Business Highlights


‘Net neutrality’ rules for fair internet access win in court

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the government’s “net neutrality” rules, preserving regulations that force internet providers such as Comcast and AT&T to treat all online traffic equally.

The ruling is a victory for the Obama administration and the consumer groups and internet companies that have pushed for net neutrality.

The Federal Communications Commission’s rules block internet service providers from favouring their own services and disadvantaging others. It also prohibits blocking other sites and apps and forbids creating “fast lanes” for video and other data services that pay for the privilege.


Martha Stewart gets into meal kit business

NEW YORK (AP) — Cooking like Martha Stewart is about to get easier.

The home goods mogul and cookbook author is getting into the fast-growing meal kit business. Subscribers will get a box shipped to their door with Stewart’s recipes and all the ingredients needed to cook up the dishes at home, including pre-measured raw meat, fish, vegetables and spices.

The new venture is a licensing deal with existing meal kit company Marley Spoon and brand management company Sequential Brands Group Inc., which bought Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia last year. Financial details of the new partnership were not disclosed.


Stocks fall again as Fed decision, Brexit vote looms

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks in the U.S. and other global markets fell for a fourth day Tuesday as jittery investors await for the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates and worried about Britain’s expected close vote on whether to leave the European Union.

U.S. government bond yields remained at their lowest levels since 2012 as investors sought safety. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was 1.62 per cent, up slightly from a day earlier.


US business inventories edged up in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stockpiles held by U.S. businesses edged up slightly in April, while sales jumped by the largest amount in two months.

Business inventories increased 0.1 per cent in April following a 0.3 per cent gain in March, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Total business sales rose 0.9 per cent in April, the best showing since February.

A slowdown in restocking empty store shelves has been a drag on overall economic growth over the past two quarters. But analysts are hoping that stronger sales will give businesses more confidence to replenish their inventories in coming months, helping to boost economic growth.


Rising US retail sales offer relief after weak jobs report

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite a hiring slump, American consumers remain confident about spending.

A federal report released Tuesday shows that U.S. shoppers boosted retail sales in May by a seasonally adjusted 0.5 per cent. It was the second straight increase, after an even more robust 1.3 per cent increase in April.

A resilient consumer suggests that the economy remains sure-footed even as job growth has slowed, construction spending has weakened and corporate profits have declined. Consumer spending is the leading driver of the U.S. economy.


Yield on German 10-year bond falls below zero for 1st time

BERLIN (AP) — The yield on Germany’s 10-year government bond fell below zero for the first time on Tuesday, a symbolic milestone that highlights the huge influence on markets of central bank stimulus policies as well as investors’ growing concerns about the global economy.

The yield on the bond, a traditional safe haven for investors, fell as low as minus 0.032 per cent early Tuesday, according to financial information provider FactSet. The yield drop as the bond’s price rises.

The German 10-year yield had come close to zero recently but never before dipped into negative territory.


Shanghai evicts small polluters for Disney theme park

SHANGHAI (AP) — Authorities have evicted hundreds of Shanghai residents and dozens of businesses to clean up the air and make way for the newest Disney theme park, which opens Thursday.

Residents were paid for lost homes but hundreds of employees of shuttered factories say they don’t know where their next jobs will be.

The story has been repeated thousands of times across China over the past two decades as the communist government removed farmers and small businesses for construction of factories, office towers, hydroelectric dams and other projects.


BMW recalls some SUVs to reinforce child seat anchors

DETROIT (AP) — BMW is recalling 622,000 SUVs worldwide because the child seat anchors may become damaged and won’t hold the seat properly.

The recall covers certain X3 SUVs from the 2011 to 2017 model years, as well as some X4s from 2015 through 2017. It includes nearly 189,000 vehicles in the U.S.

BMW says that the SUVs have anchor bars for child seats that can be damaged when people use European-style child seats. BMW said most child seats in the U.S. have flexible Latch connectors and do not cause the problem.


Hiring club shooter not first blunder for security company

LONDON (AP) — The security company that employed the shooter in the Orlando nightclub massacre has been tarred by a series of blunders and scandals that have raised questions about its competency and ethics.

London-based G4S acknowledged Monday that Omar Mateen worked for the firm at a residential community in South Florida.

The ties to the man behind the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history is the latest dark cloud to loom over G4S. Concerns that the fallout might make it more difficult for G4S to get security contracts contributed to a decline in the company’s stock Monday.


Florida bank issues first US credit card for use in Cuba

HAVANA (AP) — A small Florida bank will issue the first U.S. credit card intended for use in Cuba and make it easier for Americans to travel and work on an island largely cut off from the U.S. financial system.

Stonegate Bank said its MasterCard, available Wednesday, will let U.S. travellers charge purchases at state-run businesses and a handful of private ones, mostly high-end private restaurants equipped with point-of-sale devices. Until now, Americans have generally had to bring cash to Cuba and change it either at state institutions that impose a fee or in informal exchanges with locals.


The Dow Jones industrial average fell 57.66 points, or 0.3 per cent, to close at 17,674.82. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 3.74 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,075.32 and the Nasdaq composite fell 4.89 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,843.55.

Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 39 cents to $48.49 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 52 cents to $49.83 per barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline futures fell 1 cent to $1.52 a gallon, heating old fell 1 cent to $1.50 a gallon and natural gas rose 2 cents to $2.604 per thousand cubic feet.