Loading articles...

Business Highlights

___

Minutes show Fed officials noted number of rising threats

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve policymakers last month noted a number of increased threats to the U.S. economy, ranging from adverse effects from the government shutdown to rising trade tensions, and opted to emphasize that they would be “patient” in raising interest rates. Minutes of the Fed’s discussions in January showed that Fed officials also felt that further rate hikes might only be needed if inflation were to accelerate.

___

Southwest grapples with new labour and revenue problems

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines is lashing out at the union representing its mechanics, suggesting that they are purposely grounding planes to gain leverage in new contract negotiations. Southwest had cancelled more than 400 flights — 10 per cent of its schedule — by midmorning Wednesday. Separately, the airline says the partial government shutdown cost it $60 million in revenue, more than previously estimated.

___

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Samsung unveiled a highly anticipated smartphone with a foldable screen in an attempt to break the innovative funk that has beset the smartphones market. The phone, announced Wednesday in San Francisco, will be called the Galaxy Fold and will sell for $1,980 when it is released April 26. Consumers willing to pay that hefty price will get a device that can unfold like a wallet so it can work like a traditional smartphone or something more like a mini-tablet.

___

Arsenic, lead in water pouring out of former US mine sites

RIMINI, Mont. (AP) — Public records show that millions of gallons of water containing arsenic, lead and other toxic metals flow daily from contaminated U.S. mining sites into lakes and stream. The Associated Press found that much of the water is untreated, tainting drinking supplies and poisoning aquatic life. Companies that mined silver, lead, gold and other “hardrock” minerals could move on when the mines were no longer profitable. Left behind was the water that leaks or is cleaned up at taxpayer expense.

___

Trump says EU trade talks key to outcome on auto tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says that tariffs on imported vehicles from Europe are something “we certainly think about” and suggested that a final decision will hinge on the United States and the European Union reaching a trade deal in the coming months. Trump was asked about the prospect for the auto tariffs Wednesday before a meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

___

French court hits Swiss bank UBS with $5.1 billion penalty

PARIS (AP) — A French court has ordered Swiss bank UBS to pay more than 4.5 billion euros ($5.1 billion) in fines and damages for helping wealthy French clients evade tax authorities. Wednesday’s ruling wraps up one of France’s biggest-ever tax evasion trials. The Paris court convicted Zurich-based UBS AG of aggravated money laundering and illegal bank soliciting, issuing what French media called a record fine.

___

Driver hurt by air bag shrapnel as investigation drags on

DETROIT (AP) — Another driver has been hurt by an exploding air bag inflator made by ARC Automotive of Knoxville, Tennessee. The company’s inflators have been under investigation for nearly four years by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Safety advocates say the agency is moving too slowly on the probe, which began in July of 2015, and other investigations. The agency says it’s continuing to review information with ARC and vehicle manufacturers.

___

As US pushes to ban Huawei, UK considers softer approach

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s cybersecurity chief says the country can handle the risks involved with using mobile networks made by China’s Huawei. His comments add to a growing debate among countries on whether the company should be banned, as the U.S. wants. Ciaran Martin, the CEO of the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre, said it was important to have “diversity” in the supply of telecommunications equipment.

___

Caesars Entertainment talks with billionaire investor Icahn

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Caesars Entertainment says it’s talked with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who began pushing for changes after revealing a 10 per cent stake in the casino operator. Icahn said this week that he wants the company to pursue a sale to boost its stock and is pushing for leadership changes. Caesars said Wednesday that it’s evaluating Icahn’s ideas.

___

US stocks cap day of listless trading with modest gains

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street capped another day of listless trading Wednesday with a slight gain, extending the market’s winning streak to a third day. Financial, materials and industrial companies accounted for much of the gain, outweighing losses in health care and real estate stocks as investors reviewed the latest batch of company earnings reports. Traders also waited for signs of progress in the latest round of trade talks between the U.S. and China.

___

The benchmark S&P 500 index gained 4.94 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,784.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 63.12 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 25,954.44. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.30 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 7,489.07. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 7.19 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 1,581.66.

The Associated Press