Business Highlights


Out with the old…iPhones? 4 ways to reuse, resell, recycle

NEW YORK (AP) — Each year, Apple dazzles its devoted fans with faster, sleeker, more powerful iPhones with better cameras and a bevy of bells and whistles. Instead of sentencing last year’s model to a lonely existence in a desk drawer, there are plenty of ways to reuse, recycle or resell older phones.


US producer prices unchanged in August as gas costs fall

WASHINGTON (AP) — The prices charged by U.S. manufacturers, farmers and other producers were unchanged in August, the latest evidence that inflation is tame.

The Labor Department said Friday the producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, was flat after a 0.2 per cent increase in July. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices rose 0.3 per cent last month.

In the past year, wholesale prices have actually fallen 0.8 per cent, the seventh straight 12-month decline. Core prices have risen just 0.9 per cent during that time.


US budget deficit drops to $64.4 billion in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government ran up a much smaller budget deficit in August than a year ago, remaining on track to record the smallest annual deficit in eight years.

The Treasury Department said Friday that the deficit in August totalled $64.4 billion, a drop of 50 per cent from the same month a year ago.

Much of that improvement reflected quirks in timing related to the calendar. Some $42 billion in August benefit payments were made in July because Aug. 1 fell on a Saturday.


US oil production seen tumbling, but low prices may hold on

PARIS (AP) — Oil supply from the United States, Russia and other countries outside of OPEC is expected to drop sharply next year — possibly the steepest decline since the Soviet Union collapsed — because of low prices, the International Energy Agency forecast Friday.

In its latest monthly report, the IEA says non-OPEC production is expected to drop nearly half a million barrels to 57.7 million barrels a day in 2016. But a prominent investment firm questions whether even a cut that steep will shrink the glut of oil on the market enough to boost the price.


Automakers commit to put automatic brakes in all cars

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten automakers have committed to the U.S. government to include automatic emergency braking in all new cars, a step safety advocates say could significantly reduce traffic deaths and injuries.

Making the technology widely available is part of a new era in vehicle safety in which the focus is on preventing crashes rather than on protecting occupants from their effects, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Friday in a statement announcing the commitments.


CVS: photo site user info possibly stolen in July hacking

NEW YORK (AP) — CVS said Friday investigators have confirmed that the company that manages their photo website was indeed hacked this summer, possibly resulting in the theft of some CVS customer information.

The photo website of the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain has been shut down since July after the breach was detected. The photo sites of Rite Aid, Costco and Wal-Mart Canada also were affected in the breach.


Microsoft names Brad Smith president and chief legal officer

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft has given longtime executive Brad Smith the title of president, as the company continues its transition to a new generation of leadership.

Smith’s full title will be president and chief legal officer. He has been Microsoft’s general counsel since 2002 and became a senior vice-president in 2011.

CEO Satya Nadella announced the appointment in an email Friday to employees. Nadella said he wants Smith to play a bigger role in strengthening Microsoft’s relationships and representing the company publicly. Smith will help lead the company on issues like privacy, security and accessibility, he said.


Crunch time ahead for Egypt’s economy, investment needed

CAIRO (AP) — In a few short years, if everything goes according to plan, Egypt will have new megaprojects, special investment zones and power plants fueled by the largest offshore gas field in the Mediterranean. But in the more immediate future, experts say the government needs to boost investment and bring in foreign capital to avoid a looming cash crunch.

Billions of dollars in debt repayments are coming due, foreign currency reserves fell to a six-month low in August, and Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian said this week that foreign direct investment is not growing as fast as hoped. Experts say if the government doesn’t act quickly, the investment needed to realize its ambitious plans may not materialize in time.


S. Carolina official threatens to sue over nuke fuel project

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s top prosecutor has warned the Obama administration that he’s prepared to sue — again — if a nuclear fuel processing project isn’t made a priority.

In a letter sent earlier this month, Attorney General Alan Wilson wrote to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz that they should discuss a path that preserves the mixed-oxide project — known as MOX — and thereby “avoids litigation.”


APEC ministers pledge to avoid competitive devaluations

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Finance ministers from Asian and Pacific nations said Friday they are committed to strengthening economic growth and stability in the region and will refrain from competitive currency devaluations amid financial volatility.

The finance ministers from the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum made the statement at the end of their two-day meeting in central Cebu City ahead of a leaders’ summit in November.

They said they would refrain from competitive devaluations and resist all forms of protectionism.


France to refund $1 billion to Russia for warships

PARIS (AP) — France will refund 950 million euros ($1 billion) to Russia for the cancellation of the sale of two Mistral-class warships, but won’t have to pay penalties, according to legislation published Friday.

In a bill going to France’s lower house of Parliament next week, the government detailed for the first time the agreement reached with Russia last month.

The “only condition” laid down by Russia is to receive the money “as soon as possible,” the legislation said. The amount includes all advances paid by Russia, but no penalties or compensation payments.


By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 102.69 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 16,433.09. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 8.76 points, or 0.5 per cent, to close at 1,961.05. The Nasdaq composite picked up 26.09, or 0.5 per cent, to 4,822.34.

U.S. crude fell $1.29 to close at $44.63 a barrel in New York. Brent Crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 75 cents to close at $48.14 in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 2.4 cents to close at $1.370 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2.5 cents to close at $1.550 a gallon. Natural gas rose 1 cent to close at $2.693 per 1,000 cubic feet.