Update on the latest in business:



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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks rebound

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are higher in afternoon trading as investors shift money into technology companies.

The gains came a day after a broad sell-off caused by fears that the spread of a deadly virus in China could affect the global economy.

Apple, which reports earnings later Tuesday, was one of the biggest gainers in the tech sector. Banks and other financial companies also rose as bond yields climbed.

Utilities and real estate companies lagged the market as investors turned away from safe-play sectors.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

US consumer confidence shows solid gain in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence showed a strong gain in January, bolstered by continued strength in the job market.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to a reading of 131.6 this month, up from 128.2 in December.

Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, says the increase reflects more positive assessment of the current job market.

The Conference Board’s present situation index and its expectation index both showed gains in January.

Consumer confidence surveys are closely followed for clues about whether households are in a buying mood. Consumer spending accounts for 70% of economic activity.

DURABLE GOODS

Orders for US durable goods advance 2.4% in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods rose in December as a big jump in demand for military aircraft offset a sharp decline in commercial aircraft orders reflecting Boeing’s continued problems with its 737 Max.

A key category that tracks business investment fell by the largest amount in eight months.

The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods rose 2.4% in December.

The category that tracks business investment plans dropped 0.9%, the biggest decline since April.

HOME PRICES

US home price gains accelerate

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose at a faster pace in November than the previous month as lower mortgage rates and a sharp drop in available properties have pushed would-be buyers to bid up home values.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 2.6% in November from a year ago, up from a 2.2% annual gain in October.

Price increases remain modest: They fell to a seven-year low in July before picking up last fall.

The number of homes for sale plummeted 8.5% last year to 1.4 million. That represents a three-month supply at the current sales pace, the lowest on records dating to 1982.

BRITAIN-HUAWEI

In snub to US, Britain will allow Huawei in 5G networks

LONDON (AP) — Britain has decided to allow Huawei to build aspects of its new high-speed mobile network. It will however exclude the Chinese company from “core” parts of the new network.

It's a pivotal decision with implications for Britain's diplomatic relations with the United States and China.

The infrastructure program is seen as being critical to Britain's economic future as the country leaves the European Union. But the decision is fraught, as the United States objects to the contract because of worries about cyberespionage and has threatened to cut off security.

Huawei said it was reassured by the decision.

EUROPE-AIRBUS

Airbus nears settlements with US, UK, French investigators

PARIS (AP) — Airbus says it has reached potential settlement agreements with financial investigators in the U.S., Britain and France.

British and French authorities are investigating alleged fraud and bribery related to Airbus’ use of outside consultants to sell planes. U.S. authorities are also investigating Airbus' compliance with American arms trafficking regulations.

The European plane maker released no details in its statement on Tuesday about the potential settlement agreements, which must be approved by courts in the three countries.

Airbus has suffered financially because of the investigations, and has promised to cut out middlemen from its business dealings.

3M-JOB CUTS

Post-It notes maker 3M cutting about 1,500 jobs

UNDATED (AP) — A profound slump in manufacturing and a trade war that has slowed economic growth in China has led to a second round of layoffs at 3M.

The Minnesota company makes Post-it notes as well as industrial coatings and ceramics.

The 1,500 job cuts come less than a year after the company announced 2,000 layoffs. CEO Michael Roman said the cuts will occur across all business groups and geographies.

Earlier this month, the Institute for Supply Management reported that U.S. manufacturing activity fell to the lowest level in more than a decade. A survey by the association of purchasing managers found that companies are uncertain about trade and are seeing weak demand from abroad.

FEDERAL UTILITY BOARD NOMINATION

Trump taps ex-Tennessee House speaker for US utility board

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — President Donald Trump has nominated a former Tennessee House speaker to serve on the board of directors of the nation's largest public utility.

In a news release Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander praised the nomination of Beth Harwell to the Tennessee Valley Authority board.

The longtime Nashville Republican lawmaker was elected speaker in 2011. Harwell left the role and the Legislature in her unsuccessful 2018 bid for governor.

Alexander also praised the nomination of East Tennessee State University President Brian Noland to the federal utility's board.

The Tennessee Valley Authority serves almost 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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