Update on the latest in business:


US stocks mostly higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are mostly higher on Wall Street although an early gain mostly faded by midday.

Indexes started higher and bond yields fell as traders were encouraged to see that inflation remained muted last month.


The early gains were led by technology stocks and retailers, but by lunchtime both those sectors were lower.

Chipmaker Qualcomm slumped 4.1 percent after the White House blocked a hostile bid from Broadcom to take over the company.

Safe-play stocks like phone and real estate companies were among the biggest gainers.


US consumer prices rose modest 0.2 percent in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices increased at a modest pace in February, underscoring that inflation pressures appear to be muted for now.

The Labor Department says the consumer price index increased 0.2 percent last month, after a sharp 0.5 percent gain in January. Core prices — which exclude the volatile food and energy categories — also climbed 0.2 percent. Overall consumer prices rose 2.2 percent in February from a year earlier, while core prices rose 1.8 percent from a year ago for the third straight month.

Inflation fears have intensified this year after a report last month suggested wages were rising more quickly, which can push up prices. Subsequent data have shown that hourly pay gains remain moderate. Sluggish pay increases have helped keep Inflation dormant for most of the past decade.


Industry caught off guard after Trump scuttles tech deal

NEW YORK (AP) — The decision by President Donald Trump to scuttle a hostile takeover by Singapore’s Broadcom of the U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm caught some on Wall Street off guard.

Shares of Qualcomm slid 3 percent in early trading.

Industry analysts speculate that Qualcomm’s advanced work on 5G technology, which is expected to provide speeds needed to fuel the “internet of things,” was the reason.

Trump said a takeover of Qualcomm would imperil national security, ending Broadcom’s $117 billion buyout bid.

Kevin Cassidy, an industry analyst with Stifel Nicolaus, said Qualcomm is well ahead of foreign and domestic competitors in 5G technology.

Broadcom’s attempted takeover came at a time when countries around the world are gearing up to build ultra-fast mobile networks that could tip the balance of power in technology.


Trump praises TV commentator as possible economic adviser

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is praising CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow as a potential successor to outgoing economic adviser Gary Cohn.

The president says he’s “looking at Larry Kudlow very strongly.” He notes that while he and Kudlow “don’t agree on everything,” that might be helpful to him. He says he believes Kudlow has come around to believing in tariffs as a way to negotiate.

Trump recently slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a decision that has drawn criticism on Wall Street.

Trump says Kudlow is a longtime friend and notes that he backed his presidential campaign. The president adds, “I think Larry has a very good chance.”

Kudlow is CNBC’s Senior Contributor and was previously the host of CNBC’s prime-time “The Kudlow Report.”


Watchdog warns trade tariffs would slow world growth upswing

PARIS (AP) — As the U.S. prepares to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a world economic watchdog is warning that such barriers will hurt economic growth globally.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a policy adviser to developed economies, said Tuesday that “trade protectionism remains a key risk that would negatively affect confidence, investment and jobs.”

In an update to its forecasts, it said that preserving “the rules-based international system is essential to prevent the longer-term harm to growth prospects that could arise from a retreat from open markets.”

The statement was a veiled reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs without resorting to international arbitration.

The OECD expects world economic growth to accelerate to 4 percent this year and next, from 3.7 percent in 2017.


UK Treasury chief claims ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Treasury chief Philip Hammond is claiming “light at the end of the tunnel” for the British economy as the country’s debt levels start to come down a decade on from the global financial crisis.

In an address to lawmakers Tuesday, Hammond said the British economy is poised to grow by 1.5 percent this year instead of the previous 1.4 percent forecast. The forecast is provided by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

In spite of the upgrade, the British economy is set to be one of the slowest-growing Group of Seven nations in 2018, as it was last year.

Hammond said the public finances are at a “turning point,” and that debt as a proportion of the country’s economy is to peak this year.


EU’s Juncker urging UK to speed up Brexit negotiations

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s executive branch is calling on British Prime Minister Theresa May to speed up negotiations on how to leave the bloc and define its future relationship with the 27 remaining member states.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told EU legislators Tuesday that “there is increasing urgency to negotiate this orderly withdrawal,” showing frustration May had yet to clearly outline what she wanted once Britain leaves the bloc in March next year.

Juncker said the EU needs “further clarity” on such issues like a trading relationship and the EU’s only land border with the U.K. on the island of Ireland.

The European Parliament’s chief Brexit official, Guy Verhofstadt said that in three keynote addresses, May “is mainly repeating the red lines that we know already for two years.”


Dick’s shares take a hit on disappointing holiday sales

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. (AP) — Dick’s Sporting Goods shares are sliding in early trading after the company reported some disappointing holiday sales numbers.

Sales at existing stores fell 2 percent during the fourth quarter, which was about double the decline Wall Street was expecting.

Net income was $116 million, or $1.11 per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to $1.22 per share, which is 2 cents better than analysts expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue was $2.66 billion, shy of Wall Street projections for $2.73 billion.

Shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. tumbled 6 percent before the opening bell Tuesday.


Outdoors stores quietly continue to sell assault weapons

DUNDEE, Mich. (AP) — Some big retailers have curbed sales of assault weapons after last month’s school shooting in Florida. But others are sticking to their guns.

Several outdoor chains, including Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Gander Outdoors and Academy Sports, continue to sell assault-style rifles as part of their mix of hunting equipment.

The decision is in stark contrast to Dick’s Sporting Goods, which recently banned sales of assault rifles, and Walmart, which says it will no longer sell guns or ammunition to anyone under 21.

Experts say outdoor stores are in a tough position. Hunting is big business for them, and they have likely calculated that they could lose more than they might gain if they ban certain weapons.

None of the stores responded to requests for comment from The Associated Press.


Amazon recalls portable chargers on reports of fires, burns

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is recalling 260,000 AmazonBasics portable chargers after reports that they can overheat and cause fires or burns.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says Amazon received 53 reports of the chargers overheating, including one of a customer who was burned by battery acid. There were also four reports of property damage due to fire and smoke.

The CPSC says customers should stop using the chargers and contact Amazon for a refund. Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. says it is also contacting customers.

The power banks, used to charge smartphones and other gadgets on the go, were sold at Amazon.com, Amazon book stores and Amazon pop-up shops between Dec. 2014 and July 2017. They cost between $9 and $40.

Amazon says customers can request a refund through its website, amazonpowerbank.expertinquiry.com .


Volkswagen boss vows to be ‘part of solution’ on diesel

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller says the automaker had “an excellent year” in 2017 and is committed to addressing concerns about diesel pollution.

Mueller cited the company’s efforts to reduce diesel emissions and recover from its 2015 diesel emissions scandal. He said 160,000 older diesels had been taken off the road through trade-in incentives, and decided to update software on 4 million cars to reduce emissions.

He said Tuesday the company would be “part of the solution” in finding a way to address controversy over the diesel issue. Environmentalists are pressing for bans on older diesels in German cities with high pollution levels.

Mueller gave an upbeat view after last year’s record sales of 10.7 million vehicles. He said “we are on the offensive and we’re going to stay that way.”


Affleck, Damon’s production company to adopt inclusion rider

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prominent producers and celebrities like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Paul Feig are jumping on the inclusion rider bandwagon following Frances McDormand’s best actress Oscar acceptance speech.

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni said late Monday on Twitter that Damon and Affleck’s production company Pearl Street Films would be adopting the inclusion rider in conjunction with USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative .

Early Tuesday, “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig followed suit saying on Twitter that his company is also going forward with the inclusion rider for all film and television productions.

“Black Panther” actor Michael B. Jordan was one of the first to lend his public support to the concept after the Oscars for his company.

McDormand brought new attention to contract addendums requiring studios to hire a diverse crew and cast for a project.

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