AP NEWS

Business Highlights

November 11, 2019 GMT

___

After boost from Perry, backers got huge gas deal in Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian documents obtained by The Associated Press show two political supporters of Energy Secretary Rick Perry won an oil and gas exploration contract from Ukraine, just weeks after Perry proposed one of the men as an adviser to the country’s new president. While they offered millions of dollars less to the government than their only competitor for the drilling rights, a government-appointed commission determined they had greater technical expertise and stronger financial backing.

___

Malaysian ex-PM Najib ordered to enter defense in 1MDB case

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak has been ordered to present his defense after a judge ruled that prosecutors had established their case on charges of abuse of power, breach of trust and money laundering. The trial is the first against Najib in relation to the multibillion-dollar looting of the 1MDB state investment fund during his time in office. Defense lawyers say Najib was shocked he wasn’t acquitted.

___

China’s Alibaba, JD report booming Singles Day sales

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com have reported more than $60 billion in sales on Singles Day, an annual marketing event that has become the world’s busiest online shopping day. Monday’s event began as a joke holiday in the 1990s as an alternative to Valentine’s Day for people without romantic partners. Alibaba, the world’s biggest e-commerce company, and rivals including JD.com have made it an annual event.

___

Saudi Aramco takes another step toward 1st public offering

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco released a lengthy document late Saturday that lays the ground for investors to buy into the world’s most profitable company, but it remains unknown how much is on offer. In its preliminary prospectus, Aramco revealed that it will sell up to 0.5% of its shares to individual retail investors. It did not indicate how much will be made available to institutional investors.

___

Boeing details steps needed to get grounded Max jet flying

Boeing says it has several key steps left before the grounded 737 Max can fly again. Among them is one or more test flights to demonstrate its work to federal safety regulators. Boeing also must finish updating pilot-training requirements, which it expects will happen in January. Some key airline customers don’t expect the Max to carry passengers until March — about a year after the first of two crashes that 346 people.

___

Uber CEO walks back comment on Saudi writer’s slaying

NEW YORK (AP) — Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is facing criticism for calling the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi ‘a mistake’ in an interview with Axios on HBO. Khosrowshahi later said he regretted his comments. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has invested heavily in Uber and its managing director sits on Uber’s board.

___

A Whole New World: Disney streaming debuts with hit brands

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney will sprinkle its pixie dust on the streaming arena Tuesday, launching a $7-a-month streaming service called Disney Plus. The service will have an arsenal of marquee franchises including Marvel and Star Wars and originals with a built-in fan base. While consumers might be reluctant to drop an existing service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime to pay for something untested, experts believe Disney has better odds than fellow newcomers like HBO Max and Peacock.

___

Stocks slip as uncertainty reigns in US-China trade talks

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks mostly sank on Monday as uncertainty continues to hang over U.S.-China trade talks, or at least over investors’ perception of them. President Donald Trump said over the weekend that reports about U.S. willingness to lift tariffs were “incorrect,” only two days after a Chinese official said both sides agreed to rollbacks if talks progress. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up to another record, in large part due to a big gain by Boeing.

___

NY regulator vows to investigate Apple Card for sex bias

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York state agency says it will investigate Goldman Sachs for possible sex discrimination in the way it sets credit limits for the Apple Card. A tech entrepreneur tweeted Saturday that the algorithms used for the card, which Goldman Sachs developed with Apple, gave him a credit limit 20 times greater than his wife’s despite her higher credit score. The New York Department of Financial Services says it wants to ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex.

___

Veterans can get business help from govt, private sector

NEW YORK (AP) — Veterans and active service members can get help starting or running a business from programs sponsored by the federal government and private groups. The government offers a program called Boots to Business, and its Veterans Business Outreach Centers offer training and counseling. You can get more information on the Small Business Administration website, www.sba.gov. The organization called SCORE also offers counseling. You can learn more and get help by visiting SCORE’s website, www.score.org .

___

The S&P 500 was down 6.07 points, or 0.2%, at 3,087.01. The Nasdaq composite slipped 11.04 points, or 0.1%, to 8,464.28. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 10.25 points, or less than 0.1%, to 27,691.49. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 4.09 points, or 0.3%, to 1,594.77.