Business Highlights

Posted September 5


Tech firms slam Trump for ending immigrant protections

Technology companies and executives of other industries criticized the Trump administration for its plan to undo protections for young immigrants. That could put young people who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children at risk of deportation. Tech companies have pushed against efforts to curb immigration, which they see as vital to their industry.


Immigrants are sought for labor shortage in Harvey recovery

With Harvey's recovery under way, day laborers will be in high demand — many of them immigrants and many in the country illegally. Employers are generally small, unregulated contractors or individual homeowners, resulting in a lack of oversight that creates potential for workers to be unpaid or work in dangerous conditions. Houston's day laborers are generally settling for $120 to $150 a day to clear homes of soggy carpeting, ruined sofas to the curb and mold-infested drywall.


Banks, technology companies lead US stocks lower

Escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula rattled nerves on Wall Street Tuesday, leading to the stock market's worst day in almost three weeks. Bank stocks led the slide as bond yields slumped. Technology stocks, the biggest gainers this year, also pulled the market lower. Energy companies climbed the most as the price of crude oil rose.


Boeing, Airbus raise alarms over United Tech, Rockwell deal

Airplane makers Boeing and Airbus raised concerns Tuesday about the proposed tie-up of industrial company United Technologies and aerospace parts maker Rockwell Collins, saying that the deal could raise costs or slow the production of planes. Boeing and Airbus both buy equipment from United Tech and Rockwell Collins. The comments from the two companies came a day after United Tech announced plans to buy Rockwell Collins for about $22.75 billion. The deal would create an aerospace giant that makes plane seats, landing systems and flight control decks for commercial and military planes.


Lego looks wobbly after building itself high

Danish toy maker Lego will cut 1,400 jobs, or about eight percent of its global workforce, after reporting a rare decline in sales and profits in the first half of 2017. The privately held firm said Tuesday that it "now prepares to reset the company" as it prepares for a new CEO to take over in October who will have the task of simplifying the business after years of high growth and expansion into new ventures like film.


Car navigation tech brings new twists and turns to driving

Digital maps that dodge traffic jams are saving time for millions of motorists, but are also turning some neighborhood streets into headache-inducing escape routes from congested highways. The unsettling side effects of traffic-tackling technology are popping up more frequently as more drivers depend on smartphones equipped with navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps. Cities being swamped with traffic are fighting back.


US factory orders tumbled 3.3 percent in July

Orders at U.S. factories tumbled in July, dragged down by a sharp fall in orders for civilian aircraft. The Commerce Departments reports that factory orders declined 3.3 percent in July, mostly because of a 19.2 percent drop in orders in transportation equipment.


Big sellers like Toyota Camry, Ram getting updates in 2018

After seven straight years of growth, U.S. sales of new vehicles could be hitting their peak. That's putting extra pressure on automakers to update their vehicles and hang on to their market share.


The Daily News, a storied New York tabloid, is sold to Tronc

The owner of two of the country's largest newspapers has purchased the Daily News, a New York tabloid that is famous for generations of hard-punching reporting and irreverent headlines but that has struggled recently to find its place in the digital age. Chicago-based Tronc Inc. announced the deal Monday night. The big question will be whether the company can find a way to make the newspaper lucrative again.


To get sales kicking, LL Bean renews focus on the outdoors

L.L. Bean is putting a renewed focus on the fun of being outside as it tries to invigorate sales in a fast-changing marketplace. The Maine-based retailer is urging consumers to "Be an Outsider" in a campaign that's launching this month that celebrates the outdoors as something to be enjoyed with friends and family. It comes as L.L. Bean has faced flat sales of about $1.6 billion for two consecutive years and as the company takes a hard look at its generous, return-anything-at-any-time policy.


Round of NAFTA talks ends amid resistance over Mexico wages

The second round of talks on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement has ended amid resistance to talking about Mexico's low wages. Few concrete proposals appear to have been made on issues like dispute-resolution mechanisms, seasonal farm tariffs and regional content rules during the Mexico City talks. The U.S. wants to eliminate the system of private arbitration panels, and tighten labor standards and local content rules. Business groups want to keep wages out of the talks.


The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 18.70 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,457.85. The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 234.25 points, or 1.1 percent, to 21,753.31. The average had been down more than 277 points. The Nasdaq composite lost 59.76 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,375.57. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 13.92 points, or 1 percent, to 1,399.66.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained $1.37, or 2.9 percent, to settle at $48.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.04, or 2 percent, to close at $53.38 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline dipped 5 cents to $1.70 a gallon. Heating oil was little changed at $1.75 a gallon. Natural gas slid 10 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $2.97 per 1,000 cubic feet.


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