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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press
February 08, 2019 03:51 PM

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AP sources: Prosecutors probing Enquirer after Bezos report

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors are looking into the National Enquirer's handling of a story about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' extramarital affair to see if the tabloid's publisher violated a cooperation agreement with prosecutors. That's what two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Friday. Bezos claims the Enquirer's publisher, American Media Inc., tried to extort and blackmail him.

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Retailers are shopping for ways to get rid of checkout lines

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Get ready to say good riddance to the checkout line. A year after Amazon opened its first cashier-less store, startups and retailers are racing to get similar technology in other stores throughout the world, letting shoppers buy groceries without waiting in line.

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Director Spike Lee boycotts Gucci, Prada for blackface items

MILAN (AP) — Director Spike Lee says he will no longer wear Gucci or Prada until the brands hire some black designers. The announcement following a pair of blackface fashion fails by the fashion houses. Lee said on Instagram Friday that "It's Obvious To Da Peoples That They Don't Have A Clue When It Comes To Racist, Blackface Hateful Imagery. WAKE UP." The personal boycott in the midst of movie awards season was a powerful message to luxury fashion houses.

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Oil workers flee Venezuela's crisis for a better life

PUNTO FIJO, Venezuela (AP) — Thousands of Venezuelan oil workers are fleeing poverty wages and dangerous working conditions, taking lucrative jobs in far-flung parts of the world. With each new departure, fewer remain behind with the know-how to pump the world's most abundant oil reserves, once the economic backbone of a thriving country.

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Automakers recall 1.7 million cars with fatal airbags

DETROIT (AP) — Subaru, Tesla, Volkwagen and others recall a combined 1.7 million cars with Takata airbags. It is a continuation of the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history. The recalls, which began in 2001, are being phased in over time and managed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As of December, automakers have recalled 50.36 million inflators and replaced 27.2 million of them. That leaves more than 23 million yet to be replaced, according to the NHTSA.

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FDA questions Juul, Altria commitment to combat teen vaping

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Food and Drug Administration is suggesting electronic cigarette maker Juul and its partner Altria have failed to follow through on pledges to combat underage vaping. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb is calling for a joint meeting to discuss whether they are honoring commitments to the agency. Tobacco giant Altria recently purchased a 35 percent stake in Juul. Since then, the company has announced plans to ramp up distribution of Juul e-cigarettes throughout the U.S.

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NY gov raps Amazon critics amid report company's rethinking

NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo warns that what he calls "political pandering" to critics of Amazon's proposed secondary headquarters could sink New York's biggest-ever economic development deal. But opponents say they'll keep fighting a project they see as corporate welfare. Friday's back-and-forth came after The Washington Post reported that Amazon is reconsidering its planned New York City headquarters because of opposition from local politicians.

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Pilots at Taiwanese liner strike during Lunar New Year rush

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Pilots from Taiwan's China Airlines have gone on strike during the Lunar New Year travel rush, forcing the cancellation of 18 flights over coming days. Hundreds of pilots are believed to have joined the action over complaints of long work hours and management's refusal to make improvements. The Lunar New Year is Taiwan's busiest travel period, with thousands traveling home to the island or taking trips abroad. Flights for Hong Kong, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Manila and Tokyo are among the canceled.

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Finnish basic income trial: creates happiness, but not jobs

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Finnish officials say a nationwide experiment with basic income has not increased employment among those participating during the first year of the trial, but their general well-being seems to have increased. A report by Finland's Social Insurance Institution found that after one year of the trial, income recipients showed fewer stress symptoms and more confidence in the future, though it was not yet possible to draw firm conclusions.

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Late burst of buying on Wall Street leaves indexes mixed

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes stemmed an early slide Friday, finishing mostly higher and nudging the benchmark S&P 500 index to its second weekly gain in a row. Gains in technology and consumer goods companies outweighed losses in financial stocks and retailers as investors continued to size up the latest batch of corporate quarterly snapshots. The market is coming off a steep drop in December, followed by the best January in three decades.

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The S&P 500 rose 1.83 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,707.88. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 63.20 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,106.33. The Nasdaq composite added 9.85 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,298.20. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 0.77 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,506.39.

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By The Associated Press

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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