AP NEWS

Business Highlights

November 20, 2019 GMT

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GM accuses Fiat Chrysler of bribing UAW to get lower costs

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is suing Fiat Chrysler, alleging that its crosstown rival got an unfair business advantage by bribing officials of the United Auto Workers union. The unprecedented lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, alleges that FCA was involved in racketeering by paying millions in bribes to get concessions and gain advantages in three labor agreements with the union.

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Fed minutes: Officials felt 3 cuts this year could be enough

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Federal Reserve officials believed last month that the three rate cuts they made this year would be enough unless the economy weakened significantly. The minutes of the October Fed meeting reveal that “most participants” thought that this year’s rate cuts would be sufficient to support moderate growth, a continued strong job market and inflation rising toward the Fed’s 2% target level.

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Fake doctors, pilfered medical records drive Oxy China sales

SHANGHAI (AP) — OxyContin sales reps in China told The Associated Press they disguised themselves as doctors and illegally copied patient records to boost profits. The AP examined more than 3,300 pages of training and marketing material used by employees of Purdue Pharma’s Chinese affiliate, Mundipharma. They contained claims about addictiveness and safety that U.S. courts, prosecutors and regulators have said are false. Mundipharma says it’s investigating.

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Target bursts into the holiday season with a bang

NEW YORK (AP) — Target is reporting another quarter of strong sales and profits and raising its outlook as it pushes faster delivery and new store brands. Among the big highlights? Target’s clothing sales rose 10% at a time when department stores and mall-based chains are struggling with their fashion assortments.

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Hedge fund Alden becomes Tribune’s largest shareholder

NEW YORK (AP) — A hedge fund is now the largest shareholder of Tribune Publishing, the company that owns the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and New York Daily News. Tribune says Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund known for layoffs and slashing costs at newspapers it acquires, purchased the 25% stake from former Tribune chairman Michael Ferro. Financial firms have become involved as owners and investors in U.S. media companies as the industry struggles with the shift to digital.

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Lights out in California again with high wildfire danger

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Pacific Gas & Electric utility has begun shutting off power to the wine country counties of Napa and Sonoma north of San Francisco in an effort to prevent its power lines from starting wildfires. The utility plans to cut power Wednesday in parts of 18 counties. Meanwhile, state utility regulators demanded answers from cellphone companies about their equipment failures during previous power outages and them to make more backup equipment available.

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Iconic singer hopes to close financing gap for African women

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — One of Africa’s iconic artists is the voice of a new project aimed at rewriting laws across the continent that keep millions of women from becoming a more powerful economic force. Singer Angelique Kidjo is helping the African Development Bank launch an effort to close a $42 billion financing gap in a region where one in four women starts or manages a business. That’s the highest female entrepreneurship rate in the world.

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Road-safety regulator rapped over regulating autonomous cars

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s road-safety regulator is under fire again for what critics call lax oversight of tests involving autonomous vehicles. The nation’s top transportation safety investigator says that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doesn’t give enough direction to companies developing more automated cars.

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Uber to let users record audio of rides in Brazil, Mexico

NEW YORK (AP) — Uber will let passengers and drivers record audio of their rides in an attempt to improve its safety record. The ride-hailing company plans to pilot the feature in cities in Brazil and Mexico in December. It eventually hopes to launch it in other markets including the United States, although it has no timeline for possible expansion.

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New US-China trade worries pull stocks lower on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed lower on Wall Street Wednesday as investors turned anxious about the possibility that the U.S. and China may not reach a trade deal before next year. Technology stocks took the heaviest losses. Communication services and industrial stocks also were big losers. Banks fell as bond yields declined. Energy stocks rose as oil prices rebounded. A published report suggested a “phase one” trade pact may not be completed this year as negotiators continue to wrestle over differences.

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The S&P 500 index dropped 11.72 points, or 0.4%, to 3,108.46. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 112.93 points, or 0.4%, to 27,821.09. The Nasdaq slid 43.93, or 0.5%, to 8,526.73. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gave up 6.68 points, or 0.4%, to 1,591.61.