Business Highlights

Posted on Thursday, March 21st, 2019 By The Associated Press

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Boeing to make safety feature standard on troubled Max jets

Boeing will make standard on its troubled new airliner a safety feature that might have helped the crew of a jet that crashed shortly after takeoff last year in Indonesia. The equipment alerts pilots of faulty information from key sensors. It will now be included on every 737 Max as part of safety improvements. That's according to a person familiar with the changes. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Boeing and federal regulators are still discussing details of the upgrade.

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Consumers should soon see benefit of Fed's patience on rates

NEW YORK (AP) — It was only a few months ago that interest rates were marching higher and bearing down on everyone from home buyers to stock investors. But rates began easing early this year after the Federal Reserve opened the door to a slower pace of rate increases. On Wednesday, the Fed surprised the market when it said it may not raise rates at all during 2019. The impact should soon filter out to consumers across the economy, and the effects will likely reverberate for a while.

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Facebook left millions of passwords readable by employees

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook acknowledges that it stored millions of user passwords for years in a readable format that its employees could access. The social media company disclosed that it didn't encrypt the passwords after a security researcher posted about the issue online. Facebook says there is no evidence its employees abused access to the data. The company says the passwords were stored on internal company servers and no outsiders could access them.

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Top US general to meet with Google on China security worries

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer plans to meet with Google representatives next week amid growing concerns that American companies doing business in China are helping its military gain ground on the U.S. Gen. Joseph Dunford says efforts like Google's artificial intelligence venture in China allow the Chinese military to access and take advantage of U.S.-developed technology.

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One more time: Levi Strauss goes public again

NEW YORK (AP) — Levi Strauss & Co., which gave America its first pair of blue jeans, has gone public for the second time. The stock is listed under the ticker "LEVI" and opened for trading on Thursday up 31 percent. The 166-year-old company previously went public in 1971, but the namesake founder's descendants took it private again in 1985. The latest IPO comes as the iconic brand is staging a comeback under its CEO Chip Bergh even as it faces increasing competition and a changing retail landscape.

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Grudgingly, Europe says Brexit delay is still possible

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders are grudgingly leaning toward giving the United Kingdom even more time to ease itself out of the bloc. But they warn that if Britain's Parliament spurns the offer, a chaotic exit from the bloc is just over a week away.

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US average mortgage rates fall; 30-year at 4.28 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, giving an incentive to potential buyers as the spring homebuying season opens. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage declined to 4.28 percent from 4.31 percent the previous week.

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MillerCoors sues Anheuser-Busch over corn syrup ads

MILWAUKEE (AP) — MillerCoors has filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch, saying its St. Louis-based rival wants to "frighten" people away from Miller Lite and Coors Light by claiming those beers have corn syrup. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Wisconsin federal court but the feud between the country's two largest brewers began when Anheuser-Busch aired commercials making the corn syrup claim during this year's Super Bowl. Corn syrup is a fermentation aid used by several brewers.

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You dumped cable? Comcast hopes to reel you back in

NEW YORK (AP0 — Comcast is launching an aggregated bundle of existing streaming-TV apps for $5 a month. The new service, "Flex," brings together apps customers already pay for, like Netflix, Amazon's Prime video or HBO, and free services like YouTube, Pluto and Tubi, and lets them search for TV shows and movies across the different services. All these apps are already available through a Roku or other platforms. Comcast hopes customers will pay for its version, which comes with a 4K HDR box and a voice remote.

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S&P 500 ends 2-day losing streak as tech leads stocks higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology companies powered a broad rally for U.S. stocks Thursday, snapping the market's two-day losing streak. Apple and chipmakers led the wave of buying, helping to drive the technology sector to an overall gain of 2.5 percent. Retailers and industrial companies also notched solid gains, offsetting losses in banks. Levi Strauss soared as the jeans maker went public for the second time. The latest gains come a day after the Fed said no longer expects to raise interest rates this year.

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The S&P 500 index rose 30.65 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,854.88. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 216.84 points, or 0.8 percent, to 25,962.51. The Nasdaq composite, which his heavily weighted with technology stocks, climbed 109.99 points, or 1.4 percent, to 7,838.96. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 19.25 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,562.41.


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