AP NEWS

Business Highlights

November 1, 2019 GMT

___

US economy defies threats with a solid job gain for October

WASHINGTON (AP) — A solid October jobs report spotlighted the surprising durability of the U.S. economy in the face of persistent trade conflicts and a global slowdown. The economy managed to add 128,000 jobs last month even though tens of thousands of workers were temporarily counted as unemployed because of the now-settled strike against General Motors. What’s more, the government revised up its combined estimate of job growth for August and September by a robust 95,000.

___

Stocks hit records as strong jobs report calms trade worries

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks powered to records Friday after a surprisingly strong jobs report reassured investors that the economy is still solid, despite the pain U.S. factories are feeling from President Donald Trump’s trade war. The economic reports solidified Wall Street’s view that the economy is nestled in a sweet spot for markets, where the Federal Reserve will likely keep interest rates low.

___

China’s economy struggles as consumers tighten belts

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leaders are counting on consumers to power the economy, replacing trade and investment as Beijing fights a tariff war with Washington. But shoppers worried about possible job losses are tightening their belts. That hurts sales of cars, real estate and other big-ticket items and is a bigger threat to economic growth than U.S. tariff hikes. Communist leaders are trying to shore up growth without stimulus spending that might drive up already high debt levels.

___

Google steps into fitness, buys Fitbit for $2.1 billion

Google, the company that helped make it fun to just sit around and surf the web, is jumping with both feet into the fitness-tracker business, buying Fitbit for about $2.1 billion. The deal could put Google in direct competition with Apple and Samsung in the highly competitive market for smartwatches and other wearable electronics.

___

Brexit Party wants to team up with Tories; Johnson says no

LONDON (AP) — British euroskeptic Nigel Farage is trying to ramp up the pressure on Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson. On Friday, Farage warned that his Brexit Party will run against the Conservatives across the country in Britain’s Dec. 12 election unless Johnson abandons his divorce deal with the European Union. Johnson, however, says the Conservatives are in it to win and anyone voting for another party will endanger his ability to deliver Brexit.

___

Trade body: China can hit US with sanctions worth $3.6 bln

GENEVA (AP) — The World Trade Organization says China can impose sanctions on up to $3.6 billion worth of U.S. goods over the U.S. government’s failure to abide by the trade body’s anti-dumping rules with regard to Chinese products. The award, the first for China at the WTO, is the latest development in a wide-ranging trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

___

Pentagon awaits possible Amazon challenge over cloud deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amazon must decide soon if it will protest the Pentagon’s awarding of a $10 billion cloud computing contract to rival Microsoft. One possible grievance could be the unusual attention given the project by President Donald Trump. Amazon was long thought to be the front-runner in the competition for the huge military contract. Trump waded into the bidding process over the summer when he asked the Defense Department to take a closer look.

___

Exxon Mobil profit falls 49% as oil and gas prices decline

NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil’s profits fell dramatically in the third quarter as the company was hurt by lower prices for crude oil and natural gas. The Texas oil giant reported $3.17 billion in profits in the third quarter, down 49% from the same time last year. Total revenue was $65.05 billion, down 15% from the same time last year.

___

US manufacturing contracts for third straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing output dropped for the third straight month in October as trade tensions and a slowing global economy took a toll on American factories. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, says its manufacturing index blipped up to 48.3 last month from 47.8.

___

Justices to consider key SEC tool in securities fraud

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will consider taking away an important tool that federal securities regulators used last year to recoup $2.5 billion in ill-gotten gains in fraud cases. The justices say Friday they will hear an appeal contending that the Securities and Exchange Commission lacks the power to seek repayment, or disgorgement, of profits from people who have been found to violate securities law.

___

Reports: US launches review of China-owned video app TikTok

NEW YORK (AP) — Published reports say the U.S. government has launched a national-security review of the China-owned video app TikTok, popular with millions of U.S. teens and young adults. The reports say that the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has opened an inquiry. Several senators have recently noted concerns about censorship and data collection on TikTok. The Treasury Department declined to comment. TikTok says it cannot comment on ongoing regulatory processes.

___

The S&P 500 rose 29.35 points, or 1%, to 3,066.91. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 301.13, or 1.1%, to 27,347.36. The Nasdaq composite gained 94.04, or 1.1%, to 8,386.40. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 26.88 points, or 1.72%, to 1,589.33.