Business Highlights


Beware of scary Brexit headlines pushing you to buy gold

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors have pushed the price of gold to a two-year high. But before joining the rush, experts warn, beware that assets considered conservative and safe that are bought in a panic can sometimes wallop investors with losses they were trying to avoid.

Gold is not some newfangled financial product, of course. It has been a trusted storehouse of wealth and means of exchange for centuries, but lately it’s been jumping around like a risky biotechnology stock. It soared during the financial crisis, fell in the four years through the end of last year, then began climbing sharply in recent months.


Israel group: Families sue Facebook over Palestinian attacks

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli and American families of victims of Palestinian attacks filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Facebook, claiming the social network is providing a platform for militants to spread incitement and violence, their lawyers said Monday.

The suit alleges that Facebook is violating U.S. anti-terrorism laws by providing a service to militant groups that assists them in “recruiting, radicalizing, and instructing terrorists, raising funds, creating fear and carrying out attacks.”

Facebook had no immediate comment on the lawsuit, saying it had not yet received a copy. But in a statement, it said people need to “feel safe” when using Facebook.


UFC sold for $4 billion, White stays on to run promotion

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The UFC has been sold for approximately $4 billion to a group led by Hollywood talent agency WME-IMG.

UFC President Dana White confirmed the sale of the mixed martial arts promotional company in text messages to The Associated Press on Sunday night. White will stay on to run the UFC, which has grown from a money-losing promotion in a minor sport into a global entertainment brand.

The UFC was founded in 1993 as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, staging violent fights that were banned or unregulated in many areas.


Stocks gain, setting a new record high for S&P 500 index

NEW YORK (AP) — The Standard and Poor’s 500 index closed at a record high Monday, beating the mark it set a bit over a year ago.

The Dow Jones industrial average was within 1 per cent of its own closing high, which was also set in May last year, but the Nasdaq composite has further to go. The technology-focused index is still negative for the year and would have to gain nearly 5 per cent to regain the closing high it reached last July.


Starbucks to increase base pay of workers in October

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks is boosting the base pay of all employees and store managers at U.S. company-run stores by 5 per cent or more.

In a letter sent to workers Monday, CEO Howard Schultz said that the amount of the raise — which will occur in October— will be determined by geographic and market factors. Starbucks doesn’t disclose specifics on starting salaries for employees, saying it’s determined on a market by market basis.

Starbucks has approximately 7,600 company-run stores across the country.


Burberry names Gobbetti as new CEO to replace Bailey

LONDON (AP) — Burberry PLC replaced Christopher Bailey as its CEO on Monday, ending the project of having him both lead the fashion house and serve as its chief creative officer.

The luxury goods maker named Marco Gobbetti, CEO of French luxury brand Celine, as its new chief executive. He will take over in 2017.

Bailey will stay on as chief creative officer and as president, overseeing all elements of the brand known for its trench coats and checkered print.


Taylor Swift tops Forbes’ list of highest-paid celebs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There’s no “Blank Space” in Taylor Swift’s bank account.

The singer-songwriter tops Forbes’ annual list of the 100 highest-paid celebrities with $170 million.

Swift is ahead of fellow chart-topping pop stars Adele at No. 9 with $80.5 million, Madonna at No. 12 with $76.5 million, Rihanna at No. 13 with $75 million and Katy Perry at No. 63 with $41 million.

The “Shake It Off” crooner’s star-studded “1989 World Tour” earned more than $200 million last year.


Finger-pointing over fingerprinting: Checks could be flawed

According to studies by the federal Government Accountability Office and the Department of Justice, as many as one-half of the criminal records in the FBI’s fingerprint system could have missing or inaccurate information on how criminal cases were resolved.

It worries civil rights and employment rights advocates at a time when job-related requests for fingerprint background checks have soared. And the issue has come into sharper focus as ride-hailing companies battle over fingerprinting of their drivers.

Uber pulled out of Austin, Texas, over the checks, and recently the Chicago City Council left fingerprinting out of its new ride-hailing regulations after Uber and Lyft threatened to leave the city.


Kimberly-Clark scaling back Venezuela operations

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Kimberly-Clark Corp. has closed its Venezuela operations in a move that the government claims is illegal.

The personal care manufacturer announced on Saturday that it was suspending production in the South American country because of lack of primary materials, currency trouble, and soaring inflation. Kimberly-Clark makes a number of items hard-to-find in Venezuela such as diapers and paper tissues.

Labour Minister Leninna Galindo said Kimberly-Clark failed to properly notify the government of its plans. Galindo said she would defend the rights of the 971 Kimberly-Clark workers affected by the pullout, but it was unclear what actions could be taken.


Cuba opens 1st bulk goods store, but wholesale still elusive

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba has quietly opened a first-of-its-kind store specializing in bulk goods in Havana: Zona +, a high-ceiling space with racks stacked with large tins of tomato sauce, toilet paper and cooking oil by the gallon.

It’s not quite Costco, and it falls short of satisfying longstanding calls for a wholesale market to support the growing class of small-restaurant and-cafeteria owners who have set up shop under President Raul Castro’s economic reforms begun six years ago.

But it could help relieve the pressure that those entrepreneurs have been putting on other retail stores by snapping up huge quantities of goods, leaving regular customers in the lurch.


The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 80.19 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 18,226.93. The S&P 500 added 7.26 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,137.16. The Nasdaq composite added 31.88 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 4,988.64

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 65 cents, or 1.4 per cent, to close at $44.76 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a standard for international oil prices, lost 51 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $46.25 a barrel in London. In other energy trading in New York, wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.38 a gallon, heating oil was flat at $1.42 a gallon and natural gas dropped 10 cents, or 3.5 per cent, to $2.70 per cent.