Business Highlights


Countertops and rubber bands: US pursues obscure trade cases

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's high-profile trade offensives have grabbed headlines and rattled financial markets around the world. He's battling China over the industries of the future, strong-arming Canada and Mexico into reshaping North American trade and threatening to tax cars from Europe. But his trade warriors are fighting dozens of more obscure battles — over laminated woven sacks from Vietnam, dried tart cherries from Turkey, rubber bands from Thailand and many others.


US economic sanctions on Huawei could backfire

The Trump administration's newly announced plan to restrict exports to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei for national security reasons doesn't just up the ante in the China trade war. It could also hurt U.S. suppliers and accelerate Beijing's drive toward greater technological independence.


Walmart warns that higher tariffs will mean higher prices

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is warning that higher tariffs on imports from China will mean higher prices. The comments came after the nation's largest retailer reported its best sale performance at its established U.S. namesake stores for the fiscal first quarter in nine years.


Trump disclosure shows major resorts held steady

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump's financial disclosure form shows revenue held steady last year at several of his major hotels and resorts. His Doral golf course and club in Miami generated about $76 million in revenue last year, about $1 million more than in 2017. Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, took in nearly $23 million, a drop of more than $2 million.


Boeing finishes software update for grounded airliner

CHICAGO (AP) — Boeing says it has finished updating the flight-control software for the 737 Max, moving a step closer to getting the plane back in the sky after two deadly crashes. The next step is a test flight to demonstrate the update to federal aviation regulators. The software, called MCAS, was implicated in fatal accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia.


US, European officials bring charges in global malware case

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. and European authorities say 10 people, including five Russian fugitives, have been charged in connection with malicious software attacks that infected tens of thousands of computers worldwide and caused more than $100 million in financial losses. Authorities say the malware enabled Eastern European criminals to take remote control of infected computers and siphon funds from victims' bank accounts, and targeted companies and institutions across all sectors of American life.


Saudis blame Iran for drone attack amid calls for US strikes

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia accused Tehran of being behind a drone strike that shutdown a key oil pipeline in the kingdom, and a newspaper close to the palace called for Washington to carry out "surgical" strikes against Iran, raising the specter of escalating tensions as the U.S. boosts its military presence in the Persian Gulf. Tensions have flared recently after the U.S. sent warships and bombers to the region to counter an alleged but unspecified threat from Iran.


Pinterest reports smaller 1Q loss but guidance drags stock

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pinterest, fresh off its initial public offering, is reporting a smaller loss in the first quarter, boosted by higher revenue, but its revenue outlook was below expectations and shares slumped in after-hours trading. The company, which runs a digital pinboard and shopping tool, said Thursday that its net loss was $41.4 million, 33 cents per share, in the January-March period.


US stock indexes extend winning streak to 3rd day

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street for the third straight day Thursday, led by solid gains in technology companies and banks. The latest gains extend the market's turnaround from the start of the week, when stocks nosedived as the trade conflict between the U.S. and China escalated. Chipmakers slumped a day after the Trump administration labeled Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei a security risk and imposed export curbs on U.S. technology sales to the company.


Salesforce pledges skill training as part of Trump program

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Business software company Salesforce says it aims to provide skills training to 1 million people as part of a Trump administration push to boost career opportunities among Americans. Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff doubled his initial 500,000 person pledge during a Thursday event at its Indianapolis offices with President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump. The San Francisco-based company says its free online platform Trailhead will offer tech training needed for Salesforce positions.


NTSB: Autopilot was in use before Tesla hit semitrailer

DETROIT (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says Tesla's Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system was in use when one of its cars drove beneath a semitrailer in Florida in March, killing the driver. The crash involving the Tesla Model 3 is strikingly similar to a 2016 crash near Gainesville, Florida, that also killed the driver.


The S&P 500 index rose 25.36 points, or 0.9%, to 2,876.32. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 214.66 points, or 0.8%, to 25,862.68. The Nasdaq composite gained 75.90 points, or 1%, to 7,898.05. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks picked up 8.97 points, or 0.6%, to 1,557.24.