Business Highlights

Fed to weigh further options for aiding US economy in peril

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve policymakers face an unusual conundrum as they meet this week: A short-term economic outlook that is worsening while the longer-term picture is brightening thanks to the emergence of coronavirus vaccines. When its meeting concludes Wednesday, the Fed could announce steps to try to offset the pandemic’s increasing drag on growth. Or it could choose to mostly watch and wait, for now. This week’s policy meeting coincides with a record-shattering resurgence of the coronavirus, which has caused an increase in business restrictions and made more Americans reluctant to shop, travel and dine out. Some analysts say the economy could shrink in early 2021 before recovering as vaccines combat the virus.


U.S. stocks end mostly lower after an early rally evaporates

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended mostly lower on Wall Street Monday after an early rally evaporated. In the U.S., investors are waiting to see if Congress can break a logjam on delivering more aid to people, businesses and local governments affected by the coronavirus pandemic, while in Europe talks continue on trying to reach a trade deal between Britain and the European Union. The S&P 500 slipped 0.4%. It was up as much as 0.9% earlier. The index is coming off its worst weekly performance since Halloween, and extended its losing streak to four consecutive trading days. Treasury yields rose.


UAW agrees to monitor, voting changes after corruption probe

DETROIT (AP) — An independent monitor will watch the United Auto Workers’ finances and members will decide how they pick future leaders under a reform agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office. The deal was announced Monday in the wake of a wide-ranging federal probe into corruption. It forestalls a federal takeover of the 400,000-member union. The monitor will stay in place for six years unless all sides agree that it should end sooner. The UAW has been in the throes of the bribery and embezzlement scandal for over five years. The U.S. attorney in Detroit says the probe into the union is over, but investigators are still looking at unspecified individuals.


In Paris, restaurants, bistros and bars plead for work, aid

PARIS (AP) — Restaurant and bar owners, hoteliers, waitresses, and other bosses and workers from France’s world-famous catering and service industries have protested in Paris for the right to work again during the pandemic. The government has indicated that restaurants and bars might be allowed to reopen from Jan. 20 if infections don’t surge anew. But the economy minister said Monday that he couldn’t guarantee that that would be the case. Protesters in Paris pleaded for the right to reopen and for more financial aid. Among them, chef Michel Solignac fretted that the restaurant that he spent decades developing before handing it over to his son could go under.


Apple’s app stores open new privacy window for customers

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple has begun spelling out what kinds of personal information is being collected by the digital services displayed in its app stores for iPhones and other products made by the trendsetting company. Starting Monday, the additional disclosures will begin to appear in apps made for iPads, Mac computers and Apple’s TV streaming device, as well as its biggest moneymaker, the iPhone. Apple announced the changes were coming six months ago as part of an effort to help its customers gain a better understanding of how apps monitor their habits, tastes and whereabouts.


Volkswagen board issues vote of confidence in CEO Diess

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen’s board has given CEO Herbert Diess a vote of confidence for his efforts to push the giant auto company into the new fields of digital services and electric cars. The statement Monday comes after media reports that Diess had clashed with the company’s powerful worker representatives over some of his decisions. On top of the thumbs up for Diess the board named a new chief financial officer to replace Frank Witter, who is stepping down next year. The new CFO is Arno Antlitz, who has been finance chief at the Volkswagen Group’s Audi division making luxury cars.


The S&P 500 fell 15.97 points, or 0.4%, to 3,647.49. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 184.82 points, or 0.6%, to 29,861.55. The Nasdaq rose 62.17 points, or 0.5%, to 12,440.04. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 2.16 points, or 0.1%, to 1,913.86.