AP NEWS

Business Highlights

November 27, 2019

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Drugmakers, distributors facing federal opioid probe

At least a half-dozen companies that make or distribute opioid painkillers are under a federal investigation of their role in a nationwide addiction and overdose crisis, according to a report. Companies have been saying in financial filings that they’ve received subpoenas over drug distribution questions. This investigation is in addition to civil suits filed by most states and more than 2,000 local governments.

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Labour says UK health service ‘for sale’ in US trade talks

LONDON (AP) — British opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson of secretly seeking a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States that would drive up the cost of drugs and imperil the U.K.’s state-funded system. Corbyn says leaked documents from preliminary US-UK trade talks show the National Health service will be “up for sale.” Johnson calls the claims “nonsense.”

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Fed survey finds US economy expanding despite trade fallout

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says the U.S. economy was expanding at a modest pace in October and early November, supported by growing consumer spending. In its latest assessment of business conditions nationwide, the Fed struck a more upbeat tone than it had in its previous report when it had worried more about trade tensions and slower global growth.

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No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts has become the first state to ban flavored tobacco and vaping products. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed the bill Wednesday. The new law specifically restricts sale of the products to licensed smoking bars, where they’ll only be allowed to be consumed on-site. The restriction extends to menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and chewing tobacco. It also places a 75% excise tax on nicotine vaping products.

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US economy looking durable despite risks from trade conflict

WASHINGTON (AP) — A series of government reports cast a picture of a steadily growing U.S. economy, fueled by solid consumer spending and defying threats — at least for now — from a U.S.-China trade war and a global slowdown. The Commerce Department estimated that the economy grew at a moderate 2.1% annual rate over the summer, slightly better than it had previously estimated. Other reports showed stronger consumer spending and a rebound in orders for big-ticket manufactured goods.

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US consumer spending up 0.3% in October but incomes are flat

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their spending in October at the fastest rate in three months even though income growth was the weakest in 13 months. The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.3% last month, the best showing since a 0.5% rise in July.

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Fed survey finds US economy expanding despite trade fallout

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says the U.S. economy was expanding at a modest pace in October and early November, supported by growing consumer spending. In its latest assessment of business conditions nationwide, the Fed struck a more upbeat tone than it had in its previous report when it had worried more about trade tensions and slower global growth.

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From modest beginnings, Washington now a force in wine world

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Washington has become a force in the wine industry. The state has the nation’s second-highest number of wineries, after California. Washington ranks fourth in U.S. wine sales, after California, Australia and Italy. In 2001, there were about 100 wineries in the state. That number has since exploded to more than 1,000 wineries this year, and the growth is likely to continue. Most of the industry’s success stems from the state’s climate and soils, experts say.

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Providing a unique experience is retailers’ holiday strategy

NEW YORK (AP) — As small and independent retailers begin the holiday shopping season, they’re finding ways to give shoppers a reason to spend with them, not at big stores like Walmart and not with Amazon or other online sellers. For many owners, the answer is giving customers a unique, personal experience with services that outweigh the convenience of ordering online. The steps they take can be obvious like offering special merchandise or subtle, like changing a website’s look.

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Pope taps former Bank of Italy exec to head watchdog agency

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has tapped a former Bank of Italy executive to take over the Vatican’s financial intelligence unit following a scandal that resulted in the Vatican being suspended from an international anti-money laundering network. Carmelo Barbagallo has been head of the Italian central bank’s vigilance unit since 2014.

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Modest gains drive US stock indexes to more record highs

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors capped a day of light trading on Wall Street ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday by serving up another set of stock market record highs. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite closed at all-time highs for the third straight day Wednesday. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies hit its highest level in a year. Positive U.S. economic data helped spur the broad rally. Tech stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending led the gainers. Bond yields rose.

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The S&P 500 index rose 13.11 points, or 0.4%, to 3,153.63. The Dow gained 42.32 points, or 0.2%, to 28,164. The Nasdaq climbed 57.24 points, or 0.7%, to 8,705.18. The Russell 2000 added 9.87 points, or 0.6%, to 1,634.10.