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Money & Markets

Pier 1 files for bankruptcy protection amid online challenge

once-trendy supplier of home goods like papasan chairs and throw pillows — filed for bankruptcy protection Monday after years of sliding sales. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company has been struggling with increased competition from budget-friendly online retailers like Wayfair and Amazon ...

GM plans to pull out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

DETROIT — General Motors says it’s pulling out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand as part of a strategy to exit markets that don’t produce adequate returns on investments. The company said in a statement Sunday that it will wind down sales, engineering and design operations for its ...

Michael Avenatti is convicted of trying to extort Nike

NEW YORK — Michael Avenatti, the combative lawyer who gained fame by representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits involving President Donald Trump, was convicted Friday of trying to extort sportswear giant Nike. The verdict was returned by a federal jury in Manhattan following a ...

US brings new charges against Chinese tech giant Huawei

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has added new criminal charges against Chinese tech giant Huawei and several subsidiaries, accusing the company of a brazen scheme to steal trade secrets from competitors in America, federal prosecutors announced Thursday. The new indictment also alleges ...

Coronavirus has many U.S. firms waiting for products to ship

NEW YORK — When the factory in China that makes Romy Taormina’s anti-nausea wristbands closed for the Lunar New Year in late January, she expected production to resume by early this month. But many factories across China are still closed to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus, ...

Samsung’s new foldable phone: Cheaper, but still a novelty

SAN FRANCISCO — Samsung on Tuesday unveiled a new foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Flip, its second attempt to sell consumers on phones with bendable screens and clamshell designs. The new phone can unfold from a small square upward into a traditional smartphone form, and will go on sale Feb. ...

Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget proposal revisits rejected cuts

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump unveiled a $4.8 trillion election year budget plan on Monday that recycles deep, previously rejected cuts to domestic programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and housing as the recipe for wrestling the federal budget back into balance. Trump’s fiscal 2021 ...

Trump budget to face skepticism

WASHINGTON — Confronted with the threat of trillion-dollar-plus deficits for as far as the eye can see, President Donald Trump is offering a $4.8 trillion budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year that rehashes previously rejected spending cuts while leaving Social Security and Medicare ...

Healthy US job market: How big a political edge for Trump?

WASHINGTON — U.S. hiring jumped last month, and many more people were encouraged to look for work, showing that the economy remains robust despite threats from China’s viral outbreak, an ongoing trade war and struggles at Boeing. The strong job growth gives President Donald Trump more ...

Factory farms provide abundant food, but environment suffers

AKRON — In recent years, Fred Zenk built two barns housing about 2,400 hogs between them — long, white, concrete-and-metal structures that are ubiquitous in the Midwestern countryside. The Iowa farmer didn’t follow state requirements to get construction approval and file a manure ...

What for W-4? Why you should care about the new tax form

If you are starting a new job this year, or just want to update your tax information with your employer, some of the paperwork is going to look different. A lot different. The IRS has introduced a new Form W-4 that must be used by all employers in 2020 to better accommodate recent changes to ...

Trump boasts of economic gains on eve of impeachment verdict

WASHINGTON — Addressing the nation in extraordinary times, President Donald Trump declared America “stronger than ever before” Tuesday night as he delivered his State of the Union address on the eve of his likely impeachment acquittal and in the aftermath of the chaotic first votes of the ...

First month of Illinois pot sales netted nearly $40M

CHICAGO — Illinois marijuana dispensaries sold nearly $40 million worth of recreational weed during the state’s first month of legal sales, according to figures released Monday by the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Illinois residents bought more than $30.6 ...

Shanghai Composite index plunges 8.7% as market reopens

BANGKOK — The Shanghai Composite index tumbled 8.7% Monday then rebounded slightly as Chinese regulators moved to stabilize markets reopening from a prolonged national holiday despite a rising death toll from a new virus that has spread to more than 20 countries. The Shanghai benchmark was ...

Online political ads: cheap, efficient and ripe for misuse

Older men in Arkansas might see a close-up photo of President Donald Trump pumping his fist in the air, along with a message asking them to donate $30 to his campaign for a Super Bowl commercial. Middle-aged women in California might see a photo of Trump pointing to a crowd, with a plea for ...

Nintendo banks on profits from characters

TOKYO — Will Mario follow in the steps of Mickey Mouse? Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co. said Friday it is bullish about profiting from its characters by mirroring the historical appeal of the Disney franchise. “We are thinking about the Nintendo brand that way,” said the ...

Facebook reports 4Q profit, growth despite challenges

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook had a strong fourth quarter, making more money on advertising and adding more users despite challenges around regulation, privacy and efforts to fight election interference. Its profit and revenue both handily surpassed Wall Street’s expectations. The company ...

Budget deficit to break $1 trillion despite strong economy

WASHINGTON — An annual congressional report says the U.S. budget deficit is likely to burst through the symbolic $1 trillion barrier this year despite a healthy economy. Tuesday’s Congressional Budget Office report follows a burst of new spending last year and the repeal in December of ...

China virus outbreak rams global tourism, costing billions

Business around the world that have grown increasingly reliant on big-spending tourists from China are taking a heavy hit, with tens of millions of Chinese residents restricted from leaving their country as the coronavirus spreads. Hotels, airlines, casinos and cruise operators were among the ...

The big lesson from the Bezos hack: Anyone can be a target

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — You may not think you’re in the same league as Jeff Bezos when it comes to being a hacking target. Probably not, but you — and just about anyone else, potentially including senior U.S. government figures — could still be vulnerable to an attack similar to one the ...