Business Highlights

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Roger Ailes, media guru and political strategist, dies at 77

NEW YORK (AP) - Roger Ailes died Thursday of bleeding on the brain after a fall on May 10 in his Palm Beach, Florida, home. He transformed TV news by creating Fox News Channel, only to be ousted at the height of his reign for alleged sexual harassment.

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9 years after recession began, some states still unrecovered

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) - Nine years after the recession began, some states still haven't fully recovered. That's true in Mississippi, where job numbers and the overall size of the economy remain below 2008 levels. It's also true in states including Alabama, Michigan, New Mexico, and West Virginia, which remain below pre-recession job levels by multiple measures. That contrasts with states where employment numbers have sprinted ahead. Mississippi suffers from a cluster of ills that make it an economic laggard.

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Wal-Mart sees online sales surge, more shoppers at stores

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Wal-Mart saw online sales surge and more shoppers at its stores as well, as retail overall is more competitive. The world's largest retailer beat Wall Street estimates and delivered another solid gain in sales at established stores. Wal-Mart also saw higher customer traffic, while major retailers like Macy's and Target had declines.

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Many women think men are the better investors; they're not

NEW YORK (AP) - Many men and women think men are the better investors. They're wrong. After checking how 8 million of its customers did during 2016, Fidelity Investments found that women did better than men by an average of 0.4 percentage points. The difference in performance is small, and it's always dangerous to make big generalizations out of small slices of data. But it slots in with other research that suggests women tend to take a longer-term view of investing.

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FCC vote kicks off a battle over regulation of the internet

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal agency has voted to kick off the repeal of "net neutrality" rules designed to keep broadband providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from interfering with the internet. It's the latest change that the Federal Communications Commission has made to ease regulation of the phone, broadcast or cable industries.

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Rally powers rebound in US stocks a day after slump

Solid gains among phone companies and some retailers helped nudge U.S. stocks higher a day after the stock market had its biggest drop in eight months. Banks also recouped some of their losses. Energy and materials stocks fell.

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Trump administration announces plans to renegotiate NAFTA

WASHINGTON (AP) - Making good on a campaign promise, the Trump administration is informing Congress that it intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer sent a letter to congressional leaders Thursday, starting 90 days of consultations with lawmakers over how to revamp the 23-year-old pact.

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Asian funerals go green, high-tech at Hong Kong trade fair

HONG KONG (AP) - Caskets made of paper and coffins made of wicker on display at a recent Hong Kong funeral industry trade show reflect a trend toward "green burials." The expo highlights growing potential for Asia's funeral market as the region's population rapidly ages.

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Canada warns it may cancel US jet buy over Bombardier probe

TORONTO (AP) - Canada's government is warning it could cancel a planned purchase of 18 Super Hornet fighter jets from Boeing Co. because of U.S. Department of Commerce anti-dumping investigations against Canadian plane maker Bombardier. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland issued the threat in a statement Thursday, saying the government is "reviewing current military procurement that relates to Boeing."

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Toyota, 3 other automakers settle suit over Takata air bags

DETROIT (AP) -Toyota, Subaru, Mazda and BMW have reached a proposed settlement that would compensate owners of 15.8 million vehicles for money they lost due to the massive recall of Takata air bags. The automakers agreed to pay $553 million to compensate owners and widen their efforts to make sure vehicles are being repaired.

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EU fines Facebook over misleading information

BRUSSELS (AP) - The EU's competition watchdog has fined Facebook 110 million euros ($122 million) for providing misleading information over its buyout of mobile messaging service WhatsApp. The European Commission says that when Facebook informed the Commission of the 2014 buyout it said it would be unable to link Facebook and WhatsApp user accounts. Two years later, this was made possible.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 8.69 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,365.72. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 56.09 points, or 0.3 percent, to 20,663.02. The Nasdaq composite added 43.89, or 0.7 percent, to 6,055.13.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil futures rose 28 cents, or 0.6 percent, to close at $49.35 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, climbed 30 cents, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $52.51 a barrel in London. In other futures trading, natural gas fell 1 cent to $3.18 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.60 per gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.54 per gallon.

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