Business Highlights

AP News
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Posted: Jan 10, 2018 5:23 PM

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As companies give bonuses, prospect of pay gains still hazy

WASHINGTON (AP) — American Airlines is handing out $1,000 bonuses to its employees. So are AT&T, Bank of America and Nationwide Insurance. Such announcements from dozens of companies have followed the passage of the Republican tax plan. The bonuses are one-time payouts, not the permanent pay raises that Trump and congressional Republicans have said will eventually result from the corporate tax cuts. Over time, bonuses are far less valuable to employees than wage increases.

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Toyota-Mazda plant announced in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda have announced plans to build a $1.6 billion joint-venture auto plant in Huntsville, Alabama, that will eventually employ about 4,000 people. Several states competed for the coveted project, which will be able to build 300,000 vehicles per year and will produce the Toyota Corolla compact car for North America and a new small SUV from Mazda. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and company executives made the announcement Wednesday.

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Behind the smart gadgets, Amazon and Google are waging war

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The flash of the CES technology show in Las Vegas is all about robots, drones and smart gadgets. But its subtext is all about Google and Amazon. The two companies are waging war to establish their digital assistants as de facto standards for a new generation of voice-controlled devices. Their struggle underlies many of the product announcements and other events at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas.

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Got batteries? Outage stalls giant tech show in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — What happens to all those internet-connected refrigerators, robots and other devices when the power goes out? Thousands of attendees of the world's biggest consumer technology show got a chance to test the battery life of the latest gadgets when some showrooms and hallways went dark. The power was out for at least an hour in some areas of the annual CES event.

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Buffett adds his 2 potential successors to Berkshire board

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Berkshire Hathaway is promoting the two top candidates to eventually replace CEO Warren Buffett to its board, but the 87-year-old investor says he isn't leaving. Buffett and Berkshire's 94-year-old Vice Chairman Charlie Munger will retain their positions on the board, which is expanding to 14 members from 12. But Greg Abel and Ajit Jain will also become vice chairmen and take on more duties.

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Sears raises $100M in new financing, eyes $200M in cost cuts

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears is raising $100 million in new financing, will seek twice that from other sources, and will attempt $200 million in additional cost cuts this year unrelated to store closings. Shares rose 3 percent in morning trading on new efforts to keep the beleaguered company afloat. The retailer said Wednesday that during the critical holiday shopping season, comparable-store sales tumbled by about 16 percent to 17 percent.

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Diet Coke gets new look, new flavors amid sinking sales

NEW YORK (AP) — Diet Coke is getting a makeover to try to invigorate sales of the sugar-free soda. Coca-Cola Co. says it is adding a slimmer 12-ounce Diet Coke can, refreshing the logo and offering the 35-year-old drink in four new flavors, including mango and ginger lime. Diet Coke sales have fallen as more people switch to other low-calorie drinks, such as flavored fizzy water. The company says Diet Coke's new look and flavors were aimed to appeal to millennials.

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NYC sues, divests from oil firms over climate change

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City is suing five major oil companies, claiming they have contributed to global warming. Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will be seeking billions in the lawsuit to recoup money spent by the city for resiliency efforts related to climate change. Some of the companies dispute the contention. New York also plans to begin divesting its pension funds of fossil fuel companies.

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Dems say Trump action on Florida drilling guided by politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats from coastal states are accusing the Trump administration of punishing states with Democratic leaders after the administration said it would block oil drilling off Florida's coast following objections from that state's Republican governor. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California said on Twitter that his state, "like Florida, has hundreds of miles of beautiful coastline and a governor who wants to keep it that way."

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Perfect start for stocks in 2018 stalls after rates rise

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market's fantastic start to 2018 stalled on Wednesday after dividend payers sank on concerns about rising interest rates. The losses pulled indexes a bit off their record highs and provided the first minor hiccup for a market that had climbed six straight days to start the year. Stocks fell after the yield on the 10-year Treasury reached its highest level since March, but they ended up recovering most of their losses as the day progressed and rates pulled back.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 3.06 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,748.23. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 16.67, or 0.1 percent, to 25,369.13, the Nasdaq composite fell 10.01, or 0.1 percent, to 7,153.57 and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks slipped 0.30 of a point, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,559.80.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 61 cents to settle at $63.57 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 38 cents to $69.20 a barrel. Natural gas fell 2 cents to $2.91 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil rose 1 cent to $2.08 per gallon and wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.83 per gallon.