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Update on the latest in business:

October 23, 2018 GMT


Stocks fall

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are falling sharply on Wall Street, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 400 points and extending the market’s recent string of losses.

Technology companies, banks and industrial stocks led the slide on Wall Street, which followed a steep sell-off in Chinese and other global markets.

The latest wave of selling came as investors grew unsettled by slowing economic growth in China and the costs of President Donald Trump’s aggressive trade policies. China’s economy grew 6.5 percent from July to September, the slowest pace since early 2009. The world’s second-largest economy was cooling even before the outbreak of a tariff war with Washington.


3M fell 6.6 percent and Caterpillar lost 7.8 percent. Caterpillar said Trump’s taxes on imported steel were driving up costs.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.13 percent.


Americans who don’t have a bank account at lowest level ever

NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation says the number of Americans who do not have a bank account fell to a record low last year; one sign that the economic fortunes of the country’s most vulnerable people continues to improve.

Approximately 6.5 percent of U.S. households were unbanked, or do not have a primary bank account, in 2017 the FDIC said Tuesday. That is down from 7 percent in 2017 and from a high of 8.2 percent in 2011.

That translates into roughly 14.1 million adults who do not have a bank account.

The reasons for not having a bank account remained steady from previous surveys, with “not having enough money” being the No. 1 reason for doing so. Not trusting banks was another popular reason for not being banked.


New Puerto Rico fiscal plan OK’d; governor says too austere

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A federal control board has approved a five-year fiscal plan for Puerto Rico, though Gov. Ricardo Rossello warns it’s too austere and will affect government services.

The economic blueprint approved on Tuesday aims to help pull the U.S. territory out of an economic crisis following a 12-year slump and devastation caused by last year’s Hurricane Maria.

The plan estimates that $82 billion in federal hurricane recovery funds will briefly boost Puerto Rico’s economy.


But President Donald Trump tweeted that what he called the “ridiculously high amount of funds” can’t be used to pay the island’s debt. He said “inept politicians” on the island are trying to do that.

Board executive director Natalie Jaresko said the funds aren’t budgeted for debt payments but will help stimulate the island’s economy.


Trump taps ex-Monsanto executive to lead wildlife agency

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he will nominate a former executive at agribusiness giant Monsanto to head the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Aurelia Skipwith of Indiana is currently deputy assistant Interior secretary for fish, wildlife and parks.

A biologist and lawyer, Skipwith spent more than six years at Monsanto and has worked at the Agriculture Department and U.S. Agency for International Development.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has been without a Senate-approved director since Trump took office in January 2017.

Greg Sheehan, a former Utah official who served as deputy director for 14 months, stepped down in August. Under Sheehan’s tenure as the senior political official, the agency proposed broad changes to rules governing protections for thousands of species and pushed for more hunting and fishing on federal lands.


MoviePass parent plans to spin it off into separate company

NEW YORK (AP) — The parent company of MoviePass says that it plans to spin off the discount movie ticket subscription service into a separate public company.

Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. said Tuesday that the new subsidiary will be called MoviePass Entertainment Holdings Inc. and be a film production, marketing and exhibition company.

Helios and Matheson Chairman and CEO Ted Farnsworth said in a statement that the parent company had become mostly synonymous with MoviePass in the public’s eye, which led it to believe it might benefit from a separation.

Last week it was announced that Helios and Matheson is being investigated by the New York Attorney General on allegations that it misled investors.

MoviePass Entertainment is expected to list on the Nasdaq or an alternate trading market.


Uber Eats to reach 70 percent of US population by year’s end

Uber says its Eats restaurant food delivery service will grow to cover 70 percent of the U.S. population by the end of 2018.

The ride-hailing company says the three-year-old service started this year delivering food in 98 U.S. metro areas. By year’s end it will grow to 243. The service now covers about half the U.S. population mainly in large metro areas. The expansion will be into smaller cities.

Vice President Jason Droege (DROW-gee) says orders last month were 10 times more than September of 2016. Eats is part of Uber’s plan to use its app expertise to create new businesses and build revenue.

The company charges consumers $1.99 to $7 for delivery based mainly on travel time from restaurants, which also are charged. It’s now in about 350 cities worldwide.


Business writer William D. Cohan writing book on GE decline

NEW YORK (AP) — Business writer and best-selling author William D. Cohan is working on a book on the rise and fall of General Electric.

Portfolio announced Tuesday that Cohan planned a “sweeping narrative” about a company he describes as once being “Apple, Amazon and Google” at the same time. GE has struggled badly over the past two decades, dropping from No. 6 in the Fortune 500 rankings in the mid-1990s to No. 18 in 2018. It recently ousted Chairman and CEO John Flannery, who had only held the job for a little more than a year. Cohan’s book doesn’t yet have a title or release date.

Cohan’s previous books include “Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World.” He writes for Vanity Fair, The New York Times and other publications.


Desperate & duped? GoFundMe means big bucks for dubious care

A new study found that people seeking dubious, potentially harmful treatment for cancer and other ailments raised nearly $7 million over two years from crowdfunding sites.

The results echo recent research on campaigns for stem cell therapies. And they raise more questions about an increasingly popular way to help pay for costly, and sometimes unproven, medical care.

The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Most solicitations studied were on GoFundMe. The most numerous were for homeopathy or naturopathy for cancer.

An American Cancer Society expert says it’s important to consider that despite considerable progress against cancer and other illnesses, conventional treatment can’t cure every patient. And that may drive some to costly unconventional treatments out of desperation.


First sign language Starbucks opens in DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — Coffee drinkers in the nation’s capital can now order that tall pumpkin spice iced skim latte in sign language.

Starbucks has opened its first U.S. “signing store” to better serve hard of hearing customers. The store in Washington is just blocks from Gallaudet University, one of the nation’s oldest universities serving deaf and hard of hearing students.

Starbucks announced in July that it would hire 20 to 25 deaf or hard of hearing baristas to work at the store.

The store is modeled after a similar Starbucks signing store which opened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2016.