Dec 8, 4:58 PM EST

Business Highlights


A stronger global economy is helping boost the US job market

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. employers added a robust 228,000 jobs in November, a sign of the job market's enduring strength in its ninth year of economic recovery. The Labor Department says the unemployment rate remained at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent.


2 questions loom over House-Senate talks on GOP tax bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - Two looming questions threaten to snag the seemingly smooth trajectory of the Republicans' massive tax legislation now in its final leg in Congress. How to satisfy demands of the rebellious GOP lawmakers from high-tax states who demand concessions over a cherished deduction? And how to pay for those concessions? About two dozen House and Senate lawmakers begin formal talks next week to iron out differences between the two bills.


UK, EU hail Brexit breakthrough despite unresolved questions

BRUSSELS (AP) - Britain and the European Union are hailing a breakthrough that allows them to begin talks on their post-Brexit relations without answering some key questions about how their divorce will play out. With pressure building on British Prime Minister Theresa May's fragile government, the sides agreed Friday on the last sticking point in Britain's divorce terms: the border between EU member Ireland and the United Kingdom's Northern Ireland.


Can better policies prevent workplace sexual harassment?

NEW YORK (AP) - Can better policies prevent workplace sexual harassment? Experts say it's not just about what's on the books but how the rules are enforced. In an unusual move for a big company, Facebook on Friday publicly released its policies against workplace harassment. This includes enforcement procedures and how it investigates complaints. The company says it wants to help other companies create better policies, and ideally prompt them to publish their own procedures too.


Ford won't contribute to MSNBC until resolving allegations

NEW YORK (AP) - Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. will not be a contributor on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program until allegations of misconduct against him are resolved. "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski announced Friday that Ford and MSNBC agreed he would not appear until resolving accusations that led to his firing by Morgan Stanley on Thursday. Ford has denied the allegations and says he plans legal action against the reporter making the claim and Morgan Stanley for improper termination.


Patagonia, outdoor retailers fight Trump on US monuments

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Outdoor clothing giant Patagonia and other retailers have jumped into a political battle over President Donald Trump's plan to shrink two sprawling Utah national monuments. Retail experts say the fight is one that would scare off most companies but galvanizes customers of outdoor brands. While multiple outdoor retailers have protested Trump's move online and in social media, Patagonia has gone it alone by filing a lawsuit over the downsizing of the monuments.


Bought a $450M painting? In NY, don't worry about the tax

NEW YORK (AP) - New York collects sales tax on even the smallest items, but it probably won't collect a cent in taxes on a nearly half billion dollar painting by Leonardo da Vinci. That's because the state's laws are structured so that out-of-town buyers don't get hit with big tax bills. One expert says if the city taxes them its status as a global center for art sales might be jeopardized.


Trump says fines for Wells Fargo will not be dropped

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump weighed in on an investigation into scandal-plagued Wells Fargo, tweeting Friday that fines and penalties against the bank would not be dropped, and may actually be "substantially increased." Trump's statement comes a day after a report that Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was weighing whether the bank should have to pay tens of millions in fines already levied against it for mortgage lending abuses.


Net neutrality fans speak up as FCC set to strike down rules

NEW YORK (AP) - Net neutrality is a simple concept but a dense and often technical issue that tech and telecom circles have argued over for years. But now everyday folks are talking about it. That's because the Federal Communications Commission has scheduled a vote next week to gut Obama-era rules meant to stop broadband companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet.


Japan economy gains momentum, grows 2.5 percent in July-Sept

TOKYO (AP) - Japan's economy is gaining momentum, expanding at a 2.5 percent annual pace in July-September. The figure reported Friday was revised upward from an earlier estimate of 1.4 percent growth due to higher business investment and rising inventories. In quarterly terms the world's third-largest economy expanded at a 0.6 percent pace, twice the original estimate.


S&P 500 returns to record following strong US jobs report

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks rose on Friday following a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report, and the strong finish pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 index to its third straight weekly gain despite its early struggles.


The S&P 500 rose 14.52 points, or 0.6 percent, to finish at 2,651.50, a record. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 117.68, or 0.5 percent, to 24,329.16, the Nasdaq composite rose 27.24, or 0.4 percent, to 6,840.08 and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks added 1.26, or 0.1 percent, to 1,521.72.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 67 cents to settle at $57.36 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose $1.20 to $63.40 per barrel. Natural gas added a penny to $2.77 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil gained 3 cents to $1.93 per gallon and wholesale gasoline added 2 cents to $1.72 per gallon.

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