Apple to build 2nd campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment to the U.S. economy that will be partially financed by an upcoming windfall from the country's new tax law. The pledge announced Wednesday comes less than a month after Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code championed by President Donald Trump that will increase corporate profits.
Trump claims credit for what is still mostly Obama's economy
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump relentlessly congratulates himself for the healthy state of the U.S. economy, with its steady growth, low unemployment, busier factories and confident consumers. But in the year since Trump's inauguration, most economists tend to agree on this: The economy is essentially the same sturdy one that he inherited from Barack Obama.
US stock rally lifts Dow to first close above 26,000 points
NEW YORK (AP) — A broad rally on Wall Street propelled the Dow Jones industrial average to close above 26,000 points for the first time Wednesday. The sharp gains also delivered record highs for the Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Nasdaq composite, wiping out the market's modest losses from a day earlier. Technology and health care companies accounted for much of the gains. Financials stocks also rose, even as some big banks fell after reporting hefty quarterly losses.
Walmart offers way to turn leftover opioids into useless gel
NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is helping customers get rid of leftover opioids by giving them packets that turn the addictive painkillers into a useless gel. The retail giant said Wednesday it will start providing the packets for free with opioid prescriptions filled at its pharmacies. When mixed with warm water, the powder in the packet turns the pills into a gel that can be thrown in the trash.
Bank of America 4Q profits fall by 48 percent due to tax law
NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America says fourth-quarter profits fell by nearly half from a year ago after it booked $2.9 billion in charges related to the new tax law. The bank says its effective tax rate will drop to 20 percent, and the CEO expects the savings to mostly go to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks and dividends.
Entire operation of federal consumer regulator under review
NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump-appointed acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says the entire operational structure and approach of the federal government's consumer watchdog agency is now under scrutiny. The announcement by director Mick Mulvaney is the clearest sign yet that the agency's direction will be dramatically different than it was under the Obama administration.
'Very strong' Democratic sentiment to oppose GOP budget bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said Wednesday there's "very, very strong" sentiment among Democrats in the chamber to oppose GOP-drafted legislation to keep the government's doors open, comments that could indicate the chances are increasing that the government could shut down at midnight Friday night. Democrats' votes are needed to advance the stopgap measure through the Senate, but they have been rebuffed in their demands to add protections against deportation for younger immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children.
Big swings continue as bitcoin briefly dips below $10,000
NEW YORK (AP) — The volatility of the digital currency markets was on display again Wednesday, as bitcoin briefly fell below $10,000 before rebounding back above $11,000 in the U.S. afternoon. With the drop below $10,000, bitcoin had lost about half its value since hitting a high above $19,000 in mid-December. Other digital currencies bounced around as well.
Florida driver died because of faulty air bag, report says
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Highway Patrol says a woman died because a faulty air bag ruptured and fired shrapnel into her head during a crash she should have survived. The report released Wednesday says Nichol Barker of Holiday, Florida, was struck by metal pieces that should have remained inside the Takata air bag but burst through. The 34-year-old mother suffered a gaping wound to her left temple, a fractured skull and bruising and bleeding on her brain.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 26.14 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,802.56. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 322.79 points, or 1.3 percent, to 26,115.65. The Nasdaq added 74.59 points, or 1 percent, to 7,298.28. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 13.69 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,586.66.
U.S. crude added 24 cents to $63.97 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 23 cents to $69.38 a barrel. Heating oil futures gained a penny to $2.07 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline added 2 cents to $1.86 a gallon. Natural gas picked up 10 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $3.23 per 1,000 cubic feet.