Business Highlights

AP News
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Posted: Jan 25, 2018 5:40 PM

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Why Mnuchin's remarks about US dollar sparked concerns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears to have learned a lesson that many of his predecessors came to recognize: A Treasury secretary must tread delicately when discussing the dollar. When Mnuchin suggested Wednesday at a global economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, that a weak dollar would benefit the United States, the U.S. currency plunged in value and sparked concerns in global markets.

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With Trump meeting, May looks to keep UK on global map

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May sought to reaffirm her country's central role in world affairs on Thursday, when she delivered a speech to the World Economic Forum and met with President Donald Trump to dispel any perceptions of tensions between them. May came to the gathering of the global elites in Davos, Switzerland, amid questions about whether Britain could lose influence after it leaves the European Union and doubts about the strength of the relationship with the U.S.

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US new home sales tumbled 9.3 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans cut back their purchases of new homes in December as sales posted their biggest drop since August 2016. The Commerce Department says new-home sales skidded 9.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 625,000.

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An unexpected legacy for Ivanka Trump in China

XIANGYANG, China (AP) — Many US companies outsource production to China, but how they handle workplace abuses in their supply chains varies. Some companies, such as Apple, try to be transparent about working conditions at the factories that make their goods, others, like Ivanka Trump's brand, are difficult to penetrate. The results are dramatically different experiences for Chinese workers.

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Starbucks key sales figure disappoints; shares fall

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks reported slowing growth in its most recent quarter, and shares in the coffee chain fell in after-hours trading. The Seattle-based company said Thursday that sales rose 2 percent at established stores worldwide, missing the 3 percent growth analysts expected, according to FactSet. It was also below the 3 percent the company posted in the same quarter a year ago.

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Airline stocks drift lower for a second straight day

DALLAS (AP) — Planes are full and airlines are making huge profits, but airline stocks are falling for a second straight day. Investors fear that the airlines are growing too rapidly. The sudden downturn in the shares, however, is overshadowing strong demand for travel that is making the airlines so profitable. On Thursday, American and Southwest both reported solid profit and revenue, and American offered a surprisingly upbeat forecast of 2018 earnings.

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Can anything stop the stock market's relentless rise?

NEW YORK (AP) — One year after the Dow Jones industrial average first crossed 20,000, it's already up another 30-plus percent. Few market watchers see a sharp reversal for stocks anytime soon, at least this year. But press them on what could derail the market's run, and they often land on a similar list of potential threats.

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US expert panel doubts benefits of heated tobacco device

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. government experts rejected a proposal from Philip Morris International to sell its product that heats tobacco without burning it as a lower-risk alternative to cigarettes that reduces disease. But the panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration endorsed an easier-to-prove claim about exposure to harmful chemicals in cigarettes. The mixed review suggests Philip Morris will be able to market its device to U.S. smokers, but on limited terms.

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Potholes ahead for Trump's upcoming public works proposal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration will soon release its long-anticipated public works plan, trying to fulfill a campaign pledge but set to fall short of some ambitious goals. As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to generate at least $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. As president, he is relying on state and local governments to pony up a significant share of the total.

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Losses for airlines, tech mostly offset other stock gains

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes ended another choppy day of trading mixed as airlines continue to fall and homebuilders plunged after a drop in sales of new houses. Health-care companies including biotech drugmaker Biogen rose. The dollar made a modest recovery after President Donald Trump says he wants to see a stronger U.S. currency. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index inched up 1.71 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,839.25. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 140.67 points, or 0.5 percent, to 26,392.79. The Nasdaq composite fell 3.89 points to 7,411.16. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 2.06 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,601.67.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost 10 cents to $65.51 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 41 cents to $70.94 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline remained at $1.92 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $2.12 a gallon. Natural gas fell 6 cents to $3.45 per 1,000 cubic feet.