Walmart joins forces with Google on voice-activated shopping
NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is diving into voice-activated shopping. But unlike online leader Amazon, it’s not doing it alone. Walmart is working with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of items for voice shopping through Google Assistant. The move illustrates how serious Walmart is about being competitive in an area dominated by Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo devices.
Trump bashes NAFTA in midst of talks to revamp trade deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — Just a week into talks to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Donald Trump is already threatening to abandon the 23-year-old pact with Canada and Mexico. At a high-profile campaign-style rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night, Trump predicted that the United States would “end up probably terminating” NAFTA “at some point,” though he said he hadn’t made a final decision.
US new-home sales fell in July, yet still ahead of last year
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes plummeted by the most in nearly a year in July, yet the drop comes after strong sales in previous months. So far, this year’s sales are outpacing last year’s.
Court upholds insider trading conviction of money manager
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York federal appeals court has upheld the conviction of an Ivy League-educated ex-portfolio manager convicted of enabling his firm to make over a quarter-billion dollars through insider trading. The court noted Wednesday that a doctor who gave confidential drug trial information to Mathew Martoma received substantial financial benefit in return. Prosecutors say Martoma engineered the most lucrative insider trading scheme of all time while working for billionaire Steven A. Cohen.
Warming Arctic spurs battles for riches, shipping routes
LANCASTER SOUND, Nunavut (AP) — As climate change pushes ice farther north each year, it is spurring talk of a gold rush in the Arctic for natural resources, shipping routes, tourism and fishing. The Arctic, including the fabled Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific, is among earth’s last largely unexplored regions. However, experts say many obstacles remain to reaping riches once blocked by ice. Conservationists oppose large-scale extraction of Arctic resources, fearing the fragile environment will be harmed.
Whole Foods shareholders say yes to Amazon deal
NEW YORK (AP) — Whole Foods shareholders and federal regulators approved Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of the organic grocer, a deal that could bring big changes to the supermarket industry and how people order groceries online. By buying Whole Foods, Amazon is taking a bold step into brick-and-mortar, with more than 460 stores and potentially very lucrative data about how shoppers behave offline.
US stock indexes sag as a two-day rally peters out
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks retreated on Wednesday and gave back some of their gains from a day earlier, when the Standard & Poor’s 500 index had one of its best days of the year. Advertising companies and retailers had some of the steepest drops on worries about their earnings, while prices for Treasury bonds and gold rose modestly as investors sought safer ground. It’s the latest move lower for a stock market that’s yo-yoed since setting a record high earlier this month.
Up from the ashes: Samsung unveils successor to Note 7 phone
NEW YORK (AP) — Samsung is trying to move past last year’s disastrous Galaxy Note 7 launch with a successor sporting a dual-lens camera, animated messages, expanded note-taking — and lower battery capacity. So far, the success of last spring’s Galaxy S8 phone suggests that Samsung has recovered from the Note 7 debacle. One analyst believes the new Note 8 could help Samsung win market share from Apple, though Apple is expected to come out with new iPhones of its own next month.
Studies: Automated safety systems are preventing car crashes
WASHINGTON (AP) — Researchers say safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or that warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to reduce crashes significantly. Two studies released Wednesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that vehicles with lane-keeping systems and blind-spot monitoring systems had lower crash rates than the same vehicles without the systems.
Former CIA agent wants to buy Twitter to kick Trump off
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson is looking to crowdfund enough money to buy Twitter so President Donald Trump can’t use it. Wilson launched the fundraiser last week, tweeting: “If @Twitter executives won’t shut down Trump’s violence and hate, then it’s up to us. #BuyTwitter #BanTrump.” The GoFundMe page for the fundraiser says Trump’s tweets “damage the country and put people in harm’s way.” As of Wednesday morning, she had raised less than $6,000 of her $1 billion goal.
College football on Facebook: Site to stream 15 games in ’17
Facebook has struck a deal for exclusive rights to live stream 15 college football games this season. The agreement with Stadium, a digital sports network, gives Facebook the rights to six Mountain West games and nine Conference USA games. The first one will be Marshall against Miami of Ohio on Sept. 2.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 8.47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,444.04. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 87.80 points, or 0.4 percent, to 21,812.09, and the Nasdaq composite lost 19.07, or 0.3 percent, to 6,278.41.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 58 cents to settle at $48.41 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 70 cents to $52.57 per barrel. Natural gas fell 1 cent to $2.93 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil rose 3 cents to $1.62 per gallon and wholesale gasoline gained 3 cents to $1.62 per gallon.
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