Business Highlights


Fed likely to signal coming rate hike if economy strengthens

WASHINGTON (AP) — With evidence that the U.S. economy is rebounding from a winter slump, the Federal Reserve will likely signal this week that an interest rate increase is coming — just not quite yet.

Many economists say that if the economy keeps improving, the Fed will most likely raise its key short-term rate when it meets in September. That rate has been held at a record low near zero since 2008.

The Fed’s timetable has far-reaching impact: Once it begins raising short-term rates, other rates — for mortgages, auto loans, corporate borrowing — could head higher. Stock and bond prices could be squeezed.


Hong Kong boom-to-bust stocks show challenge of China link

HONG KONG (AP) — Wild gyrations in Hong Kong share prices are raising concerns that a new trading link with mainland China is a conduit for questionable trading practices that could undermine the city’s reputation as a centre of global finance.

At least four companies that climbed to dizzying values in only a few months have come abruptly crashing down in the past several weeks for reasons that remain unclear.

The strange trading patterns have gripped Hong Kong’s financial community with a narrative of paper fortunes built quickly and then wiped out in an even shorter time.


Q&A: EBay’s security chief cites evolving cyberthreats

NEW YORK (AP) — It seems there’s nowhere to hide these days from cyberattacks.

Major breaches have exposed critical data at banks, retailers, health care providers and the government, as evidenced by word this month that hackers compromised personal information of at least 4 million current and former federal employees.

Faced with a constant barrage of cyberattacks, its key to stay on top of the latest threats to learn about potential vulnerabilities and effective defences, says Rick Orloff, the head of security at e-commerce company eBay Inc. Not only must companies protect the traditional layers of security infrastructure, these days it’s key to become more sophisticated in detecting attacks and attributing them to the correct source, he said.


Kirk Kerkorian, billionaire and Las Vegas casino mogul, dies

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, an eighth-grade dropout who built Las Vegas’ biggest hotels, tried to take over Chrysler and bought and sold MGM at a profit three times, has died. He was 98.

He died Monday night in Beverly Hills.

The reserved, unpretentious Kerkorian spent much of his life trying to stay out of the spotlight and rarely gave interviews. He called himself a “small-town boy who got lucky.”

He shunned glitzy Hollywood parties and movie premieres in favour of making deals. Rather than arrive at an event by limousine, he often drove himself in a Mercury station wagon.


US homebuilding drops in May, but pace stronger than in 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in May, but the pace of construction remains significantly higher than a year ago as the real estate sector increasingly reflects the stronger job market.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that housing starts last month fell 11.1 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.04 million homes. Economists say that starts increased so sharply in April — surging 22 per cent to an annual rate of 1.17 million — that some giveback was inevitable in May.


GOP leaders putting together trade rescue plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — After talks with President Barack Obama, top Republican leaders in Congress put together a quick rescue plan Tuesday for a White House-backed trade legislation that Democrats derailed in the House last week.

Officials said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., were likely to split the stalled bill into two parts in hopes of sending them to the president separately, with Republicans providing most of the needed votes for one part, and Democrats for the other.


FDA tells food industry to phase out artificial trans fats

WASHINGTON (AP) — Popular foods like pie crusts, frostings and microwave popcorn will be largely rid of artery-clogging trans fats after a decision by the Obama administration to phase them out over the next three years.

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday ordered food companies to phase out artificial trans fats, calling them a threat to public health. Consumers aren’t likely to notice much of a difference in their favourite foods, but the administration says the move will reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.


Paris Air Show: Single-aisle jets win out for Boeing, Airbus

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Boeing landed the biggest order so far of the Paris Air Show with a deal Tuesday for 100 of its 737s — the single-aisle jets that Boeing’s CEO calls “the heart of the market” in the years to come.

Fighter jets growled and superjumbos soared above the Le Bourget airfield outside Paris, the U.S. Air Force secretary met CEOs, and Mideast and Asian airlines signed multibillion-dollar deals as thousands gathered for the latest edition of the world’s oldest air show.

Boeing and European rival Airbus clocked scores of sales, with particularly intense competition between Boeing’s 737MAX series of planes and Airbus’ 320 family of jets


After lead scare, Nestle India to destroy $50M of noodles

NEW DELHI (AP) — Nestle India said it will destroy instant noodles worth 3.2 billion rupees ($50 million) following a sales ban imposed by Indian food safety authorities for unsafe levels of lead.

India’s food safety panel banned the noodles earlier this month after tests conducted across the country found that Nestle’s Maggi noodles contained lead at levels far higher than legally allowed.

The tests also detected the chemical flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which is not mentioned in the product’s list of ingredients.


Toyota adds nearly 1.4M vehicles to Takata air bag recall

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota is adding nearly 1.4 million cars, trucks and SUVs to a growing recall for air bags that can explode with too much force.

The company says it’s expanding a previous recall after Takata Corp. of Japan agreed in May to double the size of its air bag inflator recall to 33.8 million.

Vehicles added to a passenger air bag inflator recall include the 2003 to 2007 Corolla and Matrix, 2005 and 2006 Tundra pickup, 2005 to 2007 Sequoia SUV and the 2003 to 2007 Lexus SC430 convertible.


Ex-AIG CEO still wants damages in bailout case, will appeal

NEW YORK (AP) — The former chairman and CEO of insurer AIG says he still believes he’s entitled to damages as a result of the government’s 2008 bailout of the company, and will appeal a court’s ruling against him.

A federal judge gave Maurice Greenberg a partial win Monday when he ruled that the $85 billion government bailout was unfairly punitive and that the government was not entitled to take ownership of AIG in return for its bailout loan. But the judge said the government doesn’t have to pay damages to Greenberg and other AIG shareholders.


Nintendo charts return of ‘Zelda,’ ‘Star Fox’ at E3

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Link is set to return to the Nintendo 3DS before he arrives on the Wii U.

Nintendo announced plans Tuesday during the Electronic Entertainment Expo for a multiplayer-focused installment of “The Legend of Zelda” on the Nintendo 3DS set to debut this fall. However, the Japanese games giant didn’t provide any more details about a previously teased open-world “Zelda” edition coming to the Wii U console next year.


Greek leader, top EU executive clash over austerity claims

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s leader and a top EU official ignited a war of words on Tuesday, a rare public spat that highlights how tense the talks have become over how to save the country from financial disaster.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told lawmakers from his left-wing Syriza party that creditors were demanding sweeping pension cuts and tax hikes on medicine and electricity bills.


By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 113.31 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 17,904.48. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 11.86 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2,096.29. The Nasdaq composite rose 25.58 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 5,055.55.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 45 cents to close at $59.97 a barrel in New York. Brent crude for August delivery, a benchmark for international oil used by many U.S. refineries, fell 25 cents to close at $63.70 in London. The Brent contract for July delivery expired Monday at $62.61. Wholesale gasoline rose 2.6 cents to close at $2.125 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1.5 cents to close at $1.885 a gallon. Natural gas fell 0.5 cent to close at $2.894 per 1,000 cubic feet.