Business Highlights


Stocks surge as Powell hints at slower interest rate hikes

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks made their biggest gain in eight months after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hinted that the Fed might be willing to raise interest rates at a slower pace next year. That relieved investors who were concerned that rising rates could slow the U.S. economy enough to bring an end to the nine-year-old bull market.



Powell: US economy healthy and rate hikes aren’t automatic

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell cast a bright picture of the U.S. economy Wednesday and appeared to suggest that the Fed might consider a pause in its interest rate hikes next year to assess the impact of its credit tightening. Powell’s comments ignited a rally on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average surging more than 200 points after his comments were released.


US economy grew at brisk 3.5 pct. annual rate last quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a solid 3.5 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, led by lower but still strong consumer spending and more business investment than previously estimated. The Commerce Department’s figure for gross domestic product, released Wednesday, was the same as its first estimate last month. GDP is the broadest measure of the nation’s output of goods and services and covers everything from homebuilding to haircuts.


Trump suggests he’s looking into tariffs on car imports

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is hinting that he’s looking into slapping tariffs on car imports, a day after he threatened to slash federal subsidies to General Motors for wanting to close five U.S. factories. GM announced Monday that it wants to shutter the plants and slash 14,000 jobs in North America.


Not just jobs riding on fate of GM plant after Trump promise

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — General Motors’ major restructuring plan includes the possible closing of a plant in an Ohio industrial corridor where just last year President Donald Trump promised manufacturing jobs would be coming back. GM now faces a high-stakes decision on whether to shut down the Lordstown assembly plant, which makes the Chevy Cruze. Trump has blasted GM, threatening to cut off the automaker’s federal subsidies while also singling out the Ohio plant as one he wants to stay open.


Google CEO to make long-awaited congressional appearance

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google CEO Sundar Pichai will testify next week at a congressional hearing on the company’s business practices, just three months after aides put up an empty chair to symbolize his refusal to appear. Pichai is scheduled to appear Dec. 5 before the House Judiciary Committee. Among other things, lawmakers are expected to grill him on whether Google rigs its influential search engine to stifle conservative voices.


Fed: Some US businesses’ debt at highest level in 2 decades

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is signaling potentially vulnerable spots in the financial system, citing some U.S. businesses’ debt at the highest levels in two decades and risky debt growing. The Fed’s report issued Wednesday was its first assessing the stability of the U.S. financial system. Ten years after the financial crisis, the new report points to excessive borrowing by households and businesses, banks’ elevated debt levels, and unrealistically high prices for stocks and other assets.


Suddenly, luxury stores miss free-spending Chinese tourists

NEW YORK (AP) — Tiffany & Co. is noticing that there is something missing in its stores: Chinese tourists. For the second time in a many months, a big seller of high-end goods noticed that a particularly crucial demographic of its shopping base had made itself sparse. On Wednesday, shares of Tiffany & Co. plunged 12 percent after reporting weaker-than-expected sales in its third quarter. CEO Alessandro Bogliolo said that Chinese tourists have failed to show up.



UK central bank warns of deep recession without Brexit deal

LONDON (AP) — The Bank of England has warned that leaving the European Union without a divorce deal could plunge Britain into its deepest recession in nearly a century. It says the economy could shrink 8 percent within months as unemployment and inflation soar. The stark projection on Wednesday came the same day the government’s own economists said the country will be poorer after Brexit than if it had stayed in the EU.


The S&P 500 index climbed 61.62 points, or 2.3 percent, to 2,743.79. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 617.70 points, or 2.5 percent, to 25,366.43. The Nasdaq composite jumped 208.89 points, or 2.9 percent, to 7,291.59. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks leaped 37.53 points, or 2.5 percent, to 1,530.38.

Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 2.5 percent to $50.29 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, sank 2.4 percent to $58.76 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 1.6 percent to $1.40 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2.5 percent to $1.84 a gallon. Natural gas rocketed 10.6 percent to $14.72 per 1,000 cubic feet

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