AP NEWS

Business Highlights

November 14, 2019

___

China presses Washington for tariff cut in trade deal

BEIJING (AP) — China is pressing Washington to roll back punitive tariffs in an interim trade deal. A government spokesman says a tariff cut is an “important condition” for the agreement that is part of talks aimed at ending a costly trade war. Beijing said last week U.S. negotiators agreed to roll back some punitive tariffs if an agreement went ahead, but President Donald Trump dismissed that.

___

Powell urges Congress to tackle growing budget deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has called on Congress to tackle the growing budget deficit. Powell’s remarks came a day after he told Congress’ Joint Economic Committee that the Fed was likely to keep rates unchanged in the coming months, unless there was a “material” shift in the economy’s outlook. Powell is one of the few leading public figures urging Congress to reduce the federal government’s annual deficit, which is nearing $1 trillion.

___

California faces fraught path out of wildfire, power crisis

The road forward for the California electric company responsible for deadly wildfires is difficult. PG&E needs to repair thousands of miles of outdated copper wire and replace or insulate other lines and poles. In some areas, lines need to be buried, which can cost millions of dollars per mile. Weather sensors and cameras help utilities predict and track dangerous weather. Sectionalizing lines would allow more targeted blackouts so millions aren’t left in the dark when winds pick up.

___

Sizing up the 2019 holiday shopping season for retailers

NEW YORK (AP) — With two weeks until the official start of the holiday shopping season, the nation’s retailers are gearing up for what should be another brutally competitive shopping period. The consumer is seen as financially healthy, but keeping up with shoppers’ behavior has been challenging for retailers, whether it’s the yearslong shift to shopping online or the more recent desire to rent or buy second-hand clothes and other items. Experts are expecting a rebound from last year’s disappointing results.

___

Consumer Reports finds vehicle redesigns come with glitches

DETROIT (AP) — When it comes to buying a new car, the latest and greatest may not be the most dependable. In its annual auto reliability survey this year, Consumer Reports found that while newly redesigned models have the latest infotainment, safety and fuel-economy technology, they also come with glitches that frustrate their owners.

___

US chickens headed to China after Beijing lifts 5-year ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — China reopened its market to U.S. poultry, ending a five-year ban. China had blocked U.S. poultry imports after an outbreak of avian influenza in December 2014, closing off a market that bought more than $500 million worth of American chicken, turkey and other poultry products in 2013.

___

US long-term mortgage rates rise; 30-year at 3.75%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates rose this week amid optimism over prospects for the U.S. economy. Rates remain at historically low levels, however, as an incentive to prospective homebuyers. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped to 3.75% from 3.69% last week.

___

Pelosi says agreement on revamped NAFTA ‘imminent’

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wants to see Congress pass President Donald Trump’s revamped North American free trade deal this year. In a news conference Thursday, the California Democrat said an agreement on the pact is “imminent.’’ The United States, Mexico and Canada last year agreed to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement with a new version designed to encourage factories to increase production in the U.S.

___

Disney Plus adds disclaimer about racist movie stereotypes

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney’s new streaming service is adding a disclaimer to “Dumbo,” “Peter Pan” and other classic movies because they depict racist stereotypes. The move illustrates a challenge that companies face when they resurrect older movies in modern times. Disney Plus has been an instant hit. The service attracted 10 million subscribers in just one day.

___

New Jersey seeks $640M from Uber for misclassifying workers

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey is seeking more than $640 million from Uber in taxes and penalties, saying the ride-hailing company misclassified its drivers as independent contractors. The decision is the latest setback for Uber and other companies in the so-called “gig economy” that rely heavily on contract labor to deliver the services at the heart of their popular apps.

___

S&P 500 ekes out record high after listless day of trading

NEW YORK (AP) — A day of listless trading on Wall Street ended Thursday with another record high for the S&P 500. The benchmark index notched its third consecutive gain after spending most of the day wavering between small gains and losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite also budged little, capping the day with miniscule drops.

___

The S&P 500 rose 2.59 points, or 0.1%, to 3,096.63. The Dow slipped 1.63 points, or less than 0.1%, to 27,781.96. The Nasdaq fell 3.08 points, or less than 0.1%, to 8,479.02. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks dropped 0.39 of a point, or less than 0.1%, to 1,588.79.