even further.

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'Pokemon Go' or no? Fans glad Niantic addressing complaints

Die-hard players and one industry observer say the mass hysteria of the augmented reality smartphone game 'Pokemon Go' is likely over. It's a sigh of relief for some businesses who last summer complained of disrespectful crowds and trespassers and a wistful notion for players who bonded with strangers over the game on city streets and public squares.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 1.89 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,364.87. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 2.46 points to 20,858.19. The Nasdaq composite rose 1.25 points to 5,838.81.

Benchmark U.S. oil fell $1, or 2 percent, to $49.28 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 92 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $52.19 a barrel in London.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline fell 3 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Heating oil lost 3 cents to $1.53 a gallon. Natural gas rose 7 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $2.97 per 1,000 cubic feet.