Stocks turn mixed
NEW YORK (AP) — Major U.S. stock indexes have been mixed as another slump in technology companies offsets gains elsewhere in the market.
Oracle plunged 10 percent after reporting disappointing results, and Facebook sank 6 percent following reports that the Federal Trade Commission will look into its handling of user data.
Banks rose along with bond yields, which allow banks to charge higher interest rates on loans, and energy companies climbed along with the price of crude oil.
Facebook under pressure again, UK promises investigation
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is having one of its worst weeks as a publicly traded company with a share sell-off continuing for a second day.
Britain’s Commissioner Elizabeth Denham told the BBC that she was investigating Facebook and has asked the company not to pursue its own audit of Cambridge Analytica’s data use. Denham is also pursuing a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s servers.
Facebook’s stock tumbled 2 percent at the opening bell Tuesday following its worst trading day in four years.
Facebook Inc. is coming under intense scrutiny since The New York Times and The Guardian newspaper reported that former Trump campaign consultant Cambridge Analytica used data, including user likes, inappropriately obtained from roughly 50 million Facebook users to try to sway elections.
FEDERAL RESERVE-WHAT TO WATCH FOR
What’s likely as Fed meeting ends and Powell takes questions
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials are meeting this week for the first time under their new chairman, Jerome Powell, whose news conference to follow is stirring high anticipation.
The Fed is set to announce its first interest rate increase of the year, a testament to the continued strength of the economy and of the job market in particular. The central bank raised rates modestly three times in 2017 under Powell’s predecessor, Janet Yellen, whom he succeeded last month. Over time, a rise in the Fed’s benchmark rate tends to cause many consumer and business loan rates, including mortgages, to rise as well.
Once its meeting ends at 2 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, the Fed will issue a policy statement and update its economic projections before Powell begins taking questions from reporters.
Germany doubts EU will be exempt from Trump steel tariffs
BRUSSELS (AP) — A German government official is doubtful that the European Union will be exempt from U.S. President Donald Trump’s potentially damaging steel and aluminum tariffs.
Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth said Tuesday that “we are skeptical, but will hope to the end that there is a good solution.”
Expressing concern about Trump’s “dogmatic and ideological decision,” Roth said that “we are at the moment — and the clock is ticking — a long way from a sensible solution.”
His comments came as EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom headed to Washington to seek an exemption from the tariffs for the entire 28-nation bloc.
Trump’s tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum enter force on Friday. He has temporarily exempted big steel producers Canada and Mexico.
Orbitz: legacy travel booking platform likely hacked
CHICAGO (AP) — Orbitz says a legacy travel booking platform may have been hacked, potentially exposing the personal information of people that made purchases between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 22, 2017.
The company said Tuesday about 880,000 payment cards were impacted.
Orbitz said data that was likely exposed includes name, payment card information, date of birth, phone number, email address, physical and/or billing address and gender. The company said evidence suggests an attacker may have accessed information stored on this consumer and business partner platform between Oct. 1, 2017 and Dec. 22, 2017.
The current Orbitz.com website was not involved in the incident. It’s now owned by Expedia Inc. of Belleview, Washington.
Orbitz is offering those impacted a year of free credit monitoring and identity protection service in countries where available.
UNITED-PETS IN CARGO
United suspends new reservations for pets in cargo hold
United Airlines is pausing its pet-shipping business after mishaps that include a dog winding up in Japan instead of Kansas.
United said Tuesday that it will halt PetSafe reservations while it reviews the service, which lets customers ship pets as cargo. Fees can run several hundred dollars for a medium-size or big dog.
The review, expected to finish by May 1, doesn’t affect pets in the cabin like the French bulldog that died last week after a flight attendant ordered a passenger to put her pet carrier in the overhead bin.
After that incident, United chartered a private jet to return the German shepherd from Japan. Two days later another flight made an unplanned landing in Ohio because it was carrying a dog that was put on the wrong plane.
German prosecutors search automaker BMW’s HQ in diesel probe
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German prosecutors and police have searched offices at the Munich headquarters of automaker BMW in connection with an investigation into suspected manipulation of diesel vehicle emissions.
Munich prosecutors said the search Tuesday came after BMW employees admitted to Germany’s motor vehicle authority on Feb. 22 that two models — the 750xd and the M550xd — had been equipped with impermissible defeat devices that turned off emission controls under certain circumstances.
The company has said that the 11,400 vehicles in question mistakenly received software intended for other vehicles during a post-sale update, worsening emissions performance. The company says it recalled and fixed the vehicles and is cooperating with the probe.
BMW’s competitor, Volkswagen, has admitted using illegal software that turned off emissions controls in some 11 million vehicles.
On the menu for McDonald’s: Cut greenhouse gas emissions
NEW YORK (AP) — The company behind the golden arches wants to get greener.
McDonald’s on Tuesday announced a number of steps to cut the greenhouse gases it emits into the air, including changing the way the beef in its Big Macs and Quarter Pounders is produced.
The Oak Brook, Illinois-based company says it will work with beef suppliers to reduce carbon emissions at cattle farms, replace restaurant light bulbs and kitchen appliances with energy-efficient ones and use more environmentally friendly packaging.
The fast-food giant says it expects the changes to prevent 150 million metric tons (165 million tons) of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere by 2030, the equivalent of taking 32 million cars off the road for a year.
US regulators renew scrutiny of menthol, tobacco flavors
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials are taking a closer look at flavors in tobacco products that appeal to young people, particularly menthol-flavored cigarettes, which have escaped regulation despite nearly a decade of government scrutiny.
The Food and Drug Administration issued a call Tuesday for information about flavored tobacco products, with the aim of preventing children and young people from getting hooked on nicotine.
The agency will look at flavors in cigars and electronic cigarettes, which currently have no flavoring restrictions. But the focus will fall on menthol, the only flavor permitted in cigarettes under federal law.
Studies have shown the minty flavor appeals more to underage and young adult smokers.
The FDA has the authority to ban menthol but its past efforts to begin regulating the ingredient have been stalled by industry.
FUR BAN-SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco could become largest US city to ban fur sales
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco could become the largest U.S. city to ban the sale of fur, a move that would hearten animal lovers but frustrate business owners who say they’re fed up with city officials dictating what they can sell.
If the Board of Supervisors approves the ban today, San Francisco would join two other California cities, West Hollywood and Berkeley, in saying no to a symbol of glamour that animal advocates say is built on cruelty.
The ban would apply to coats and anything else featuring real fur, including key chains and gloves.
San Francisco’s Chamber of Commerce estimates that fur sales in the city account for at least $40 million a year. The city’s Office of Economic Analysis estimated fur sales at $11 million in 2012, based on census figures.
New Chipotle marketing hire oversaw Taco Bell’s Doritos taco
NEW YORK (AP) — Chipotle, which is trying to rebuild its business after a series of food safety scares, says it hired a new marketing executive who once oversaw the launch of Taco Bell’s cheese-dusted Doritos taco.
Chris Brandt will start as Chipotle’s chief marketing officer next month, replacing Mark Crumpacker, who left the company last week. Brandt most recently worked as brand manager at Outback Steakhouse’s parent company, Bloomin’ Brands. Before that, he worked at Taco Bell with Chipotle’s newly-installed CEO Brian Niccol.
Niccol says Brandt will work to “reinvigorate” Chipotle’s brand. Besides the Doritos Locos Tacos, Brandt also oversaw the launch of the Quesalupa, a taco shell stuffed with cheese.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., based in Denver, has long positioned itself as a step up from fast food.
Google closes on $2.4 billion Chelsea Market purchase in NYC
NEW YORK (AP) — Google Inc. has finalized the $2.4 billion purchase of New York City’s Chelsea Market building.
The management company Jamestown Properties announced the sale of the former Nabisco factory on Tuesday.
The building is directly opposite Google’s New York City headquarters in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
Google has about 7,000 employees in New York, the most of any location outside of its Silicon Valley headquarters.
Google vice president for real estate David Radcliffe says the Chelsea Market purchase “further solidifies” the company’s commitment to New York.
Google and Jamestown say they’ll work together to ensure a smooth transition with minimal impact to tenants.
The building’s office tenants include Major League Baseball and the Food Network.
Jamestown will continue to manage Chelsea Market’s popular food hall, which draws millions of visitors every year.
Vermont resort for ‘Bachelor Winter Games’ ordered to close
WILMINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A private Vermont ski resort that was the setting for ABC’s “The Bachelor Winter Games” has been shut down for failing to pay taxes.
A spokeswoman for the Hermitage Club said Monday that the resort missed a required payment to the state and was ordered to close until it is paid. She said the members-only club hopes to reopen by this weekend.
The resort owes more than $1 million in back taxes and recently laid off about 80 people. Last month, a bank filed a foreclosure notice on several properties, saying the club had defaulted on more than $16 million in loans.
The Hermitage Club hosted “The Bachelor Winter Games,” a four-episode spin-off of “The Bachelor” that ran in conjunction with the Olympics.