AP NEWS

Business Highlights

October 7, 2019

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Engineer: Ethiopian Airlines went into records after crash

SEATTLE (AP) — Ethiopian Airlines’ former chief engineer says in a whistleblower complaint filed with regulators that the carrier went into maintenance records of a Boeing 737 Max jet after it crashed this year and investigators can’t trust it to tell the truth about the accident. Yonas Yeshanew says that while it’s unclear what, if anything, was altered, the decision to go into records reflects an airline with plenty to hide, including a history of shoddy repairs and beating employees who step out of line.

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Profit, not politics: Trump allies sought Ukraine gas deal

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A circle of businessmen and Republican donors touted their connections to President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani as they sought to install new management at the top of Ukraine’s state-owned gas company last spring. Their aims were profit, not politics. Although their plan hit a snag after the election of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Energy Secretary Rick Perry took up the effort to install a friendlier management team at Naftogaz. Perry has denied any wrongdoing.

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Goodbye, iTunes: Once-revolutionary app gone in Mac update

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple’s latest operating software for Mac computers kills off iTunes, the once-revolutionary program that made online music sales mainstream and effectively blunted the impact of piracy. It’s a reflection of changing times and changing habits. Instead, the Mac joins iPhones in getting separate apps for music, video and other media. The changes come as the music industry favors recurring subscription revenue over one-time sales, and Apple readies a video subscription service.

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Trump to sign US-Japan trade deal that benefits farmers

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is scheduled to sign a limited trade agreement with Japan on Monday. The deal would win back for American farmers benefits they lost when Trump pulled out of a broader Asia-Pacific pact his first week in office. U.S. farmers have been operating at a disadvantage in Japan since Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which had been negotiated by the Obama administration.

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US consumer borrowing up $17.9 billion in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer borrowing increased at a solid pace in August, helped by the biggest jump in auto and student loans in three years. The Federal Reserve says total credit rose $17.9 billion after a $23 billion increase in July.

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Contract talks continue as GM strike enters fourth week

DETROIT (AP) — Contract talks aimed at ending a 22-day strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors are continuing after United Auto Workers union bargainers rejected a company offer on Sunday. In a letter to members, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes cast doubt on whether there will be a quick settlement in the contract dispute, which sent 49,000 workers to the picket lines on Sept. 16, crippling GM’s factories.

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GE freezes pensions for 20K workers in bid to trim debt pile

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric is freezing the pension plans of about 20,000 of its workers and offering pension buyouts to 100,000 former employees as it attempts to reduce its mountain of debt. The industrial conglomerate has been selling off assets and streamlining its operations amid sagging profits and other setbacks in recent years. It has about $105.8 billion in overall debt, and whittling that down has become a priority for CEO Larry Culp.

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Consumer goods giant Unilever vows to slash use of plastic

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Consumer products giant Unilever, whose brands include Dove soaps and Lipton teas, is pledging to halve its use of non-recycled plastics by 2025. CEO Alan Jope said Monday that the plan to slash use of the so-called virgin plastics will require a “fundamental rethink” in its packaging policies.

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Chairman: Federal reserve must avoid political pressures

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is stressing the importance of an independent central bank “absolutely free” from politics. Powell’s comments Monday in Salt Lake City came after President Donald Trump has repeatedly pressured Powell to lower interest rates and said the United States is missing out on economic opportunities because of “boneheads” at the Federal Reserve. Powell was in Utah for the premiere of a documentary about former Chairman Marriner Eccles.

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Major US stock indexes veer broadly lower in choppy trading

NEW YORK (AP) — A day of choppy trading on Wall Street ended Monday with stocks broadly lower as the market extended its losing streak into a fourth week. Technology stocks, consumer goods makers, health care companies and banks accounted for much of the selling, which erased modest gains. Crude oil prices edged lower and bond yields rose. The market is coming off a three-week skid after a mixed batch of economic data stoked investors’ worries that a slowdown in U.S. economic growth could worsen.

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The S&P 500 fell 13.22 points, or 0.4%, at 2,938.79. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 95.70 points, or 0.4%, to 26,478.02. The Nasdaq dropped 26.18 points, or 0.3%, to 7,956.29. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slipped 2.91 points, or 0.2%, to 1,497.79.