Update on the latest in business:


Stocks turn higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have turned higher in afternoon trading, led by retailers and smaller companies.

The gains came after a report showed strong orders last month for service companies, which make up the bulk of the U.S. economy.


Investors were also keeping a close eye on a new round of trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Dollar Tree rose 5.8 percent after activist investor Starboard value disclosed a stake in the discount retailer and pushed the company to make changes.


Trump, Democrats ramp up pressure as shutdown hits 3rd week

WASHINGTON (AP) — With no weekend breakthrough to end a prolonged partial government shutdown, President Donald Trump is standing firm in his border wall funding demands and newly empowered House Democrats are planning to step up pressure on Trump and Republican lawmakers to reopen the government.

Trump showed no signs of budging on his demand for more than $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, though on Sunday he did offer to build it with steel rather than concrete, a concession Democrats panned.

With the shutdown lurching into a third week, many Republicans watched nervously from the sidelines as hundreds of thousands of federal workers went without pay and government disruptions hit the lives of ordinary Americans.


China protests over US warship sighting as trade talks start

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese and American officials began talks today aimed at ending a bruising trade battle between the world’s two biggest economies.

Both sides have expressed optimism over the potential for progress in settling their tariff fight over Beijing’s technology ambitions. Yet neither has indicated its stance has changed since a Dec. 1 agreement by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to postpone further increases.

Meanwhile, Beijing is complaining over the sighting of a U.S. warship in what it says were Chinese waters. Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said today during a routine briefing that Chinese military aircraft and naval vessels were dispatched to identify the U.S. vessel and warn it to leave the area near disputed islands in the South China Sea.

It’s unclear if the ruckus over the warship might disrupt the working level talks being held at the Chinese Commerce Ministry.


US service firms grew at slower pace in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. service firms grew at a slower pace in December, a possible indication that various headwinds from turbulent markets to trade tensions could be having an impact on economic activity.

The Institute for Supply Management, which is composed of purchasing managers, says that its service index fell to 57.6 percent last month, down from a November reading of 60.7 percent.

Any reading above 50 signals growth. So even with the December decline, the index shows that service industries, where most Americans work, has been expanding for 107 consecutive months.

The weaker reading on the service economy followed a report last week that the ISM index for manufacturing slowed to the slowest pace in more than two years, with some manufacturers complaining about the impact of President Donald Trump’s trade policies.


World Bank president to resign

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, says he is resigning at the end of January.

Kim’s unexpected departure nearly three years before his term was set to expire, is likely to set off a fierce battle between the Trump administration and other countries who have complained about the influence the United States exerts over the World Bank.

The 189-nation World Bank is the largest government source for development funding, providing low-cost loans for projects around the world.

Kim, who served as World Bank president for more than six years, says he plans to join a firm that will focus on increasing infrastructure investments in developing countries.

The World Bank says he will be succeeded Feb. 1 on an interim basis by Cristalina Georgieva, its chief executive officer.


UK citizens in Netherlands worry about Brexit

LONDON (AP) — The Dutch government says Britons living in the Netherlands are deeply concerned about the consequences of their home country’s impending departure from the European Union.

A survey published today says that an overwhelming majority of the more than 45,000 British citizens living in the Netherlands are very worried about how Brexit will affect their right to live and work in the country and their ability to travel freely around Europe.

Foreign Minister Stef Blok says he understands their fears and stresses that the draft divorce deal drawn up by the EU and Britain remains the best possible deal. British lawmakers are expected to vote on the deal next week, but Prime Minister Theresa May faces a tough battle to get it through Parliament.

The survey questioned 1,419 Britons currently living in the Netherlands.


High court seems likely to side with Merck

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seems likely to side with drugmaker Merck in a dispute over the warning label on its bone-strengthening drug Fosamax.

During arguments Monday in a lawsuit against the New Jersey-based company, only two justices seemed inclined to rule against Merck. A trial court initially threw out claims against Merck. An appeals court revived them.

The case before the Supreme Court involves hundreds of people who sued Merck, alleging they were injured by Fosamax. They say they suffered Fosamax-related thigh-bone fractures and that Merck failed to provide adequate warnings on the drug’s label.

Merck says the Food and Drug Administration rejected its warning attempt because the FDA believed available data didn’t initially support one.

Fosamax is prescribed to prevent and treat osteoporosis in women who have gone through menopause.


No words: Mastercard to drop its name from logo

NEW YORK (AP) — What’s in a name?

For MasterCard, not enough to keep it in the logo.

The company is removing the word Mastercard from the pair of interlocking red and yellow circles where it has resided for more than 50 years.

Mastercard Inc. joins a small stable of brands like Nike, Apple and Target that rely on an image and not a name in most marketing materials.

It also points to the changing nature of exchanging currency. One of the original major credit card companies, formerly known as Master Charge, Mastercard has attempted to rebrand itself in recent years as a “technology company in the global payments industry.”

The company says that 80 percent of people recognize the Mastercard logo even when its name isn’t present.


Eli Lilly to spend about $8B on Loxo Oncology

UNDATED (AP) — Eli Lilly is spending about $8 billion in cash to buy Loxo Oncology, as the drugmaker bulks up on cancer treatments that target certain gene abnormalities.

Lilly says that Loxo Oncology could launch a drug next year and targets an abnormality that occurs in several tumor types, including some lung and thyroid cancers.

Lilly, known for insulins like Humalog, has emphasized oncology growth over the past several years, and one of its top-selling products is the cancer treatment Alimta.

Eli Lilly and Co. will pay $235 for each share of Stamford, Connecticut-based Loxo. That’s a 68 percent premium to the company’s Friday closing price of $139.87.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter. Shares of Eli Lilly, based in Indianapolis, fell nearly 3 percent to $111.39 in Monday premarket trading.


PG&E shares hammered as potential liabilities mount

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares in California’s largest power company are getting battered on reports that it’s considering bankruptcy protection in the face of potentially crippling liability damages from a spate of wildfires.

No cause has been determined for the source of California’s Camp Fire, but PG&E reported an outage around the time and place the fire was ignited. Another transmission line malfunctioned a short time later, possibly sparking a second fire.

Reuters, citing anonymous sources, reports that the company has considered seeking financial shelter in bankruptcy court with potential liabilities reaching into the tens of billions.

Shares tumbled 22 percent today, the latest severe sell-off for the company since November and the outbreak of the state’s deadliest recorded wildfires.

PG&E Corp. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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