Rising interest rates send stocks skidding; tech plunges

NEW YORK — Global stocks fell Thursday as interest rates in the U.S. continued to rise. Technology and internet companies skidded and the Nasdaq composite took its biggest loss in three months. Strong reports on job gains and the service industry have sent bond prices tumbling over the last two days as traders bet the U.S. economy will keep growing at about its current clip. Government bonds are stable investments that look most appealing when economic growth is shaky, so investors sold those bonds in the U.S. and Europe.

How big developers like Trump benefit from web of tax breaks

WASHINGTON — Big real estate developers like Donald Trump have long benefited from a myriad of legal loopholes and breaks that can shrink tax bills. Their advantages expanded with the federal tax overhaul that took effect this year. Wealthy individuals typically try to transfer some of their assets during their lifetime to ease the tax burden on heirs. There are a number of ways to do so legally. As assets go, real estate is one of the most flexible options.

Small-company stocks stumble after strong start to 2018

Small-company stocks have stumbled after racking up strong gains for much of this year. Investors favored those stocks as tensions between the U.S. and its biggest trading partners escalated, betting their greater reliance on the domestic economy would keep them insulated from tariffs and other trade disruptions versus large multinationals. Lately, though, the market has shrugged off trade worries while other trends, such as rising interest rates, are making smaller companies less attractive.

Nike ‘deeply concerned’ by ‘disturbing’ Ronaldo rape claim

LONDON — Pressure is building on Cristiano Ronaldo from his sponsors after Nike joined EA Sports in expressing deep concern with the rape allegation facing the soccer star. The five-time world player of the year has denied the claim. Late Thursday night, he received public backing from his Italian club, Juventus, shortly after Nike issued its statement to The Associated Press. Nike has had a contract with Ronaldo, one of the wealthiest and most famous soccer players in the world, since 2003.

Musk takes swipe at SEC on heels of fraud settlement

SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla CEO Elon Musk is apparently taunting the government agency that accused him of duping investors just days after negotiating a settlement to keep his job. Musk jabbed the Securities and Exchange Commission on his Twitter account, the same agency that went after him for declaring he had secured financing for a Tesla buyout. In a Thursday tweet, Musk praised the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” for “doing incredible work.” Short sellers are investors who bet on a stock’s decline.

Aid groups now using the same data technology as bitcoin

LONDON — The data technology that underpins virtual currencies like bitcoin is now also used to deliver aid more efficiently. So-called blockchain lowers the risk of bribes and fraud by local officials, a longstanding problem in the industry. It keeps a record of all transactions and buyers, making sure recipients get their goods without the added costs of graft or bank transfer fees. And donors can track the use of their aid money, all the way to the refugee family it helps survive.

Signs emerge that rising rates could hinder small businesses

NEW YORK — Rising interest rates typically rank low on small-business owners’ list of problems, but some warning signs are starting to emerge. Higher rates are already starting to bite into some businesses’ bottom lines, and the effect is likely to get stronger as the Federal Reserve continues to raise rates amid the strong economy. The Fed made its latest move last week, raising its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point, and economists expect one more increase in December and at least a couple more next year.

Thousands of San Francisco hotel workers join strike

SAN FRANCISCO — Thousands of housekeepers, cooks and other hotel workers are on strike at Marriott-owned hotels in the San Francisco Bay Area after months of negotiating for a wage increase. Unite Here Local 2 union spokesman Ted Waechter says about 2,500 Marriott hotel workers are picketing Thursday outside seven hotels in downtown San Francisco, one of the city’s busiest tourist areas. Marriott says the hotels will continue to operate normally. Hotel workers also went on strike in San Jose.

GM, Honda team up to produce self-driving vehicle

General Motors and Honda are teaming up on self-driving vehicle technology as big automakers and tech giants race to develop the next generation of personal transportation. Japan’s Honda Motor Co. will invest $2.75 billion in the autonomous vehicle unit run by General Motors Co., called GM Cruise, which is considered a leader in the nascent industry. The goal, the companies said Wednesday, is to develop an autonomous vehicle that can be produced at a high volume and deployed globally. They will also explore commercial ways to use the Cruise network around the world.

California law on company boards spotlights deep challenges

NEW YORK — California’s new law requiring companies to include women on their boards of directors has already spotlighted the entrenched practices and barriers that have helped keep women out of boardrooms. Some of the country’s best-known companies, along with many smaller ones, will have to overcome such obstacles to comply with the new measure. Facebook, Apple and Google’s parent company Alphabet are among the companies that would have to add women to their boards by 2021 to comply.

Barnes & Noble reviewing offers to buy company

NEW YORK — Barnes and Noble is weighing its options after several parties expressed interest in buying the struggling bookseller. The company said Wednesday that its board appointed a special committee to review the offers, including one from its founder and chairman, Leonard Riggio, who is credited with turning Barnes & Noble into a bookselling giant. Barnes & Noble’s stock shot up 23 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement. It had closed Wednesday down 30 percent for the past year.

The Associated Press

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