Business Highlights

By: The Associated Press, Associated Press
October 11, 2016 Updated: October 11, 2016 at 4:08 pm


Samsung stops making Galaxy Note 7s as fresh problems emerge

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics said Tuesday that it is discontinuing production of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones permanently, a day after stopping global sales of the ill-fated devices.

The South Korean company said in a regulatory filing that it decided to stop manufacturing Note 7s for the sake of consumer safety.

Samsung is struggling to regain consumer trust after a first round of recalls that prompted criticism both for the faulty devices and for the company's handling of the problem.


Cash is piling up faster than Warren Buffett can invest it

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett has the kind of money problem most people would envy: a growing mountain of cash.

Nearly $73 billion piled up at Berkshire Hathaway by mid-summer, more than Buffett's conglomerate has ever held before. And the total continues growing every day Buffett doesn't make a major investment.

Buffett's options include buying entire businesses, picking up a few million shares of stock or investing more in companies Berkshire already owns.

So far, Buffett appears to be mostly sitting on the cash since January, when Berkshire completed its biggest acquisition in its history, a $32.36 billion deal for aviation parts maker Precision Castparts.


OPEC output rises, complicating cartel's price-boosting plan

PARIS (AP) — Oil production from OPEC nations hit a record last month, according to an international energy group, highlighting the cartel's challenge in trimming output to drive up prices.

The International Energy Agency said Tuesday that production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries hit a record high in September of 33.64 million barrels a day.

Last month, OPEC agreed to reduce daily output to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels. The price of crude has gained about 15 percent since that proclamation.


US stock indexes head sharply lower; oil falls

A batch of disappointing company earnings news helped put investors in a selling mood Tuesday, pulling U.S. stocks sharply lower.

Health care companies led the broad market slide, which more than wiped out gains from the day before. Materials, utilities and technology stocks were among the big decliners. Energy stocks also closed lower as crude oil prices declined.

Several companies, including Alcoa, reported quarterly results that fell short of Wall Street's expectations. While investors will get to size up earnings from many more companies in coming weeks, the downbeat start to the third-quarter earnings season weighed on the market.


Consumer watchdog structure ruled unconstitutional

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. consumer watchdog agency, enmeshed in partisan politics since its creation after the financial crisis, now has had its structure ruled unconstitutional because it gives too much power to a single agency director.

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the way the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is organized violates the Constitution's separation of powers by limiting the president's ability to remove the director who heads the agency.

The ruling came from a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It will not affect the CFPB's operations, but the president's power over the director would be expanded.


Electronics retailer hhgregg to close for Thanksgiving

NEW YORK (AP) — Consumer electronics chain hhgregg Inc. has become the latest retailer to take a stand against Thanksgiving shopping and plans to close its doors for the holiday.

The Indianapolis-based chain with 220 stores in 19 states says it's important for its associates to be home with their families on Thanksgiving. But the retailer also says it makes good business sense too as it's not getting a huge spike for that day. It noted that its online site will continue to offer lots of deals on Thanksgiving. It will re-open at 7 a.m. on the Friday after the turkey feast.


Alcoa's 3Q performance misses analysts' expectations

NEW YORK (AP) — Alcoa, which is posting its last quarterly earnings report before its split, announced softer-than-expected third-quarter results, stung partly by lower alumina prices.

The company also lowered revenue forecasts for some segments of Arconic, which will become the new company.

Alcoa Inc. has been on a long quest to shrink its aluminum-smelting business, which has been hurt by stubbornly low prices. The company is splitting that segment off and creating a new public company to make and sell specialty lightweight products for aerospace, autos and other industries.


McDonald's: Ronald McDonald keeping a lower profile

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's says Ronald McDonald is keeping a low profile with reports of creepy clown sightings on the rise.

McDonald's Corp. said Tuesday that it is being "thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald's participation in community events" as a result of the "current climate around clown sightings in communities." The company did not provide any other details about how often its red-haired mascot makes appearances, and how that will change.

The burger chain's decision comes after a rash of pranks around the country that have involved eerie clown sightings. The reports have forced police in some areas to respond.


Comcast fined $2.3M to end probe into mischarging customers

NEW YORK (AP) — Government regulators are fining Comcast $2.3 million, saying the cable giant has charged customers for stuff they never ordered, like premium channels or extra cable boxes.

The Federal Communications Commission said the Philadelphia company must clearly ask customers before charging them for new services or equipment and make it easier for customers to fight charges they think are wrong.

Comcast said Tuesday that it's been working to improve customer service and that the problems uncovered by the FCC stemmed from "isolated errors or customer confusion" rather than intentionally mischarging its 22 million cable-TV subscribers.


St. Jude warns of battery defect in some heart devices

WASHINGTON (AP) — Medical device maker St. Jude Medical is warning doctors and patients about a rare battery defect in some of its implantable heart devices that can cause them to fail much earlier than expected.

The company said Tuesday that two deaths have been linked to the problem and 10 more patients fainted because the devices stopped working.

St. Jude said the batteries should be replaced immediately after patients receive an electronic, vibrating alert from the device. Normally patients have up to three months to have batteries replaced. But the company said a small subset of its heart-shocking defibrillators can fail within 24 hours of the alert.


The Dow Jones industrial average fell 200.38 points, or 1.1 percent, to 18,128.66. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 26.93 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,136.73. The Nasdaq composite index slid 81.89 points, or 1.5 percent, to 5,246.79.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 56 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $50.79 a barrel in New York. Brent, the international standard, slid 73 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $52.41 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline fell a penny to $1.48 a gallon. Heating oil slipped 2 cents to $1.59 a gallon. Natural gas shed 4 cents to $3.24 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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