Business Highlights

AP News
Posted: Jan 27, 2017 5:35 PM

TOKYO (AP) — ___

To stand out at Super Bowl 51, ads are going for stunts

NEW YORK (AP) — Advertisers from first timer 84 Lumber to veteran Hyundai are ramping up the marketing stunts in order to stand out from the crowd during the big game. Some will air live ads, or at least teasers for their campaigns; one will even shoot its commercial during the game. Others are deliberately courting controversy.

Super Bowl LI, in which the Atlanta Falcons will take on the New England Patriots, is expected to be the biggest live TV event of the year.


AP-NORC Poll: Broad worries about potential health care loss

WASHINGTON (AP) — Though "Obamacare" still divides Americans, a majority worry that many will lose coverage if the 2010 law is repealed in the nation's long-running political standoff over health care.

A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 56 percent of U.S. adults are "extremely" or "very" concerned that many will lose health insurance if the health overhaul is repealed. That includes more than 8 in 10 Democrats, nearly half of independents, and more than 1 in 5 Republicans. Another 45 percent of Republicans say they're "somewhat" concerned.


US economic growth slowed in Q4, but there's hope ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy lost momentum in the final three months of 2016 as a downturn in exports temporarily depressed activity. But there were hopeful signs in housing and business investment that the economy will rebound in the coming months.

The gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of just 1.9 percent in the October-December period, a slowdown from 3.5 percent growth in the third quarter, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

GDP, the broadest measure of economic health, was held back by a swing in trade with exports of soybeans plunging in the fourth quarter after having surged in the third quarter.


US-Mexico trade war could hit Mexico economy, spur migration

MEXICO CITY (AP) — If President Donald Trump makes good on threats to gut NAFTA and impose stiff tariffs on Mexican goods, economists say he risks a trade war that could lead to the very thing he is hoping to avoid — a huge surge in Mexican migration to the United States.

The result would be catastrophe for the Mexican economy: Recession. A dramatic weakening of the peso, even below the historic lows it has already set amid Trump's bellicose rhetoric. Soaring inflation, interest rates and unemployment.


Energy companies lead US stock indexes mostly lower

Wall Street capped a week of milestones Friday with a day of listless trading that left U.S. stock indexes mostly lower.

Energy companies declined the most as the price of crude oil fell. Health care stocks posted the biggest gain.

Quarterly results from Microsoft, Starbucks and other big companies continued to be in focus. Bond yields fell after the government reported that the economy lost momentum in the last three months of 2016.


US business spending rises for 3rd month, boosting factories

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses ramped up their investment in industrial machinery, semiconductors and other big-ticket items last month, boosting demand for factory goods.

A measure that tracks business spending plans climbed 0.8 percent in December, after jumping 1.5 percent the previous month, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Orders for all durable goods, which are meant to last longer than three years, slipped 0.4 percent, mostly because of a sharp fall in demand for defense aircraft, a volatile category. Excluding transportation-related goods, orders rose 0.5 percent, the sixth straight increase.


American Airlines matches Wall Street forecast for 4Q profit

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines' fourth-quarter profit fell but met Wall Street expectations, and a key measurement of revenue trends rose for the first time since late 2014, further evidence that airlines are finally starting to push average prices higher.

American executives echoed officials at other airlines in reporting that demand for travel has picked up since the November election.

With Trump administration in place, American officials also said they would revive a previously rejected bid to work more closely with Australian carrier Qantas. The airlines want to work together on setting prices and schedules, which is forbidden without an exemption from antitrust laws. The Obama administration rejected immunity for the deal.


German prosecutors widen Volkswagen emissions probe

BERLIN (AP) — Prosecutors in Germany said Friday they are expanding their probe into Volkswagen's scandal over diesel cars that cheated on emissions tests.

As well as increasing the number of suspects, prosecutors said they have evidence former CEO Martin Winterkorn may have known of the cheating earlier than he has claimed.

The prosecutor's office in Braunschweig, near Volkswagen's Wolfsburg headquarters, also said Winterkorn was now being investigated on suspicion of fraud, beyond an earlier focus on a possible securities-market violation.


Tesco merges with Booker in $4.7 billion deal

LONDON (AP) — Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket chain, has agreed to buy food wholesaler Booker Group for 3.7 billion pounds ($4.7 billion), as it seeks to boost growth by supplying products to rivals such as convenience stores and independent retailers.

Tesco says it will pay the equivalent of 205.3 pence in cash and stock for each Booker share, 12 percent more than the closing price on Jan. 26.

CEO Dave Lewis says the merger will "enhance Tesco's growth prospects by creating the U.K.'s leading food business with combined expertise in retail, wholesale, supply chain and digital."


Canadian icon Tim Hortons is expanding into Mexico

TORONTO (AP) — North American free trade might be under threat, but Mexicans will soon import a big taste of Canada.

Tim Hortons is expanding into Mexico, making it the company's first Latin American market. Restaurant Brands International Inc. said Friday it has teamed up with a group of investors in Mexico to form a joint venture and open branches of the coffee, bakery and sandwich chain.


Toshiba to spin off flash memory unit to offset US nuke loss

TOKYO (AP) — Toshiba Corp. says it will split its lucrative flash memory business to make up for losses from its troubled U.S. nuclear business, and is looking for a third-party capital injection.

The company said its board approved the plan Friday to sell an unspecified stake in its chip operation to make up for losses from its nuclear operations in the U.S.

Tokyo-based Toshiba is one of the major Japanese industrial conglomerates whose nuclear sectors have struggled since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Last year it also said it could book an impairment loss of "several billion dollars" in its U.S. nuclear business.


The Dow Jones industrial average fell 7.13 points, or 0.04 percent, to 20,093.78. The S&P 500 index slid 1.99 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,294.69. The Nasdaq rose 5.61 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,660.78.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 61 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $53.17 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slid 72 cents, or 1.3 percent, to close at $55.52 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline dropped 2 cents to $1.53 a gallon, while heating oil fell 2 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Natural gas futures rose 1 cent to $3.39 per 1,000 cubic feet.