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Update on the latest in business:

May 15, 2019 GMT


Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks followed Wall Street higher today after President Donald Trump downplayed his escalating tariff war with Beijing and said a settlement is possible.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney advanced as investors mulled the likely costs of U.S. and Chinese tariff hikes on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods.

Trump said on Twitter the conflict over Beijing’s technology ambitions and trade surplus was a “little squabble” between friends. He said, “When the time is right we will make a deal with China.” Global equities rallied on that “positive tone,” said Edward Moya of OANDA in a report.


The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.1% and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 0.2% today. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.7% and Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.6%. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was 0.8% higher India’s Sensex gained 0.6%.

On Wall Street yesterday, tech stocks led the way higher after suffering a beating the previous day. Qualcomm and Cisco both rose, along with Oracle, Adobe and others. Banks also rose. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and others moved higher.

The benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.8% to 2,834.41. It recovered nearly a third of Monday’s loss and would now need to rise 3.9% to regain the record it set a couple weeks ago.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8% to 25,532.05 and the Nasdaq composite index jumped 1.1% to 7,734.49.


GOP scrambles to ease blow from Trump’s trade war

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill are scrambling to soften the blow from his trade war with China amid mounting anxiety from farm-state lawmakers that the protracted battle and escalating tariffs could irreparably damage their local economies.

Vice President Mike Pence met privately Tuesday with Senate Republicans for a second week in a row and urged them to stick with the White House. Senators were working with the administration to craft a relief package for farmers and ranchers, some $15 billion that Trump announced this week would be coming soon. Details of the package remained in flux. Pence heard an earful from senators last week as uncertainty mounted.


China’s factory output, retail sales weaken amid tariff war

BEIJING (AP) — China’s factory output and consumer spending weakened in April as a tariff war with Washington intensified.


Today’s data prompted suggestions Beijing will need to prop up economic growth with more government spending.

Government data showed growth in factory output decelerated to 5.4 percent over a year earlier from March’s 8.5 percent growth.

Growth in retail sales declined to 7.2 percent over a year ago from the previous month’s 8.7 percent.

Manufacturers have been battered by President Donald Trump’s tariff hikes on Chinese imports. The escalating dispute has fueled unease among Chinese consumers, depressing domestic demand.


Airline technology supplier says outage has been fixed

UNDATED (AP) _ Travel-technology provider Sabre says the problem that prevented some airline travelers from checking in for flights has been fixed.

A Sabre spokeswoman said Tuesday that the problem originated with one of the company’s network suppliers, CenturyLink. Cassidy Smith of Sabre says the glitch affected airlines that connect with Sabre through CenturyLink’s network. Smith declined to identify the affected airlines. Some JetBlue customers complained they were unable to check in for flights.

FlightStats says about 1,900 U.S. flights were delayed by early afternoon on the East Coast, although it’s unclear how many are related to the Sabre failure.

Sabre suffered a similar outage that affected several U.S. airlines on April 29.


San Francisco bans police use of face recognition technology

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco supervisors voted Tuesday to ban the use of facial recognition software by police and other city departments, becoming the first U.S. city to outlaw a rapidly developing technology that has alarmed privacy and civil liberties advocates.

The ban is part of broader legislation that requires city departments to establish use policies and obtain board approval for surveillance technology they want to purchase or are using at present. Several other local governments require departments to disclose and seek approval for surveillance technology.


World leaders, tech bosses work on stemming online violence

PARIS (AP) — Several world leaders and tech bosses are meeting in Paris to find ways to stop acts of violent extremism from being shown online.

They’re working all day today on the “Christchurch Appeal,” named after the New Zealand city where 51 people were killed in a March attack on mosques. The attacker streamed the killing live on Facebook.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the meeting a significant “starting point” for changes in government and tech industry policy.

Officials at Facebook said they support the idea of the appeal, but that details need to be worked out that are acceptable for all parties.

Twitter, Google, Microsoft and several other companies are also taking part, along with the leaders of Britain, France, Canada, Ireland, Senegal, Indonesia, Jordan and the European Union.


Japan space startup aims to compete US rivals within years

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese startup that launched a rocket into space last month plans to provide low-cost rocket services and compete with American rivals such as SpaceX.

Interstellar Technology Inc.’s unmanned MOMO-3 rocket reached 113.4 kilometers (70 miles) in altitude before falling into the Pacific Ocean during its May 4 flight.

Company founder Takafumi Horie says it plans to launch a first orbital rocket within the next few years. He says a low-cost rocket business in Japan could accommodate scientific and commercial needs in Asia.

Japan’s government-led space programs have demonstrated top-level technology, but the country has fallen behind globally due to high cost.


Staffer: Illinois newspaper editor resigns to spare layoffs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ capital-city newspaper, a 188-year-old institution tied intimately to Abraham Lincoln, is without a news chief after its editor resigned in hopes of sparing more layoffs, according to a staff writer.

Angie Muhs served notice of her resignation on Friday from The State Journal-Register in Springfield, owned by one of the nation’s largest publishers, GateHouse Media. When the newspaper’s general manager escorted Muhs from the building on Monday, the newsroom emptied as editorial employees accompanied her “as a show of respect and support,” staff writer Dean Olsen said.