Business Highlights

AP News
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Posted: Jan 25, 2017 5:58 PM

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Dow Jones industrial average breaks through 20,000 milestone

The Dow Jones industrial average crossed the 20,000 mark for the first time Wednesday, the latest milestone in a record-setting drive for the stock market.

Strong earnings from Boeing and other big companies helped push the Dow past the threshold early on. U.S. stocks closed solidly higher, lifting the Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq composite to record highs of their own for the second day in a row.

Banks and other financial companies led the gainers, which included technology and industrials. Real estate, phone companies and other high-dividend stocks lagged the broader market as bond yields rose.

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Boeing sees more airliner deliveries, lower defense revenue

DALLAS (AP) — Boeing Co. beat Wall Street expectations for fourth-quarter profit despite a slump in revenue from its defense business, and it forecasts that deliveries of commercial jets will rise in 2017 after slipping last year.

Boeing said Wednesday that it expects full-year earnings in 2017 to be roughly in line with analysts' forecasts, although its revenue prediction fell short of Wall Street targets.

Company executives spoke positively about the potential for higher defense spending, lower taxes and less regulation under the new administration. They even downplayed the sting of President Donald Trump's recent comments about the high price of new Air Force One planes.

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Hyundai Motor's profit tumbles 39 percent on weak car sales

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Hyundai Motor Co. reported Wednesday a 39 percent drop in its fourth-quarter income, hit by weak demand in South Korea and the United States and higher costs from strikes and sales incentives.

The South Korean automaker said its net profit was 1 trillion won ($859 million) for the period, compared with 1.6 trillion won a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were anticipating 1.5 trillion won of net income. Sales fell 1 percent to 24.5 trillion won ($21 billion).

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Bob Evans selling its restaurants to firm for $565 million

NEW ALBANY, Ohio (AP) — Bob Evans is selling its restaurants to a private equity firm for $565 million, splitting that part of the company from the food division that makes sausage, refrigerated side dishes and other convenience foods.

New Albany, Ohio-based Bob Evans Farms Inc. says it's selling the restaurants to Golden Gate Capital to focus on growing the food division. It has over 500 restaurants in 18 states.

It also announced it is buying Pineland Farms Potato Company, based in Mars Hill, Maine, for at least $115 million.

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Senior manager at cybersecurity firm arrested in Moscow

MOSCOW (AP) — A manager in charge of investigating hacking attacks at Russia's biggest cybersecurity firm has been arrested.

Kaspersky Lab on Wednesday confirmed reports in Russia's respected Kommersant newspaper that Ruslan Stoyanov, head of its computer incidents investigations unit, was arrested in December. Kommersant said that Stoyanov was arrested along with a senior Russian FSB intelligence officer and that they both face charges of treason.

A spokeswoman for Stoyanov said his arrest "has nothing to do with Kaspersky Lab and its operations."

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White House, Trump Organization name ethics advisers

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump and his hotel and real estate business on Wednesday separately named ethics counselors, the latest attempt to address conflicts-of-interest concerns that arise from his decision to maintain financial ties to his company.

Trump selected Washington attorney Stefan Passantino as his White House ethics adviser. Trump's company tapped a former George H.W. Bush campaign lawyer and a longtime company executive as in-house ethics monitors.

But ethics experts, including the head of the Office of Government Ethics, have criticized the plan, saying it doesn't do enough to ensure that Trump won't make decisions as president that personally benefit himself, his family or his company.

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Contractor says Trump refusing to pay for work at DC hotel

WASHINGTON (AP) — An electrical subcontractor who worked on the Trump International Hotel in Washington has sued a company owned by President Donald Trump for more than $2 million, alleging it was not fully paid.

AES Electrical filed its lawsuit in the District of Columbia Superior Court, the latest in a string of lawsuits involving Trump's renovation of the historic Old Post Office building a few blocks from the White House.

AES alleges that it bore increased expenses last year because of change orders and other demands from Trump's staff. It also said it was told to accelerate the pace of work so Trump could hold a "soft opening" prior to the election.

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Japan sees 1st trade surplus on cheaper oil, China rebound

TOKYO (AP) — Japan posted its first trade surplus in six years in 2016 thanks to a rebound in exports and persisting low oil prices, though uncertainties over U.S. policy and global growth are overshadowing the recovery.

The 4.1 trillion yen ($35.8 billion) surplus in 2016 compared with a 2.8 trillion yen deficit in 2015, the government reported Wednesday. Exports fell 7.4 percent from a year earlier to 70.04 trillion yen ($617 billion) while imports dropped 16 percent to 66 trillion yen ($581 billion), the report showed.

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McDonald's to give away 10,000 bottles of special sauce

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — McDonald's is giving away 10,000 bottles of its trademark special sauce as an enticement to buy new versions of its Big Mac.

The company is introducing the Mac Jr. and the Grand Mac, two different-sized variations of the classic sandwich. The bottles will be available Thursday at participating locations nationwide.

McDonald's introduced the Big Mac in 1968.

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The Dow Jones industrial average rose 155.80 points, or 0.8 percent, to 20,068.51. The S&P 500 index gained 18.30 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,298.37. The Nasdaq picked up 55.38 points, or 1 percent, to 5,656.34.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 43 cents to $52.75 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slid 36 cents at $55.08 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline fell 5 cents to $1.52 a gallon, while heating oil slid 3 cents to $1.61 a gallon. Natural gas futures rose 5 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $3.33 per 1,000 cubic feet.