Business Highlights


Can Apple make listening easy without a headphone jack?

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) " When Apple shows off its latest iPhone on Wednesday, it will answer a question it hasn't had to address in years: "What's it putting in the box?"

The iPhone has traditionally shipped with a pair of its earbuds. But tech analysts and industry bloggers, citing leaks from Apple's Asian suppliers, say it looks like Apple has decided to do away with the analog headphone jack in the next iPhone.

That means the earbuds themselves are in for a revamp, one that could hint at Apple's plans for expanded use of wireless technology.


Carlson settles lawsuit against Ailes for $20 million

NEW YORK (AP) " Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes for a reported $20 million and a public apology Tuesday, ending the case that triggered the downfall of the cable channel's chief executive.

Carlson alleged in a lawsuit filed two months ago that she was demoted and let go at Fox because she rejected Ailes' sexual advances and complained about workplace harassment.

In a statement, Fox parent company 21st Century Fox said: "We regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve."


US stocks inch higher on hope for more oil deals

NEW YORK (AP) " Energy companies led U.S. stocks higher Tuesday as investors hoped higher oil prices and bigger profits are on the way.

News of two deals in the energy sector also helped send those stocks higher as traders anticipated that more consolidation could follow. Spectra Energy agreed to be acquired for $28 billion and Yates Petroleum said it would be bought for $2.3 billion.

Investors were once again getting their hopes up for an agreement among oil producing countries to reduce output and mitigate a supply glut that has knocked oil prices lower.


Survey: US services firms register slowest growth since 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) " U.S. services companies grew last month at the slowest pace in more than six years, a private survey finds.

The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its services index fell to 51.4 last month from 55.5 in July. The August reading was the lowest since February 2010. Still, anything above 50 signals growth, and services firms have now expanded for 79 straight months.

New orders and hiring grew more slowly in August. Export orders fell. Eleven services industries reported growth in August; seven, including retailing, contracted.


Pipeline operator Enbridge to buy Spectra Energy for $28B

NEW YORK (AP) " Canada's Enbridge is buying Houston-based Spectra Energy for about $28 billion, creating North America's largest energy infrastructure company.

Both companies operate pipelines that deliver oil and natural gas.

Under the terms of the deal announced Tuesday, Spectra Energy shareholders will receive 0.984 a share of the combined company, or about $40.33 for each Spectra Energy share they own.

When the deal closes, which is expected to happen in the in the first quarter of 2017, Enbridge shareholders will own about 57 percent of the combined company and Spectra Energy shareholders will own about 43 percent.


Volkswagen Truck & Bus buying stake in Navistar for $256M

NEW YORK (AP) " Volkswagen Truck & Bus, an arm of the German automaker Volkswagen, is buying a minority stake in Navistar for $256 million.

The companies also said Tuesday that they will enter a procurement joint venture that will help source parts for both businesses. There will also be technology sharing, with an anticipated emphasis on powertrain technology.

Volkswagen Truck & Bus will acquire 16.2 million Navistar shares at $15.76 per share and will be allowed to name two directors to Navistar's board. Navistar will remain an independent truck, bus and engine company.


British Airways suffers global delays due to computer glitch

LONDON (AP) " British Airways travelers are suffering delays globally due to a computer glitch in the check-in systems, the latest in a string of technical failures to hit major international airlines.

Travelers took to social media to complain of long lines and the airline said a number of airports were affected.

According to tracking service Flightaware, 157 BA flights were delayed, or 17 percent of its total flights, and five were cancelled as of midday in London.


Bayer pushes bid for Monsanto closer to $56 billion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) " The German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG sweetened its bid for Monsanto Tuesday, saying that its latest offer, now worth almost $56 billion reflects, "constructive negotiations" in its quest to build a global chemical and seed company.

Bayer is offering $127.50 per Monsanto share, up from $125 in July, a bid that the St. Louis seed company had called inadequate. Excluding debt of about $9 billion, the latest proposal values Monsanto at $55.8 billion, about $1 billion more than it had offered less than two months ago.

Monsanto confirmed the latest bid, also calling its ongoing negotiations with Bayer "constructive."


ITT Tech shutters all campuses after federal aid sanctions

ITT Technical Institute is shutting down all 130 of its U.S. campuses, saying Tuesday it can't survive recent sanctions by the U.S. Department of Education.

In a letter to more than 35,000 students, parent company ITT Educational Services announced that campuses won't open for the fall term that was scheduled to begin Sept. 12 " leaving students scrambling for last-minute options. ITT also cut more than 8,000 jobs immediately.

The chain was banned from enrolling new students who used federal financial aid, because, the Education Department officials said, the company had become a risk to students and taxpayers.


GE ups its digital game, snaring two 3-D printing companies

WASHINGTON (AP) " General Electric is continuing its push into the digital realm, spending $1.4 billion to acquire two European 3-D printing companies.

At the same time, it's upping its old-school manufacturing capabilities with technology that will allow it to quickly punch out components for the automotive, airline and health industries at the whim of any client.

The Fairfield, Connecticut company said Tuesday that it expects the acquisition of Arcam AB and SLM Solutions Group AB to boost revenue within its 3-D printing business to $1 billion by 2020.


Hanjin pledges $90 million to resolve shipping cargo chaos

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) " Hanjin Group said Tuesday it will inject $90 million to help resolve disruptions to container cargo transport caused by Hanjin Shipping Co.'s financial troubles.

Some of Hanjin's vessels remain stranded outside ports after the company filed for bankruptcy protection last week. With the company's assets frozen, its ships are being refused permission to offload or take on containers at ports worldwide, out of concern tugboat pilots or stevedores may not be paid.


The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 46.16 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,538.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 6.50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,186.48. The Nasdaq composite jumped 26.01 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at a record 5,275.91.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 39 cents to $44.83 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, lost 37 cents to $47.26 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.32 a gallon. Heating oil remained at $1.41 a gallon. Natural gas skidded 8 cents to $2.72 per 1,000 cubic feet.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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