Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian markets tumble as fears over virus outbreak spread

UNDATED (AP) — Shares tumbled in Asia today as concern over the impact of the virus outbreak in China deepened.

Taiwan’s benchmark dived 5.8%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index sank 1.7% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index skidded 2.2%. In Australia, the S&P ASX/200 declined 0.4%. South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.9%.

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Shares also retreated in India and Southeast Asia. Mainland Chinese markets remained closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

On Wall Street Wednesday, the benchmark S&P 500 closed 0.1% lower, to 3,273.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a gain of less than 0.1%, at 28,734.45. The Nasdaq composite inched 0.1% higher, to 9,275.16. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks slid 0.5%, to 1,649.22.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.57% from 1.64% late Tuesday.

FEDERAL RESERVE

Fed chair sees China virus as possible risk to world economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just as the outlook for the global economy had been brightening, a new threat has emerged in the form of the viral outbreak in China.

That was the cautionary message Chairman Jerome Powell delivered after the Federal Reserve held interest rates low.

Powell said the signing of a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal, the resolution of Brexit and low rates in the U.S. and abroad had suggested that the world economy would expand more quickly.

That’s now threatened by the virus.

ANTI-LGBTQ-SCHOOL VOUCHERS

Program with anti-gay schools loses Wells Fargo support

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Wells Fargo has pulled support and another bank says it will stop donating millions of dollars to Florida’s private school voucher program after reports that some schools in the program discriminate against LGBTQ students.

Wells Fargo said in a statement it decided to no longer support Step Up for Students, noting that the company values diversity and inclusion and opposes discrimination of any kind. In a tweet to a Florida lawmaker on Tuesday, Fifth Third Bank said it has told officials with the state voucher program it will stop participating.

The decision comes after an Orlando Sentinel investigation found that 156 private Christian schools with anti-gay views educated more than 20,800 students with tuition paid for by state scholarships. The report says that of those, 83 refused to admit LGBTQ students or would expel them if their sexual orientation or gender identity were discovered.

CARLOS GHOSN

Japan seeks, although futilely, to arrest Ghosn in Lebanon

TOKYO (AP) — An arrest warrant is out for former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn (gohn), who skipped bail while awaiting trial in Japan, and is now in Lebanon.

There is little chance for his arrest as Japan does not have an extradition treaty with Lebanon. Lebanon has indicated it will not hand over Ghosn.

Tokyo prosecutors have said Ghosn broke the law by leaving the country and defying bail conditions. Ghosn says he is innocent.

He has said he left Japan because he could not expect a fair trial, and bail conditions prevented him from seeing his wife. 

JAPAN-TOYOTA

Toyota’s 2019 global vehicle sales trail Volkswagen’s

TOYOTA (AP) — German automaker Volkswagen has kept its lead as the world’s largest automaker as Japanese rival Toyota sold fewer vehicles last year.

Toyota Motor Corp. says it sold 10.74 million vehicles around the world in 2019, trailing Volkswagen at 10.97 million vehicles.

In 2018, Volkswagen sold 10.83 million vehicles, edging out Toyota for the No. 1 crown. Toyota, which makes the Camry sedan, Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury models, says 2019 marked the fourth consecutive year of higher sales.

Both Toyota and Volkswagen say they do not see being the sales leader as a business goal but are focusing on results. 

GERMANY-EARNS-DEUTSCHE BANK

Deutsche Bank loss widens in Q4 on restructuring costs

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Deutsche Bank says its net loss widened in the fourth quarter as a result of charges related to a sweeping restructuring program.

Germany’s biggest bank reports a net loss of 1.48 billion euros ($1.6 billion) for the October-December period, compared with 409 million euros a year earlier.

For the full year, it lost 5.27 billion euros, compared with a profit of 341 million euros in 2018.

The company says the losses were “entirely driven by transformation-related effects.”

In July, Deutsche Bank announced plans to cut thousands of jobs by 2022, downsizing its volatile investment banking division in a restructuring aimed at restoring consistent profitability.

APPLE-BROADCOM-LAWSUIT AWARD

Apple, Broadcom told to pay Caltech $1.1B in patent lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal jury has decided that Apple Inc. and Broadcom Inc. must pay $1.1 billion to the California Institute of Technology for infringing on patents.

Apple was on the hook for nearly $838 million of the damages awarded in a lawsuit that said Broadcom used its patented Wi-Fi data transmission technology in computer chips that went into iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and other Apple devices.

Caltech, the superstar tech school based in Pasadena, said it was pleased by the verdict of the Los Angeles jury.

Emails seeking comment from Cupertino-based Apple and Broadcom weren’t immediately returned Wednesday night but they are expected to appeal.

Last week, San Jose-based Broadcom announced it had reached agreements to supply components to Apple devices released for the next three years.

It wasn’t immediately clear what impact the lawsuit award would have on those deals, which Broadcom said could generate $15 billion in revenues.

UNIVERSITY ENDOWMENTS

Survey: University investments saw slower growth in 2019

BOSTON (AP) — An annual survey finds that most U.S. universities made money on their financial investments last year. But their returns were tempered by a global economic slowdown fueled by America’s trade war with China.

The survey finds that college and university endowments returned an average of 5.3% in fiscal year 2019, down from the previous year’s returns of 8.2%.

The 2019 returns were among weakest in the past decade, but it’s still seen as a long-term rebound over losses suffered following the 2008 financial crisis.

Harvard University remained the wealthiest school in the U.S., with an endowment valued at nearly $40 billion.

PHOENIX AIRPORT-RIDE HAILING FEES

Uber, Lyft confirm Phoenix airport business as usual for now

PHOENIX (AP) — Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft say they won’t change their service at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport until Arizona’s highest court rules on proposed fee increases that prompted threats to stop picking up and dropping off customers at one of the nation’s largest airports.

Both companies issued statements Wednesday confirming operations will continue while they wait for the Arizona Supreme Court to rule. The court on March 26 will hear arguments to a challenge of a city ordinance that raised the companies’ fees by $4 for rides to and from the airport.

Uber and Lyft had threatened to stop providing airport services if the fees took effect Saturday as originally planned.

The Phoenix City Council approved the fees, arguing they were much like rent and landing fees charged to restaurants and airlines at Sky Harbor, which serves some 44 million passengers a year. It later decided to hold off until the high court weighed in.

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