AP NEWS

Business Highlights

November 7, 2019

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Board of Google parent investigating sexual misconduct cases

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Alphabet’s board of directors is investigating claims of sexual misconduct made against executives and how the company handled the allegations. Multiple reports say Google’s parent company has hired an outside firm to look into how executives at the company handled claims of sexual misconduct made against them. The investigation follows lawsuits brought by shareholders after reports of sexual harassment at Google received national attention last year.

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Stocks stumble to more records on conflicting trade reports

NEW YORK (AP) — The S&P 500 pushed to another record Thursday after China’s commerce ministry said that both sides in the U.S.-China trade war had agreed to roll back tariffs on each other’s goods if talks continue to progress. But the market’s gains would have been even bigger if not for an afternoon report saying the agreement faces fierce opposition inside the White House. Technology companies led the way higher. Gold prices fell as traders embraced riskier assets. Bond prices fell, sending yields higher.

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Judge fines Trump $2 million for misusing charity foundation

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge in New York orders President Donald Trump to pay $2 million for misusing his charitable foundation. Judge Saliann Scarpulla on Thursday also signed off on an agreement to close the Trump Foundation and distribute about $1.7 million in remaining funds to other nonprofit groups. A request for comment was emailed to Trump’s lawyer.

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Hopes rise that lifting tariffs could allow US-China accord

BEIJING (AP) — Prospects appear to have brightened for a preliminary breakthrough in the U.S.-China trade war after the two sides agreed to reduce some punitive tariffs on each other’s goods as part of an initial agreement. A Chinese spokesman announced the development Thursday as talks on ending the trade war progressed — a development that triggered a rally in U.S. stock markets.

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Toyota 2Q profit up 1% on healthy global sales

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s top automaker Toyota says its profit edged 1% higher in July-September profit as vehicle sales grew around the world. Toyota Motor Corp. reported Thursday a profit of 592 billion yen, or $5.4 billion, for the second fiscal quarter, up from 585 billion yen last year. Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Corolla subcompact and Lexus luxury models, stuck to a net profit forecast for the fiscal year through March 2020 of 2.15 trillion yen ($20 billion).

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Gap CEO steps down amid slumping sales

NEW YORK (AP) — Gap says CEO Art Peck is stepping down as the company continues to grapple with slumping sales. Peck, who has been CEO since 2015, will be temporarily replaced by Gap’s non-executive chairman of the board Robert Fisher. Peck will also step down from the Gap’s board. The company is in the midst of splitting into two publicly-traded companies, one for its Old Navy brand and another for the Gap, Banana Republic and its other brands.

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Consumer borrowing rises, led by more auto and student loans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer borrowing rose in September at a modest pace, led by higher student and auto loans, though a category that mostly includes credit cards fell for the second straight month. The Federal Reserve says that consumer borrowing increased 2.8% to $4.15 trillion.

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Juul halts sales of mint, its top-selling e-cigarette flavor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Juul Labs says it will stop selling its mint-flavored electronic cigarettes. The voluntary step Thursday comes days after new research showed that mint was the most popular vaping flavor among many high school students who use e-cigarettes. The federal government is expected to soon unveil its plans for removing most vaping flavors. Mint is Juul’s best-selling flavor.

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As Buffett seeks big acquisition, Berkshire trails S&P

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway trails the performance of the S&P 500 so far this year and has done so during the lengthy bull market. Buffett has struggled to find a big acquisition to propel returns and some longtime backers think the renowned investor should have been more aggressive in deploying Berkshire’s large stockpile of cash.

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Warren health plan departs from US ‘social insurance’ idea

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to pay for Medicare for All without raising middle-class taxes departs from the shared responsibility the U.S. has traditionally required for bedrock programs. And that might impact its political viability now and in the future. Big programs for the middle class like Social Security and Medicare rely on broad-based payroll taxes, which has fostered a sense of ownership. Warren wants businesses and the rich to pay.

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‘The Lion King,’ ‘Toy Story 4’ help boost Disney’s profit

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney’s fiscal fourth-quarter net income beat expectations due to strong theater revenue from films like “The Lion King,” and “Toy Story 4″ and higher parks revenue. The results came as Disney readies its streaming service Disney Plus debuting on Tuesday.

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The S&P 500 rose 8.40 points, or 0.3%, to 3,085.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 182.24, or 0.7%, to 27,674.80. The Nasdaq composite gained 23.89, or 0.3%, to 8,434.52. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 4.45 points, or 0.3%, to 1,593.99.