UNDATED (AP) — Asian markets tumbled after China reported weaker-than-expected economic data, stirring up worries about the state of the world’s second largest economy. According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Chinese industrial output and retail sales slowed in November.
U.S. Stocks wobbled Thursday as the markets turned fairly quiet after a very turbulent start to the week. Small companies dropped and high-dividend stocks rose. The S&P lost less than 1 point, closing at 2,650. The Dow added 70 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,597. The Nasdaq fell 28 points.
Toyota recalls pickups, SUVs to fix air bag, brake problems
DETROIT (AP) — Toyota is recalling nearly 143,000 SUVs and pickups worldwide to fix air bag and brake problems.
The first recall covers about 96,000 Toyota Land Cruisers and Lexus LX570 SUVs from 2008 through 2019. Toyota says a seat belt tension sensor can malfunction and deactivate the passenger’s front, knee and side air bags. That would increase the injury risk in a crash. The company is developing a fix and will notify owners by mid-February.
The other recall affects about 47,000 Tacoma pickups from 2018 and 2019. A brake master cylinder seal can become damaged and leak brake fluid, reducing front brake performance and increasing stopping distances. Dealers will replace the master cylinder. Owners will be notified in late January.
Toyota wouldn’t say if either problem has caused any crashes or injuries.
US traces lettuce outbreak to at least 1 California farm
WASHINGTON (AP) —U.S. health officials have traced a food poisoning outbreak from romaine lettuce to at least one farm in central California.
Food regulators said Thursday that other farms are likely involved in the E. coli outbreak and consumers should continue checking the label before purchasing romaine lettuce.
The Food and Drug Administration said 59 people have now been sickened by the tainted lettuce. Officials said a water reservoir at Adam Bros. Farms in Santa Barbara County tested positive for the bacterial strain and the owners are cooperating with U.S. officials.
The government also narrowed the source of the outbreak to three California counties: Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Benito. The FDA said lettuce from other areas harvested after November 23 should be safe to eat.
Starbucks to expand delivery in US, China
NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks is expanding delivery to more stores in the U.S. and China.
The company says it will offer delivery from 2,000 U.S. stores by next summer through a partnership with UberEats. It isn’t yet saying which stores will offer it.
In China, delivery will be offered from 2,000 stores in 30 cities by the end of this year, up from 150 stores at the end of September. Starbucks is partnering with delivery service Ele.me in that country.
Starbucks made the comments at an investor presentation Thursday in New York.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson says Starbucks has learned a lot about delivery since launching it in China in September. The company has special spill-proof cups, for example, and is making beverages hotter so they will be the right temperature to drink when they arrive.
SHORT TERM RENTALS-NEW ORLEANS
Airbnb bashes New Orleans’ proposed restrictions
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Airbnb says a proposal in New Orleans to ban short-term rentals of whole homes that are not owner-occupied would “devastate” some city residents who depend on the income.
New Orleans City Council member Kristen Gisleson Palmer released the proposal Thursday. She says the proliferation of houses now used only as vacation rentals threatens the character of some historic neighborhoods.
Airbnb’s statement says Palmer’s proposal was “crafted in a backroom without input from key stakeholders.” Palmer counters that there were months of meetings and public input that went into the proposal. And there will be more public hearings and study before the proposal comes up for a vote, likely in April.
Michigan governor reaches final deal on Great Lakes pipeline
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration has wrapped up negotiations with Enbridge Inc. on building a tunnel to contain an oil pipeline beneath a Great Lakes waterway.
Snyder’s office released a series of agreements Thursday with the Canadian pipeline company. They include details and timelines for the plan to drill the tunnel through bedrock under the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lakes Huron and Michigan. The project would allow decommissioning of twin pipelines that run more than four miles across the bottom of the straits.
The Michigan Legislature voted this week to establish a panel that will oversee construction and operation of the tunnel. Its first meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday. Snyder wants the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority to approve the Enbridge deal before he leaves office this month.
EU rejects Britain’s plea for Brexit changes; EU chief says May has no plan for help on Brexit
LONDON (AP) — European Union leaders meeting in Brussels have declared that the bloc’s divorce agreement with Britain is “not open for renegotiation,” despite a plea from U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May for changes to help her sell the unpopular deal to British lawmakers.
The leaders in their summit conclusions released early Friday also promise to work for a speedy new trade deal with Britain to avoid triggering a contentious Irish border guarantee.
Meanwhile, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says May has failed to bring a clear plan for how the European Union should help her get the Brexit deal past her recalcitrant parliament.
Juncker says that the British “still need to say what they want instead of asking us what we want.”
He said early Tuesday after an EU summit that he will need answers “within a few weeks.”
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking a firmer commitment to win over skeptical lawmakers at home, who are vowing to sink the deal.
Panama Canal consortium ordered to repay $847M in advances
PANAMA CITY (AP) — An international arbitration panel has ruled the Spanish-led consortium that built the expansion of the Panama Canal must repay $847 million in advances it received during the construction project.
A panel under the International Chamber of Commerce says the consortium must repay $547 million it got in 2009 when the project started and $299 million it got in 2014 when contractors were floundering.
Spanish consortium leader Sacyr says it has signed a 225 million-euro credit line that will allow it to make its share of the repayments.
The $5.25 billion canal expansion opened in 2016. It is able to accommodate ships with twice the cargo capability of vessels that previously traversed the canal.
The consortium also included Italy’s Salini-Impregilo, Belgium’s Jan De Nul Group and Panama’s Constructora Urbana SA.