TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares are lower today as investors continue to watch the brewing trade conflict between China and the U.S., and any signs of what’s in store from central banks.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slid 0.6% in afternoon trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.6%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.5%, while the Shanghai Composite was little changed but edged down less than 0.1%.
Yesterday on Wall Street, U.S. stocks retreated from record highs as large companies delivered weak earnings and disappointing forecasts.
The S&P 500 index fell 15.89 points, or 0.5%, to 3,003.67. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 128.99 points, or 0.5%, to 27,140.98. The Nasdaq composite fell 82.96 points, or 1%, to 8,238.54.
More than 36% of S&P 500 companies have reported their latest financial results and investors are still expecting a contraction in overall profit. That would mark the second quarter in a row of lower earnings.
^ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
Business and economic reports scheduled for today
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Labor Department releases second-quarter GDP data today.
Also, Twitter Inc. reports quarterly results before the market opens.
House passes bipartisan budget bill with Trump support
WASHINGTON (AP) — Observing a rare cease-fire in their battles with President Donald Trump, the Democratic-controlled House on Thursday easily passed bipartisan debt and budget legislation to permit the Treasury to issue bonds to pay the government’s bills and lock in place recent budget gains for both the Pentagon and domestic agencies.
The measure, passed by a 284-149 vote, would head off another politically dangerous government shutdown and add a measure of stability to action this fall on a $1.37 trillion slate of annual appropriations bills. The Senate is scheduled to approve the bill next week.
Seoul: NKorea in worst economic contraction in 2 decades
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s central bank says that North Korea suffered its worst economic contraction last year in more than two decades due to international sanctions and bad weather.
The Seoul-based Bank of Korea says in a statement that North Korea’s economy shrank 4.1% last year from a year earlier.
The bank says it was the North’s second straight year of contraction and the worst performance since 1997, when the economy was estimated to have shrunk 6.5%. In the mid-1990s, North Korea suffered a crippling famine that was estimated to have killed hundreds of thousands of people.
North Korea doesn’t publicly release data on its economy.
Japan likely to tighten SKorean export curbs in late Aug
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese officials say they are pursuing procedures to downgrade South Korea’s preferred nation status as Tokyo expands export controls over sensitive materials.
Japanese media reports that as early as Aug. 2 the Cabinet will approve a plan to drop South Korea from a list of 27 countries granted preferential trade status.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga did not confirm the date, but said Japan is going ahead as planned. The delisting would take effect three weeks after the Cabinet’s approval. That would be around Aug. 23.
On July 4, Japan began requiring case-by-case export licenses for exports to South Korea of three materials used in high-tech devices. Tokyo also announced plans to drop South Korea from its list of countries allowed preferential trade status, pending “public comments” and Cabinet approval.
^APPLE-INTEL CHIP DEAL
Apple buys Intel’s smartphone modem division for $1 billion
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Apple is paying Intel $1 billion for the chip maker’s smartphone modem division in a deal driven by the upcoming transition to the next generation of wireless technology.
The agreement announced Thursday comes three months after Apple ended a long-running dispute with one of Intel’s rivals, Qualcomm, to ensure it would have a pipeline of chips it needs for iPhones to work on ultrafast wireless networks known as 5G. That truce prompted Intel to abandon its attempt to make chips for 5G modems.
Once the sale is completed later this year Apple will be picking up about 2,200 Intel employees and 17,000 wireless technology patents. Barring any complications, the deal is expected to close sometime between October and December.
SpaceX launch sends 3D bioprinter, supplies to space station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) — A space capsule carrying a 3D printer to make human tissue and about 5,000 pounds of other experiments and supplies is on its way to the International Space Station after a thunderous SpaceX launch.
The private company’s Falcon 9 rocket dodged threatening clouds in its Thursday evening lift-off, sending a Dragon capsule on its third trip to the orbiting outpost. The ship will dock with the station early Saturday.
Dragon is carrying science experiments, several of which concentrate on cellular science, as well as normal supplies.
Officials at biotech companies nScrypt and Techshot Inc say the mini-refrigerator-sized 3D printer will be controlled by scientists on the ground and print nerve cells, muscle cells and proteins. The experiment uses the near lack of gravity to help the cells hold their shape.
Juul exec: Never intended electronic cigarette for teens
WASHINGTON (AP) _ A top executive for Juul (jool) Labs said that his company never intended its electronic cigarettes to be adopted by underage teenagers. House lawmakers on Thursday accused the company of fueling the vaping craze among high schoolers.
Co-founder James Monsees testified that Juul developed its blockbuster vaping device and flavor pods for adult smokers who want to stop. He acknowledged statistics showing “a significant number of underage Americans are using e-cigarettes, including Juul products.”
The hearing marks the first time Juul has been called before Congress amid a surge in teen vaping. Federal law bans the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18.
The privately held company has grown into a multibillion-dollar business on the success of its small, discrete vaping device. The company says it’s providing an alternative to adult smokers who want to quit.
^EBONY AND JET PHOTO ARCHIVE
Smithsonian, other institutions to get Ebony photo archive
WASHINGTON (AP) — The photo archive of Ebony and Jet magazines chronicling African American history is set to head to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and other institutions.
The Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are buying the archive for $30 million as part of an auction to pay off secured creditors of Johnson Publishing.
The foundations plan to donate the archives to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Getty Research Institute and other institutions. A judge in Chicago tentatively approved the deal Thursday.
Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch says the institutions “will ensure these images, stories and the history of these publications are well preserved and available to the public and future generations.”