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Business Highlights

The Associated Press


Target rattles Wall Street with weak quarter, outlook

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Target reported a 43 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit and weak store sales overshadowed an improving online performance. Its outlook for the first quarter and all of 2017 were far below what industry analysts had been expecting.


Netflix CEO: co-workers were affected by Trump travel ban

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- The CEO of Netflix says co-workers of his were personally affected by U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on travel from several Muslim countries. Reed Hastings, a critic of Trump's attempts to ban some immigration told The Associated Press that he had Iranian and Iraqi colleagues who were unable to come to work.


Stocks edge lower, breaking a 12-day win streak for the Dow

A slide led by Target and other big retailers pulled U.S. stock indexes lower Tuesday, snapping a 12-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average. Industrial stocks and phone companies were also among the big decliners. Energy companies fell as crude oil prices edged lower. Utilities stocks eked out a gain. Investors were focused on an evening speech by President Donald Trump to Congress in hopes of gleaning more details on the timing of tax cuts and other policies.


Amazon cloud storage failure causes widespread disruption

NEW YORK (AP) -- Amazon's cloud-computing service, Amazon Web Services, experienced an outage in its eastern U.S. region on Tuesday , causing unprecedented and widespread problems for thousands of websites and apps.

Amazon is the largest provider of cloud computing services in the U.S. Beginning around midday on the East Coast, one region of its "S3" service based in Virginia began to experience what Amazon, on its service site , called "increased error rates."


South Korean prosecutors indict Samsung's de facto chief

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korean special prosecutors have indicted Samsung's de facto chief on bribery, embezzlement and other charges linked to a political scandal that has toppled President Park Geun-hye. The indictment Tuesday of Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong is a huge hit for the country's most important company.


US economy grew at weak 1.9 percent rate in 4th quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy grew at an anemic 1.9 percent rate in the fourth quarter, unchanged from an initial estimate, although consumers performed better than first thought. The Commerce Department says that the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, increased at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the October-December quarter.


US consumer confidence rises to highest level since 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer confidence rose to the highest level in more than 15 years, good news for the economy. The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index rose to 114.8 in February from 111.6 in January and the highest since July 2001.


Protests expected as Trump opens newest hotel in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Protests are planned in Vancouver as a new Trump International Hotel and Tower opens in a city known for diversity and progressive politics. Steel fences surrounded the downtown property early Tuesday ahead of the grand opening ceremony. President Donald Trump's eldest sons were expected but the mayor of Vancouver and members of his party on the City Council said they would not attend the ceremony.


US banks in strong shape as 4th quarter profit jumps

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. banks' earnings in the final quarter of 2016 rose 7.7 percent from a year earlier as lending continued to grow and banks set aside less for losses on loans for the first time since late 2015. The data issued Tuesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. showed strength in the industry more than eight years after the financial crisis struck. However, banks continued to post bigger losses on loans, especially for credit cards and commercial and industrial loans.


Investing costs fall again: Fidelity, Schwab cut commissions

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fidelity becomes the latest brokerage to cut trading fees in an ongoing industry battle that's helped mom-and-pop investors keep more of their own dollars. A rival matched the price cut in a matter of hours. Fidelity said it will cut its commission for retail brokerage investors trading U.S. stocks and exchange-traded funds online by more than a third to $4.95 from $7.95. It will also reduce other investment costs.


European Parliament panel urges improved diesel oversight

BRUSSELS (AP) -- A European Parliament panel chastised European authorities and automakers on Tuesday for failing to ensure that laws on diesel emissions were upheld, and called for much-improved oversight in the future. The investigating committee was set up after it emerged in late 2015 that Germany's Volkswagen had installed software that allowed cars to cheat on emissions tests — something that turned out to not have been isolated to the U.S., where the cheating was first detected.


The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,812.24. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 6.11 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,363.64. The Nasdaq composite lost 36.46 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,825.44.

Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 4 cents, or 0.1 percent, to close at $54.01 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell 34 cents, or 0.6 percent, to close at $55.59 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline shed 2 cents to $1.51 a gallon, while heating oil slid 2 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Natural gas futures rose 8 cents, or 3 percent, at $2.77 per 1,000 cubic feet.