Business Highlights

By: The Associated Press, Associated Press
March 22, 2017 Updated: March 22, 2017 at 4:43 pm
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Hard times for Sears as retailer notes doubt about future

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears, once the monolith of American retail, says there is "substantial doubt" that it will be able to keep its doors open. The company has been selling assets like its Craftsman tool brand to offset a lack of customers. But it says its pension agreements may prevent the spin-off of more businesses, potentially leading to a shortfall in funding.

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Trump's SEC pick, a lawyer for Goldman, to face skepticism

WASHINGTON (AP) — Goldman Sachs may be about to get another friend in Washington. Jay Clayton, a well-connected Wall Street lawyer who is President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, is sure to face sharp questions from Democrats in his Senate confirmation Thursday over his years of work for Goldman and other financial giants.

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Labor nominee says he won't let politics influence hiring

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Labor Department says he won't allow potential political pressure from the administration to influence his hiring decisions. Alexander Acosta tells a Senate committee he regrets that political tests played a role in employment practices used by a subordinate when Acosta headed the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush.

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Google's YouTube losing major advertisers upset with videos

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — AT&T, Verizon and several other major advertisers are suspending their marketing campaigns on Google's YouTube site after discovering their brands have been appearing alongside videos promoting terrorism and other unsavory subjects. The spreading boycott confronts Google with a challenge that threatens to cost it hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Indexes inch back upward as tech stocks rise; Nike plunges

NEW YORK (AP) — US stock indexes shook off a shaky start and finished mostly higher. Technology and industrial companies climbed but banks edged lower as bond yields slipped again. A day after a sharp loss, the market didn't make much headway. Nike plunged after issuing results and an outlook that disappointed investors, and Sears dropped after it said it may not be able to stay in business.

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For some airline passengers, new warnings bring new hurdles

NEW YORK (AP) — As far as the indignities of modern air travel go, the latest ban on laptops and tablets on some international flights falls somewhere between taking off shoes at the security checkpoint and testing baby food and milk for bomb residue. It's yet another impediment in the name of security for already weary travelers, especially those from or passing through the 10 mostly Middle Eastern and North African countries covered by new U.S. and British policies. While not quite as disruptive as an outright ban on smartphones — much less a travel ban based on nationality — the restrictions loom large for some.

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AP Interview: Emirates defends security as laptop ban looms

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The president of Emirates, the Middle East's biggest airline, defended security measures at the carrier's Dubai hub on Wednesday and said the ban on personal electronics onboard U.S.-bound flights came without warning. Tim Clark told The Associated Press that he only learned of the new U.S. regulations the previous day, saying the carrier "had no prior knowledge whatsoever."

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Retirement dreams fizzle for some with 'Obamacare' repeal

CHICAGO (AP) — Workers dreaming of early retirement are getting the jitters as Washington debates replacing the Obama-era health care law with a system that could be a lot more expensive for many older Americans. The uncertainty over the cost of coverage in the individual market has caused some in their 50s and early 60s to put plans on hold.

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Australia pair are first foreigners to own US radio stations

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — An Australian couple with roots in Alaska has bought radio stations in three states, marking the first time federal regulators have allowed full foreign ownership of U.S. radio stations. The Federal Communications Commission approved Richard and Sharon Burns' request through their company Frontier Media to increase their interest in 29 radio stations in Alaska, Texas and Arkansas to 100 percent. The Burnses are citizens of Australia but have lived in the U.S. on special visas since 2006.

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The Dow Jones industrial average, which fell 6.71 points to 20,661.30. The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 4.43 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,348.45. The Nasdaq composite rose 27.82 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,821.64. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies sank 0.95 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,345.60.

U.S. crude lost 20 cents to $48.04 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 32 cents to $50.64 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline remained at $1.60 a gallon. Heating oil lost 1 cent to $1.50 a gallon. Natural gas sank 8 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $3.01 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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