Business Highlights


Malls, stores consider new ways to protect shoppers

NEW YORK (AP) — More sophisticated cameras. Security robots. Customers feeling shaken by recent attacks at U.S. malls may not notice huge changes — but mall operators are testing and putting in place new technologies and other measures to offer people more protection without intruding too much on their shopping time.

Mall executives say shoppers have been adamantly opposed to airport security tactics like metal detectors. So they’re trying other things, and increasingly using mass notifications that let them send text and email alerts to tenants within seconds in case of a crisis.


A year of Alphabet: Great for Google, less so for moonshots

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Reorganizing itself under the umbrella company Alphabet has done wonders for Google — but less so for a grab bag of eclectic projects ranging from robotic cars to internet-beaming balloons, which are suffering costly growing pains.

A year after Alphabet took shape, Google’s revenue growth has accelerated — an unusual development for a company of its size. That success, however, also underscores Alphabet’s dependence on the fickle business of placing digital ads in core Google products like search, Gmail and YouTube video. As a result, it remains vulnerable to swings in marketing budgets and stiffening competition from another equally ambitious rival, Facebook.


Stocks say ‘never mind’; reverse recent losses as banks jump

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks climbed Friday as banks made a rapid recovery following a steep fall a day ago. Investors hoped Deutsche Bank and the financial system in general were in better shape than they had feared.

Banks made the biggest gains Friday as Germany’s largest bank tried to reassure investors about its financial health. Investors hope Deutsche Bank will be able to negotiate down the massive cost of settling a U.S. investigation into mortgage securities. Energy companies rose as the price of oil continued to move higher, and strong earnings from Costco sent consumer stocks higher.

Deutsche Bank is the largest lender in Germany, and investors are concerned about not only its plunging stock price, but the potential effect on the financial system if Deutsche Bank gets into serious trouble and the German government does not help it. Those fears faded on Friday.


Q&A: Will Deutsche Bank become the next Lehman

Germany’s biggest bank is looking shaky and some investors fear it could collapse and endanger the wider financial system.

Some even wonder whether it might become the next Lehman Brothers, the U.S. bank whose failure unleashed the worst of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Experts warn against drawing such quick conclusions. Deutsche Bank’s shares are down 51 per cent so far this year and it’s negotiating a multibillion-dollar fine in the U.S. that it could have trouble paying.

But it’s exactly because it is so big and important that it is unlikely to be allowed to simply fail, the way U.S. authorities did with Lehman.

Here are some questions and answers about the bank and what it might mean for the rest of the world.


US consumer spending at weakest pace in 5 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers scaled back their spending in August to its weakest pace in five months, reflecting a drop in spending on autos. Income growth also decelerated as wages and salary gains slowed following four strong months.

Consumer spending was unchanged last month after solid gains of 0.4 per cent in July and 0.3 per cent in June, the Commerce Department reported Friday. It was the poorest showing since a similar flat reading in March.


From Ferraris to SUVs: 5 cars that shone at the Paris show

PARIS (AP) — An obscenely powerful hybrid sports car, a family-friendly SUV with enough space for seven adults, and an electric vehicle that promises to keep going for over 300 miles (500 kilometres) on a single charge — these are some of the notable vehicles shining on the display stands under bright overhead lights at the Paris auto show.

Executives at this year’s show are talking about how the industry can adapt to — or, better yet, profit from — disruptive change such as electric engines, networked vehicles, car sharing, and autonomous driving. All that could start coming together between 2020 and 2025, some think.

Right now, however, they have some cars they want to sell.

Here are five of the vehicles getting the most attention at the Paris Mondial de L’Automobile, which opens to the public Saturday and runs through Oct. 16. If you are lucky enough to be in the City of Light, an adult ticket costs 16 euros ($17.90).


US closes probe of Jeep automatic braking; no recall sought

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators have closed a yearlong investigation into the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s automatic braking system without seeking a recall.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began the probe in June of last year after getting complaints that the system braked for no reason, increasing the risk of rear-end crashes.


BMW issues recall for new Takata air bag problem

DETROIT (AP) — Another potentially deadly problem has surfaced with Takata air bags, this one forcing BMW to recall over 4,000 SUVs in the U.S. and Canada.

The new problem was traced to improper welds, and it’s separate from the trouble that has caused the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.


Subaru recalls about 593K cars; wiper motors can overheat

DETROIT (AP) — Subaru is recalling nearly 593,000 vehicles, some for a second time, because windshield wiper motors can overheat and increase the risk of a fire.

The recall affects certain Legacy and Outback cars from the 2010 to 2014 model years. The company says that due to contamination, parts in the wiper motor cover can interfere with one another. If snow or ice stops the wiper arms from stopping in the proper position, the wiper motor could overheat. That could disable the wipers and melt the cover.


American hopes IT switch doesn’t snag flights this weekend

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines will make a big technology change this weekend involving planes and pilots, but passengers won’t notice a thing if all goes well.

Nearly three years after the merger that created the current American, the airline is switching to a single flight-operating system instead of running three separate systems.

American expects the change to boost efficiency, but like anything involving technology and airlines, it comes with risk. In a memo to employees Friday, executives said hundreds would be staffing “command centres” around the clock in case of hiccups.


Eurozone inflation doubles as low oil price impact fades

LONDON (AP) — Inflation in the 19-country eurozone doubled in September to near two-year highs as the impact of lower oil prices began to fade, official figures showed Friday, in a development that’s likely to ease pressure on the European Central Bank to provide more stimulus next month.

Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, said the annual rate of inflation rose to 0.4 per cent in September. The increase, which was in line with market expectations, took inflation to its highest level since October 2014, when it was also 0.4 per cent.


The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 164.70 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 18,308.15. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 17.14 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 2,168.27. The Nasdaq composite rose 42.85 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 5,312.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 41 cents to $48.24 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, slipped 18 cents to $49.06 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline picked up 2 cents to $1.49 a gallon. Heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.53 a gallon. Natural gas slipped 5 cents to $2.91 per 1,000 cubic feet.