Business Highlights

Fed confronts a shaky US economy that likely needs more help

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials are meeting this week with the economy facing growing threats from a resurgence of the coronavirus and from Congress’ failure to provide any further aid for struggling individuals and businesses. Yet the Fed will likely end its latest policy meeting Thursday by deciding to wait before determining whether or how to expand the economic support it has been supplying through ultra-low interest rates. _

Did social media actually counter election misinformation?

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ahead of the election, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube promised to clamp down on election misinformation, up to and including unsubstantiated charges of fraud and premature declarations of victory by candidates. And they mostly did just that — though not without a few hiccups. But overall their measures still didn’t really address the problems exposed by the 2020 U.S. presidential contest, critics of the social platforms contend. One big test emerged early Wednesday morning, when President Donald Trump cast unfounded doubts on the ongoing vote count and said he would challenge the election results.


Ride-hailing, delivery giants win fight against labor law

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — App-based companies like Uber, Lyft and Doordash have dodged a potentially devastating blow to their industry by carving out an exemption from a California law that required them to classify their drivers as employees instead of contractors. California has one of the strictest laws in the nation for determining when a company must treat its workers as employees with benefits such as minimum wage, overtime and sick days. Uber, Lyft, Doordash, Instacart and others sought to get out of those requirements. After failing in court they succeeded in convincing voters to give them an exemption from most of the law.


Luxury vehicles, booming sales in China boost BMW profits

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German automaker BMW says third-quarter net profit rose 17% to 1.81 billion euros ($2.22 billion) as sales boomed in China and highly profitable luxury models helped fatten the bottom line. The profit figure improved on the 1.55 billion euros recorded in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenues fell 1.4% to 26.67 billion euros. The company said Wednesday that a decision to focus on expensive luxury models is paying off and producing the profits the company will need to fund new technology such as electric cars.


EU: Brexit trade talks still face ‘too many difficulties’

BRUSSELS (AP) — With a deadline looming ever more menacingly, the European Union’s chief negotiator on the post-Brexit trade deal with Britain Wednesday publicly blamed London for a lack of progress in the two sides’ belated attempt to reach an even rudimentary agreement. Michel Barnier said that “despite EU efforts to find solutions, very serious divergences remain.” His comments threw a dampener on optimistic reports that progress was being made at a rapid pace on issues such as fisheries rights, one of three remaining major topics that need a compromise solution if a deal is to be found before Jan. 1, when a transition period in the Brexit divorce proceedings ends.


Jackpot! Expansion of gambling in the US wins big at polls

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The U.S. gambling industry has won big at the polls as three states authorized legal sports betting and three others either approved or expanded casino gambling. Maryland, South Dakota and Louisiana approved sports betting. That means that more than half the country could have legal sports betting by the end of the year. Virginia approved casino gambling in four locations. Nebraska authorized adding casino games at its horse racing tracks. Colorado expanded the number and type of casino games it can offer. It also eliminated some wagering limits.


Ford recalls over 375K Explorers to fix suspension problem

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling more than 375,000 Explorer SUVs in the U.S. and Canada to fix a suspension problem that has caused 13 crashes. The recall covers SUVs from the 2013 through 2017 model years built at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant from Sept. 4, 2012 to Jan. 25, 2017. The automaker said Wednesday that in places where corrosion is common, the rear toe links can fracture, reducing steering control. A toe link provides more weight on the rear tires so they stay firmly on the ground.


The S&P 500 rose 74.42 points, or 2.2%, to 3,443.44. The Dow added 367.63 points, or 1.3%, to 27,847.66. The Nasdaq gained 430.21 points, or 3.9%, to 11,590.78. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks ended 0.79 of a point, or 0.1%, higher at 1,615.08.