01/23/2017 12:55 EST | Updated 01/24/2018 00:12 EST

Business Highlights


Trump will find it hard to make American economy greater

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's economic plans are nothing if not ambitious: Annual growth of 4 per cent — or more. A diminished trade gap. The creation of 25 million jobs over 10 years, including the return of good-paying factory positions.

It all adds up to an immense challenge, one that Trump aims to achieve mostly by cutting taxes, loosening regulations, boosting infrastructure spending and renegotiating or withdrawing from trade deals. At the top of his agenda: Pulling out of the 12-nation Pacific trade agreement, a move Trump initiated Monday, his first full weekday in office. He has also said he will rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement to better serve the United States.

Yet to come anywhere near his goals, economists say Trump would have to surmount at least a handful of major hurdles that have long defied solutions.


Trump properties face global terror risk with presidency

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Businesses around the world bearing U.S. President Donald Trump's name face an increased risk now that he is in the White House, security experts warn, especially as several are in areas previously targeted by violence.

As Trump remains a brand overseas, criminal gangs or militants could target buildings bearing his name, abduct workers associated with his enterprises for ransom or worse, they say.

U.S. brands have been targeted in overseas violence before, but they never belonged to a president. That's the difference. Trump becoming America's 45th president presents a unique challenge given the range of his international business interests.


Lawsuit: Trump business ties violate Constitution

NEW YORK (AP) — A watchdog group on Monday filed a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his business to accept payments from foreign governments.

The lawsuit claims that Trump is violating a clause that prohibits him from receiving money from diplomats for stays at his hotels or foreign governments for leases of office space in his buildings. The language in the clause is disputed by legal experts. But it signals the start of a legal assault on what critics see as unprecedented conflicts between his business and the presidency.

Trump says the lawsuit is "without merit, totally without merit."


Samsung details causes of Note 7 fires but questions remain

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung says a thorough investigation into the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 phone has confirmed widely held suspicions that its batteries were to blame, marking a first but important step toward restoring consumer confidence.

The company announced tighter quality controls and more rigorous testing and took responsibility for failing to ensure that design specifications given to its suppliers were failsafe. It also is delaying its next Galaxy phone, the Galaxy S8, which is usually announced in February.

The spontaneous fires prompted Samsung to recall millions of phones and take a $5.3 billion hit on its earnings and a blow to its reputation.


McDonald's sales dip in US, underscoring comeback challenges

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's is trying stage a comeback but is struggling on its home turf.

The world's biggest burger chain said U.S. sales dipped 1.3 per cent at established locations for the final three months of the year. Customer traffic also continued to slide for all of 2016 despite the rollout of an all-day breakfast menu, marking the fourth straight year of declines domestically.

Since the start of 2013, customer counts are down 10 per cent at established U.S. locations.

Overseas, the company's quarterly performance was better, and sales rose globally.


US stock indexes close slightly lower; oil prices slide

Energy companies led U.S. stock indexes slightly lower Monday as the price of crude oil fell.

Real estate, phone companies and other high-dividend stocks did better than the rest of the market as bond yields headed lower, making those sectors more appealing to investors seeking income.

Investors focused on the latest batch of company earnings and deal news. They also had their eye on Washington, where President Donald Trump reaffirmed plans to slash regulations on businesses and tax foreign goods entering the country.


Yahoo's 4Q shows modest strides amid security breach fallout

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo's financial performance improved slightly during the fourth quarter while the company dealt with the fallout from massive security breaches that have jeopardized the $4.8 billion sale of its internet operations to Verizon Communications.

The fourth-quarter report released Monday provided the latest snapshot of a shrinking company that has been steadily losing ground in the digital advertising market that generates most of its revenue. Yahoo also disclosed the closure of the Verizon deal will be delayed for up to three months.

Although cost-cutting helped Yahoo bounce back from a loss during the same time in the previous year, the company's net revenue slipped yet again to extend a downturn that has lasted through most of CEO Marissa Mayer's four-and-half-year tenure. In a sign of modest progress, Yahoo's revenue fell 4 per cent after subtracting ad commissions, snapping a streak of four consecutive quarters of double-digit declines.


Federal judge swats Aetna-Humana insurer combo

A federal judge has rejected health insurer Aetna's $34 billion bid to buy rival Humana on grounds that the deal would hurt competition in hundreds of Medicare Advantage markets, ultimately affecting the price consumers pay for coverage.

U.S. District Judge John Bates said in an opinion filed Monday that federal regulation would probably be "insufficient to prevent the merged firm from raising prices or reducing benefits," and plans to sell some of the combined company's business to would likely not be enough to ease competitive concerns.

Aetna spokesman TJ Crawford said the insurer was reviewing the decision and considering an appeal.


Sprint is buying a 33 per cent stake in Tidal

NEW YORK (AP) — Sprint is buying a 33 per cent stake of the Tidal, the music streaming service owned by artists like Jay-Z, Madonna and Kanye West.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Tidal has a more than 42.5 million song catalogue and 140,000 videos. It's available in more than 52 countries. The partnership will include Tidal and its artists making exclusive content for Sprint's new and current customers. Sprint has 45 million retail customers.

Jay-Z and the other artist-owners will continue to run the Tidal service.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure will join Tidal's board.


The Dow Jones industrial average fell 27.40 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 19,799.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 6.11 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,265.20. The Nasdaq composite lost 2.39 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 5,552.94.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 47 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to close at $52.75 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slid 26 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to close at $55.23 per barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.57 a gallon, while heating oil slipped 2 cents to $1.63 a gallon. Natural gas futures rose 4 cents, or 1.2 per cent, to $3.24 per 1,000 cubic feet.