Business Highlights

Markets Associated Press


Continue Reading Below

In a tight market, stores lure holiday workers with perks

NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers are dangling perks like higher pay, extra discounts and more flexible schedules to lure temporary holiday workers in a tighter labor market.

They're also more determined to lock in their workers earlier. Macy's and Target are holding their first nationwide recruitment fairs, and others like consumer electronics chain Hhgregg Inc. are making it easier to apply for temporary holiday jobs via mobile devices.

Some companies are also widening their standards. Significantly more companies said they would be more willing to hire temporary workers with criminal backgrounds than two years ago, according to job listing site


Continue Reading Below

Brexit: where we are now in Britain's decision to leave EU

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May has outlined a broad timetable for the country's departure from the European Union. That should bring more clarity about Britain's future, right? Not necessarily.

May offered the first clear date for the start of the Brexit process, rallying the Conservative Party troops at their annual conference with a promise to trigger Article 50 of the EU Treaty by the end of March 2017. Invoking Article 50 is the starting gun to begin formal negotiations to leave and determine what the new relationship will be like. European leaders and company executives have been pushing the government to say when it plans to trigger Article 50 so they can begin preparing for a post-EU Britain.


Stocks fall broadly, led by drops in real estate, utilities

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell in light trading Monday as investors dumped former darlings of the market, real estate companies and utilities.

Indexes slumped from the start of trading and remained down throughout the day as investors continue to speculate about when the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates as the economy strengthens. A report earlier in the day showed U.S. manufacturing picking up.

The selling was modest, but broad. Eight of the 11 sectors of the Standard and Poor's 500 index closed down for the day.


US factory activity picked up in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing rebounded in September after contracting in August. New orders and production at factories increased, although employment fell — a sign that manufacturers have yet to fully stabilize after a difficult year.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its manufacturing index rose to 51.5 in September from 49.4 in August. Any reading above 50 signals expansion.

U.S. factories have faced a brutal slowdown over the past year. The strong dollar made their goods less affordable overseas, hurting exports. Lower oil prices caused energy companies to cut back on orders of equipment and pipeline. Auto sales have also leveled off this year after reaching a record level in 2015. The result has been layoffs and declining levels of production, with the ISM index being among the few signs of recovery until August when the index showed a manufacturing pullback.


US construction spending fell again in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders trimmed spending on construction projects in August for a second straight month with housing, non-residential and government activity all seeing declines.

Construction spending dropped 0.7 percent in August after a 0.3 percent slip in July, the Commerce Department reported Monday. It was the third decline in the past five months.

Residential construction decreased 0.3 percent, while non-residential activity was down 0.4 percent. Spending on government projects fell 2 percent, dragged down by a sharp drop in activity at the state and local level. That has fallen to the lowest point since March 2014.


More free money, please: Alaskans bemoan sum of yearly check

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Yes, you could call it free money.

But that doesn't mean all Alaskans are happy about the $1,022 dividend checks nearly every resident will receive starting Thursday from the state's oil wealth fund.

Folks were looking at getting more than twice that amount.

Each year, residents get the checks from the Alaska Permanent Fund, a reward of sorts for living here at least a full calendar year.


Automakers report mixed US sales results in September

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales fell slightly in September as demand for new cars and trucks sputtered.

Sales dropped 0.5 percent to 1.4 million in September, according to Autodata Corp. It was the fourth month of year-over-year sales declines so far this year.

Automakers reported mixed results Monday. Nissan's sales rose 4.9 percent over last September. Hyundai and Subaru reported 4-percent sales gains, while Toyota's sales rose 1.5 percent. General Motors' and Honda's sales were flat for the month. Fiat Chrysler's sales fell 1 percent. Ford and Volkswagen both reported 8-percent declines.

Slowing sales aren't necessarily bad news for automakers or consumers. Sales remain near historic highs, and some analysts suggest 2016 sales could still top the record of 17.5 million set last year. Favorable conditions such as low interest rates and low gas prices remain in place. Consumer confidence hit a nine-year high in September, according to the Conference Board's index.


Outdoor giant Bass Pro to acquire rival Cabela's for $4.5B

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Outdoor gear giant Bass Pro is snapping up rival Cabela's in a $4.5 billion deal announced Monday.

Bass Pro is paying Cabela's shareholders $65.50 cash per share, a 19 percent premium to Friday's closing price. The deal combines two companies known for their giant destination superstores.

It also creates uncertainty about jobs in Cabela's home state of Nebraska. The combined companies plan to keep some operations in Sidney and Lincoln, Nebraska, but it's not immediately clear how many jobs might be lost.

Cabela's employs about 2,000 people in the western Nebraska town of Sidney, which has about 7,000 residents. State Sen. Ken Schilz, who represents the area, said the deal is concerning because of the duplication between the two companies' headquarters that will be eliminated.


Illinois suspends $30B in Wells Fargo activity; bank 'sorry'

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois state Treasurer Michael Frerichs suspended $30 billion in state investment activity with Wells Fargo on Monday, joining a swelling chorus of outrage over the scandal which saw bank employees opening millions of phony accounts to meet sales goals.

Frerichs was uncertain how much the yearlong suspension would cost the nation's second-largest bank, which serves as broker-dealer for state investments, but said it likely amounts to millions of dollars.

The move by Illinois, which has nearly $1 trillion a year in banking activities, follows closely on similar action last week by California after regulators in that state and the federal government fined the company $185 million.


Investment firms Henderson and Janus to combine

NEW YORK (AP) — Henderson, a London-based investment firm, plans to combine with U.S. rival Janus Capital and create a new company that would manage more than $320 billion in assets.

The combined company will be called Janus Henderson Global Investors and its stock will be traded on the New York Stock Exchange when the deal closes, which is expected to happen in the second quarter of next year. The new company will be headquartered in London and keep offices in Denver, where Janus is based.

Bringing the two companies together will create one company that manages assets across the world. Henderson's biggest market is the U.K., while Janus has its strongest presence in the U.S. The combined company will also manage assets in Asia, South America and Australia.


The Dow Jones industrial average fell 54.30 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,253.85. The S&P 500 index lost 7.07 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,161.20. The Nasdaq composite declined 11.13 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,300.87.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 57 cents to close at $48.81 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 70 cents to close at $50.89 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline edged up 1 cent to $1.47 a gallon, heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.55 a gallon and natural gas increased 2 cents to $2.923 per 1,000 cubic feet.