U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 33 mins

Business Highlights

The Associated Press

___

Fox thrives despite scandals involving O'Reilly and Ailes

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fox News has thrived as a business despite a never-ending stream of scandals involving former chief Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly and others. The network has emerged as the unquestioned home for Trump fans — and Trump himself. Yet a storm is brewing over O'Reilly's conduct.

___

More advertisers say they have ditched Fox's O'Reilly show

Twelve companies confirm that they have canceled advertising on Bill O'Reilly's show on Fox News due to allegations of sexual harassment. Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that O'Reilly and his employer paid five women $13 million to settle harassment or other allegations of inappropriate conduct by Fox's top-rated star.

___

Trump tells CEOs he'll only back shovel-ready infrastructure

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump has brought 52 business leaders from New York City to the White House to talk about economic growth. Many of the CEOs are involved in real estate, and Trump wants them to tackle infrastructure projects as quickly as possible. The administration has committed to directing as much as $1 trillion for infrastructure over the next decade, although it has yet to release policy specifics.

___

Richmond Fed head resigns, admits improper discussions

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Richmond Fed president Jeffrey Lacker has resigned after acknowledging improper discussions with a financial analyst that later became the subject of a lengthy investigation into leaks at the Federal Reserve. In his resignation statement, Lacker said that in October 2012 he spoke to an analyst at Medley Global Advisors who possessed "highly confidential" information about interest-rate decisions the Fed had considered at its September meeting.

___

Shoe chain Payless files for bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shoe chain Payless ShoeSource has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It's the latest retailer to succumb to increasing pressures form online rivals. It will be closing nearly 400 stores as part of the reorganization.

___

Stocks tread water as energy companies rise and banks fall

NEW YORK (AP) -- US stocks finish little changed Tuesday as energy companies rise with the price of oil and banks and retailers stumble. The Commerce Department said a measurement of business investment fell in February, but manufacturing rose. General Communications is rising after it agreed to be bought by Liberty Interactive.

___

Border wall contractors brace for hostile environment

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Bids are due today on the first design contracts for President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico. And interested companies are preparing for the worst if they get the potentially lucrative job. Some contractors want to know if authorities would rush to help if workers came under "hostile attack." Another asked if employees could carry firearms in states with strict gun control laws and if the government would indemnify them for using deadly force.

___

Inventor of World Wide Web wins computing's 'Nobel Prize'

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Most people who search on Google, share on Facebook and shop on Amazon have never heard of Sir Tim Berners-Lee. But they might not be doing any of those things had he not invented the World Wide Web. Berners-Lee, 61, is being hailed for his breakthrough as this year's recipient of computing's equivalent of the A.M. Turing Award, computing's version of the Nobel Prize.

___

Owe the IRS? The tax man's coming, and he's got private help

WASHINGTON (AP) -- If you owe the IRS, don't be surprised if you hear from a private debt collector looking to collect the bill. But be wary. There are a lot of scam artists posing as IRS agents to con innocent taxpayers out of their money. The IRS says no one should hear from a private collection firm unless they have unpaid tax debts going back several years. And even though private firms will be contacting taxpayers, all payments should be made to the U.S. Treasury.

___

Swiss watchdog: Probes of money laundering jump in 2016

BERN, Switzerland (AP) -- Switzerland's financial markets watchdog says it investigated 22 breaches of money laundering requirements last year, from nine in 2015, particularly linked to international corruption. It says that "serious shortcomings" came to light in 2016, including major cases involving the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB, and Brazilian oil company Petrobras.

___

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 1.32 points, or almost 0.1 percent, to 2,360.16.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 39.03 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,689.24.

The Nasdaq composite edged up 3.93 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,898.61.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 79 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $51.03 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added $1.05, or 2 percent, to $54.17 a barrel in London.

The price of natural gas jumped 4.6 percent to $3.27 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $1.72 a gallon and heating oil added 3 cents to $1.59 a gallon.