Business Highlights


For-profit colleges expect fortunes to improve under Trump

BOSTON (AP) — After nearing collapse under the Obama administration, the for-profit college industry is celebrating Donald Trump’s election as a chance for a rebound.

As stock prices for some of the nation’s largest college chains have surged, industry lobbyists say they have received a warm welcome from Trump’s transition team and already have launched a campaign to rebrand the embattled industry as a key to the new president’s plan for economic growth. While Trump has yet to detail his education plan, some in the sector see the president-elect as an ally who has championed the private sector and promised to roll back many regulations.


Trump rollback of Obama climate agenda may prove challenging

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump plans to dismantle President Barack Obama’s efforts to reduce planet-warming carbon emissions. But delivering on his campaign pledges to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency and bring back tens of thousands of coal mining jobs could prove far more difficult.

Internal documents from the president-elect’s transition team reviewed by The Associated Press show the new administration plans to stop defending the Clean Power Plan and other Obama-era environmental regulations that have been the subject of long-running legal challenges filed by Republican-led states and the fossil fuel industry.

Against that potential opposition, environmental groups are gearing up to defend Obama’s environmental legacy in court.


US economy grew at 3.2 per cent in third quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy in the third quarter grew at the fastest pace in two years, with a revised report showing stronger consumer spending than first estimated.

The gross domestic product, the country’s total output of goods and services, expanded at an annual rate of 3.2 per cent in the July-September period, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The 3.2 per cent increase was expected to be the best showing for the year.

Economists believe growth has slowed to around 2 per cent in the current quarter. At the moment, they forecast growth of around 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent for 2017.


Stocks close higher, helped by health care companies

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed slightly higher on Tuesday, boosted by health care companies like UnitedHealth Group, which helped outweigh steep declines in energy companies. And Tiffany jumped after it reported better quarterly results than analysts expected.

Stocks started the day slightly lower but posted slight gains by late-morning and stayed higher throughout the afternoon.

Health care stocks were a primary driver of the market’s upward turn. UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. health insurer, backed its forecast for this year and said it expects its earnings to grow in 2017.


US consumer confidence jumps to highest level in 9 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — US consumer confidence rebounded this month to the highest level in more than nine years.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index registered 107.1 in November, up from 100.8 last month and highest since July 2007.

The survey was mostly taken before the Nov. 8 election. Conference Board economist Lynn Franco says that “it appears from the small sample of postelection responses that consumers’ optimism was not impacted by the outcome.”

The index had fallen in October and was expected to rise this month, but the strength of the rebound took economists by surprise.


US bank earnings up nearly 13 per cent in 3Q

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. banks’ earnings in the July-September period jumped nearly 13 per cent from a year earlier as continued growth in lending fueled interest income.

The data issued Tuesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. showed strength in the banking industry more than eight years after the financial crisis struck. However, the impact of low oil prices on energy companies led banks to continue to post bigger losses on commercial and industrial loans. Some energy companies have struggled to repay loans, causing distress for banks in oil and gas producing regions.


First Data: Thanksgiving, Black Friday sales up 9 per cent

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers put in a strong showing on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

Holiday spending rose 9 per cent Thursday and Friday combined, compared with the same two-day period last year, according to First Data. The bump was fueled by shoppers turning to online deals.

E-commerce sales rose 10.8 per cent for the two-day period, while sales at physical stores grew 8.6 per cent, according to First Data, which analyzed online and in-store payments across different forms of payment cards from nearly one million merchants Thanksgiving and Friday. The data captures about 40 per cent of all card transactions in the U.S. but excludes cash.


Plane maker Airbus plans 1,100 job cuts as it consolidates

PARIS (AP) — Airbus wants to cut more than 1,100 jobs across Europe as it consolidates its activities and seeks to better compete with U.S. rival Boeing and others amid growing global demand for planes.

Airbus Group, parent of the plane maker, faces months of negotiations with unions after presenting a reorganization plan to the works council Tuesday in Toulouse, France.

Airbus, which has about 136,000 employees worldwide, hopes to make the cuts through voluntary departures, early retirement and relocating positions — but might resort to layoffs if necessary.


McDonald’s testing the use of fresh beef in some burgers

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — McDonald’s is testing the use of fresh, never frozen beef for its Quarter Pounder hamburgers.

The fast food giant says the tests are being carried out in 75 of its restaurants in the Tulsa, Oklahoma-area. It says Quarter Pounders in the restaurants will be made with fresh beef that’s cooked when ordered.

McDonald’s says it has making “significant enhancements” to its food. Over last 18 months it has removed high fructose corn syrup from its buns and stopped using margarine in favour of butter. The company is trying to stage a comeback after losing customers in recent years.


Tiffany’s 3Q profit rises on sales in Asia

NEW YORK (AP) — Tiffany & Co. reported an unexpected sales increase in its third quarter, marking the first gain in eight quarters for the luxury jewelry retailer.

Stronger business in Asia helped offset declines in the U.S. and Europe. It also noted that the increased security and protests near the home and office on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue of President-elect Donald Trump has had “some adverse effect” on customer traffic at its flagship. And Tiffany says it doesn’t know when the situation will improve.

The luxury jeweler’s profit rose to $95.1 million, or 76 cents per share. Sales rose 1.2 per cent to $949.3 million.


The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23.70 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 19,121.60. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.94 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,204.66. The Nasdaq composite rose 11.11 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5,379.92.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.85, or 3.9 per cent, to close at $45.23 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, tumbled $1.86, or 3.9 per cent, to close at $46.38 a barrel in London. In other energy commodities, heating oil fell 5 cents to $1.46 a gallon, wholesale gasoline fell 4 cents to $1.38 a gallon and natural gas was mostly unchanged at $3.32 per 1,000 cubic feet.