Business Highlights

February 10, 2020 GMT


Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget proposal revisits rejected cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is offering a $4.8 trillion election year budget plan that recycles previously rejected cuts to domestic programs to promise a balanced budget in 15 years. That’s while boosting the military and leaving Social Security and Medicare benefits untouched. Trump’s fiscal 2021 plan was released Monday. It promises the government’s deficit will crest above $1 trillion only for the current budget year before steadily decreasing to more manageable levels. The plan’s cuts to food stamps, farm subsidies, Medicaid and student loans couldn’t pass when Republicans controlled Congress, much less now with liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But Trump says it sets the course for “continued American dominance and prosperity.”


Sony, Amazon, others drop out of big tech show over virus

LONDON (AP) — Sony, Amazon and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo are the latest companies to pull out of a major European technology show over virus fears. Sony and NTT DoCoMo said Monday they’re scrapping appearances at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, later this month. Sony will instead launch its latest devices through its YouTube channel on Feb. 24, the first day of the show. Amazon also said its withdrawing over continued concerns about the coronavirus. Ericsson, LG and Nvidia have also pulled out. The show organizers said Sunday they’re “moving ahead as planned” with the event, and outlined additional health and safety measures.


Chinese military stole masses of Americans’ data, US says

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says four members of the Chinese military have been charged with breaking into the computer networks of the Equifax credit reporting agency and stealing the personal information of tens of millions of Americans. Law enforcement officials say the four are also accused of stealing the company’s trade secrets. The defendants are all members of the People’s Liberation Army, an arm of the Chinese military. The case comes as the Trump administration has warned against what it sees as the growing political and economic influence of China, and efforts by Beijing to collect data on Americans and steal scientific research and innovation.


Retailers try clothing rental, but will it be a good fit?

NEW YORK (AP) — Renting clothes could be the future of fashion — or it could just be a fad. But traditional retailers can no longer afford to wait on the sidelines to find out. That’s why a growing number of them are now offering customers the option to rent clothes for a monthly fee instead of buying them. Bloomingdale’s, Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters are the latest to offer the services. Now a booming $1 billion business, the clothing rental sector is expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2023, says research firm GlobalData. But for traditional retailers, the economics of renting affordable clothing pose significant challenges.


Video of Pelosi brings renewed attention to ‘cheapfakes’

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The issue of misleading political messages on social media has arisen again, as President Donald Trump tweeted an edited video showing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi repeatedly tearing up his State of the Union speech as he honored audience members. The problem? While Pelosi did tear up her copy of the speech, she didn’t do so until Trump was finished talking. It didn’t happen during the address, as the video depicts. Pelosi’s team calls the video misleading. But Facebook and Twitter are refusing to take it down, saying it does not violate their policies intended to prohibit intentionally deceptive videos.


California company plans to sell China-designed SUVs in US

DETROIT (AP) — A California company says it will build and sell Chinese-designed automobiles in the U.S. at the end of next year or early in 2022. HAAH Automotive Holdings says it has an agreement with large Chinese automaker Chery Automobile to provide the vehicles, which will be assembled in a U.S. factory. HAAH says the first vehicle sold will be a midsize SUV. HAAH of Irvine, California, will sell Geely autos under the Vantas brand name. The company will develop a U.S. dealership network and have online sales. It’s now looking for factory sites.


Trump budget targets loan program that could help Lordstown

DETROIT (AP) — The Trump administration wants to eliminate a loan program that could help an electric vehicle maker with its plan to reopen a General Motors factory in Ohio. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget released Monday calls for ending the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program. The administration says it thinks the private sector should take the lead on new commercial projects. Lordstown Motors Corp. is considering asking for a $200 million from the loan fund to reopen the former Lordstown GM factory east of Cleveland to build electric trucks. The company says the fund is just one option it’s considering.


NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Monday, sending the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes to all-time highs. Technology stocks accounted for much of the rally, which added to the market’s gains from last week. Retailers, restaurant chains and other companies that rely on consumer spending also notched solid gains.


The S&P 500 index gained 24.38 points, or 0.7%, to 3,352.09. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 174.31 points, or 0.6%, to 29,276.82. The Nasdaq climbed 107.88 points, or 1.1%, to 9,628.39. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 10.89 points, or 0.7%, to 1,667.67.