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Zuckerberg defends Facebook’s currency plans before Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has endured hours of prickly questioning from lawmakers as he defended the company’s new globally ambitious project to create a digital currency while also dealing with widening scrutiny from U.S. regulators. The House Financial Services Committee immediate focus was the project for the currency, to be called Libra. Zuckerberg took pains to reassure lawmakers that his company won’t move forward with Libra without explicit approval from all U.S. financial regulators.

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Google claims breakthrough in blazingly fast computing

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google says it has achieved a breakthrough in blazingly fast quantum computing. It says it developed an experimental processor that took just minutes to complete a calculation that would take the world’s best supercomputer thousands of years.

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Uncertainties escalate for Fed as it weighs another rate cut

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve finds itself in an unusually delicate spot as it considers how much more to try to stimulate an economy that’s still growing and adding jobs but also appears vulnerable. As it considers a potential interest rate cut at its meeting next week, a string of complicated questions is clouding the Fed’s outlook.

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Johnson’s future, and UK’s, rests on EU move on Brexit delay

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson has long argued that Brexit will let Britain “take back control” from the European Union. On Wednesday, Johnson’s future and his country’s rested on a decision from Brussels about whether the bloc will delay the U.K.’s scheduled departure to prevent a chaotic no-deal exit in just eight days.

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Is the stethoscope dying? High-tech rivals pose a threat

CHICAGO (AP) — Two centuries after its invention, the very symbol of the medical profession is facing an uncertain prognosis. The stethoscope is threatened by hand-held devices that rely on ultrasound technology, artificial intelligence and smartphone apps instead of doctors’ ears. These new devices can really get med students’ hearts pumping.

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Boeing costs for 737 Max jump, profit falls short in 3Q

DALLAS (AP) — Boeing is reporting a big profit shortfall for the third quarter after costs related to the troubled 737 Max rose by $900 million. The Chicago company said Wednesday that it expects regulatory review to begin in the fourth quarter. A few weeks ago, Boeing Co. predicted the plane would be flying around that time. Net income was $1.17 billion, or $2.05 per share. Per-share earnings were $1.45 when nonrecurring items are removed, far short of the $2.04 Wall Street was looking for.

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Biden: Trump has ‘no idea’ about working-class struggles

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — Joe Biden is hammering President Donald Trump’s treatment of the middle class as he campaigns in his childhood hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, hours ahead of the president’s own rally in Pittsburgh. The former vice-president says the wealthy president is a charlatan populist whose tax policies and economic stewardship has hurt U.S. workers. Biden said in a 45-minute speech Wednesday that Trump has “no idea” what “ordinary” and “decent” Americans “are going through” in an uneven economy.

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Slowing global growth hits Caterpillar in 3Q

NEW YORK (AP) — A slowing global economy is taking a toll on Caterpillar, which is cutting its outlook for the year after its profits and revenue slid in the third quarter. Dealers slashed inventories by about $400 million, hinting at a pull-back in spending by businesses. Caterpillar’s revenue and sales declined about 6%. The company cut its outlook for the year Wednesday.

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Microsoft racks up more cloud customers

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft on Wednesday reported fiscal first-quarter profit of $10.68 billion, buoyed by another round of business customers signing up for its cloud computing services. The Redmond, Washington-based company said it had net income of $1.38 per share. Its profit and revenue growth beat Wall Street expectations.

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Ford 3Q profit falls nearly 60% on restructuring costs

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford’s third-quarter net income tumbled nearly 60% as it booked $1.5 billion in charges mainly for restructuring, and Chinese and U.S. sales fell. The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker knocked a half-billion dollars off its pretax earnings guidance for the full year. Ford’s net income from July through September was $425 million, or 11 cents per share. Excluding restructuring charges, the company made 34 cents per share, beating Wall Street estimates that averaged 26 cents per share.

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Stocks eke out gains after a mixed set of earnings reports

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes eked out tiny gains Wednesday following a wobbly day of trading Wednesday as investors reviewed another set of mixed company earnings. Some of the companies’ earnings topped Wall Street’s expectations. Others put traders in a selling mood after warning that the slowing global economy and trade tensions are hitting their profits. Traders are trying to gauge how much the U.S. trade war with China and a slowdown in global economic growth is hurting Corporate America.

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The S&P 500 rose 8.53 points, or 0.3%, to 3,004.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 45.85 points, or 0.2%, to 26,833.95. The Nasdaq composite added 15.50 points, or 0.2%, to 8,119.79. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 1.99 points, or 0.1%, to 1,552.86.

The Associated Press