Business Highlights


For ECB and Fed, Trump complicates decisions on rate policy

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Donald Trump’s surprise election victory has helped solidify expectations for an interest rate increase next month by the U.S. Federal Reserve — but may have complicated a decision for the European Central Bank, which faces a difficult choice over more stimulus.

For the ECB, the issue is what to do about its bond-buying program, which pumps new money into Europe’s struggling economy each month to try to accelerate growth and inflation.

The Fed and the ECB — two of the world’s most important central banks — will be making its policy decisions before Trump is inaugurated Jan. 20, while still weighing what he might do as president.


Trump set to roll back Obama policies on energy, environment

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump is considering an oil billionaire and a North Dakota lawmaker for top posts as he moves to roll back President Barack Obama’s environmental and energy policies and allow unfettered production of oil, coal and natural gas.

Trump pledges to sharply increase oil and gas drilling on federal lands while opening up offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean and other areas where it is blocked.

Topping Trump’s to-do list is repealing the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s signature effort to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants.


Siemens to buy Oregon-based Mentor Graphics for $4.5 billion

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German industrial equipment maker Siemens AG says it has agreed to buy U.S.-based software firm Mentor Graphics Corp. for $4.5 billion, broadening Siemens digital capabilities.

Siemens said it would pay $37.25 a share in cash, or 21 per cent more than Mentor’s closing price on Friday.

Mentor, based in Wilsonville, Oregon, specializes in software used to design computer chips, technology with broad potential applications to smart and connected devices such as autonomous vehicles. It has customers in industries ranging from aerospace to consumer electronics and 5,700 employees in 32 countries.


American Apparel files for bankruptcy protection, again

WASHINGTON (AP) — American Apparel is seeking bankruptcy protection for the second time in just over a year, unable to find its footing in a shifting retail landscape and after a fight for control with its founder Dov Charney.

Canada’s Gildan Activewear is buying the American Apparel brand for $66 million.

The retailer first filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2015, about a year after it fired Charney for violating its sexual harassment policy. Charney’s lengthy legal campaign to retake control of the company was rejected by a bankruptcy court judge in January.


US stocks finish level as tech losses cancel out bank gains

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks came back from an early loss and finished almost unchanged Monday. Technology companies like Apple and Microsoft took big losses on fears about their overseas revenue, but bank stocks continued to surge along with bond yields.

Technology stocks have been weak since last week’s election, and they fell further Monday as investors wonder if Donald Trump’s policies as president will hurt their sales in China and other markets overseas. Bank stocks built on their post-election gains as bond yields continued to rise. That paves the way for banks to make more money from lending. Government bond yields are now at their highest levels since January.


Vroom: Gov’t to require hybrid, electric cars to make noise

WASHINGTON (AP) — New hybrid and electric cars are required to make noise when travelling at low speeds so that pedestrians, especially those who are blind or have poor eyesight, will hear them coming, under a new rule released Monday by the Obama administration.

The new rule could help prevent about 2,400 pedestrian injuries a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The rule requires hybrid and electric vehicles to make audible noise when travelling in reverse or forward at speeds up to about 19 mph. The sound alert isn’t required at higher speeds because other factors, such as tire and wind noise, provide warning.


Samsung’s $8B ticket into the red-hot automotive tech race

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics’ $8 billion acquisition of the U.S. auto electronics company Harman will instantly transform the tech company into a major player in the highly competitive market for auto infotainment, software and connected car technology.

Samsung announced Monday that it would pay $112 per share in cash for the company, its largest acquisition by far.

Harman International Industries Inc. makes touch screens that control vehicle functions and infotainment systems, and it’s dominant in automotive sound systems with brands such as Harman Kardon, JBL, Infinity and Mark Levinson.


Apple Pay expands to charities, Samsung Pay to offer rewards

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is making it easier for people to give to charities by expanding its Apple Pay payments service to nonprofits.

Apple Pay is mostly known for enabling purchases at retail stores with the tap of an iPhone, although the service can also be used for online transactions on apps and websites. Apple had limited this to buying goods and services — until now.

The American Red Cross, United Way and 18 other nonprofits will accept Apple Pay starting Monday. Others are coming soon.


Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway invests in major airlines

NEW YORK (AP) — Warren Buffett is changing his mind about airlines and buying stakes in several major carriers including American Air Lines and Delta Air Lines.

The billionaire investor has famously avoided the sector in the past, although his Berkshire Hathaway does own NetJets, which sells partial ownership interests in business jets.

Buffett disclosed the new investments, which also include United Continental Holdings, Monday in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


SEC Chair White leaving at end of Obama administration

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission says the agency’s head, Mary Jo White, will leave office at the end of the Obama administration.

White, a former federal prosecutor and private securities lawyer, was appointed by President Barack Obama in February 2013. Her term doesn’t end until 2019. President-elect Donald Trump is due to take office Jan. 20 and likely will name his own choice to head the market watchdog agency in the near future.


PetSmart fined for not reporting injury-causing fish bowls

NEW YORK (AP) — PetSmart will pay a $4.25 million civil fine for not quickly reporting defective fish bowls that caused serious injuries at least a dozen times.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said Monday that injuries included deep cuts requiring stitches and severed tendons that required surgery after bowls cracked or shattered.

The pet products retailer sold the bowls under the “Grreat Choice” and “Top Fin” brands from March 2010 through September 2013.


The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 21.03 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 18,868.69. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 0.25 points to 2,164.20. The Nasdaq composite slid 18.72 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 5,218.40.

Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 9 cents to $43.32 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 32 cents to $44.43 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline lost 3 cents to $1.28 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2 cents to $1.39 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 13 cents, or 5 per cent, to $2.75 per 1,000 cubic feet.