Fed signals neither a rate hike nor a cut is likely soon
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged and signaled that it’s unlikely to either raise or cut rates in coming months amid signs of renewed economic health but unusually low inflation. The Fed left its benchmark rate — which influences many consumer and business loans — in a range of 2.25% to 2.5%. Its low-rate policy has helped boost stock prices and supported a steadily growing economy.
Budget office finds caveats to government-run health system
WASHINGTON — Congressional budget experts say moving to a government-run health care system like “Medicare for All” would be complicated and potentially disruptive for Americans. Wednesday’s report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says among the risks are increased wait times and reduced access to care if there aren’t enough medical providers to meet increased demand for services. The CBO did not produce a cost estimate of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan, but instead listed pros and cons.
Trump Fed choice Stephen Moore withdraws amid controversy
WASHINGTON — Stephen Moore, a conservative commentator whom President Donald Trump had tapped for the Federal Reserve board, withdrew from consideration after losing Republican support in the Senate, largely over his past inflammatory writings about women. Trump tweeted the news of Moore’s withdrawal, just hours after Moore had told two news organizations that he was still seeking the seat and still had the White House’s support.
Car-sharing apps’ popularity drives debate about taxes
PHOENIX — A battle is heating up in Arizona and some three dozen other states over how to regulate car-sharing. Apps such as Turo gaining popularity in the U.S. They function like Airbnb for vehicles, allowing people to rent out their cars when they’re not using them. Rental car companies and airport authorities say users should pay the same taxes and fees that come with traditional rental cars. San Francisco-based Turo says rental car companies are trying to stifle competition.
Beyond Meat fattens up as shares rise in IPO
NEW YORK — The Nasdaq is adding fake meat to its diet. Beyond Meat, the purveyor of plant-based burgers and sausages, saw its share price more than double Thursday in its stock market debut. It’s the first pure-play maker of vegan “meat” to go public, according to Renaissance Capital, which researches and tracks IPOs. Beyond Meat raised about $240 million selling 9.6 million shares at $25 each. Those shares rose 163% to close at $65.75.
Aiming at Trump, House OKs bill to keep US in climate accord
WASHINGTON — The Democratic-controlled House has approved legislation that would prevent President Donald Trump from following through on his pledge to withdraw the U.S. from a landmark global climate agreement. The bill also would ensure the U.S. honors its commitments under the deal signed in Paris by President Barack Obama. The bill falls short of the Green New Deal pushed by many Democrats but is the first significant climate legislation passed by the House is nearly a decade. Trump is pledging a veto.
Trump easing offshore drilling safety rules from Deepwater
PORT FOURCHON, La. — The Trump administration is easing safety rules adopted after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon blowout, the worst offshore oil disaster in U.S. history. The Interior Department was making the announcement Thursday in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, a hub of offshore drilling on the Gulf of Mexico. The rules pertain to procedures and inspections on oil rigs. Eleven people died in April 2010 when the drilling rig exploded, ultimately releasing more than 3 million barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico.
Breast implants tied to rare cancer to remain on US market
WASHINGTON — U.S. health authorities will allow a type of breast implant linked to a rare form of cancer to stay on the market. But the Food and Drug Administration said women should receive more information about potential risks when considering implants. Thursday’s announcement noted that these kinds of textured implants account for less than 10% of the U.S. market.
Under Trump change, Cuba business partners can now be sued
MIAMI — On Thursday, Mickael Behn and Javier García Bengochea filed what were believed to be the first lawsuits against European and American companies doing business on confiscated properties in Cuba. That’s thanks to the Trump administration’s decision to activate a provision of the U.S. embargo on the island, potentially affecting foreign investment for years to come.
US Steel plows $1B into western Pennsylvania operations
PITTSBURGH — U.S. Steel will invest more than $1 billion on state-of-the-art facilities in western Pennsylvania that it says will improve its steelmaking efficiency and reduce emissions at its Mon Valley Works operations. The steelmaker said Thursday that a new cogeneration facility at its Clairton Plant will feature an emissions control system that can convert some of the coke oven gas generated there into electricity to power other parts of the plant.
Drug firm founder guilty of bribing doctors to push opioid
A wealthy pharmaceutical company founder accused of bribing doctors across the U.S. to prescribe a highly addictive fentanyl spray was convicted Thursday in a case that exposed such marketing tactics as using a stripper-turned-sales-rep to give a physician a lap dance. John Kapoor, the founder and former chairman of Insys Therapeutics, was found guilty after 15 days of deliberations in a months-long trial in which jurors also watched a video of employees dancing and rapping around an executive dressed as a bottle of the powerful opioid.