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Stocks lower in afternoon trading

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are lower on Wall Street after technology giant Apple became the most well-known company to warn of a financial hit from the virus outbreak in China.

The maker of iPhones said it will fall short of it revenue forecasts in the current quarter because of production problems and weak demand in China.

Technology companies and banks led the selling. Utilities held up well.

Technology and health care companies have been the most vocal about mentioning the new coronavirus in their earnings conference calls, according to FactSet.


Misguided virus fears hitting Asian American businesses

NEW YORK (AP) — Asian-American businesses in major U.S. cities are seeing a remarkable decline in customers amid fears about the viral outbreak that originated in China.

City and health officials are trying to stanch the financial bleeding through information campaigns and personal visits to shops and restaurants. They emphasize that with just 15 cases diagnosed in the entire country there is no reason to avoid them.

Some business owners have seen their customer traffic cut by more than half and are anxiously waiting for things to return to normal.


China virus outbreak chilling recovery for Asian economies

BANGKOK (AP) — South Korea's president says the coronavirus crisis has put the country’s economy into an "emergency situation," Japan is on the brink of recession and big manufacturers are forecasting a whole world of woe.

As many Chinese finally go back to work after their longest Lunar New Year holiday ever, the economic fallout from the outbreak that began in Wuhan may be just beginning.

Companies are warning their bottom lines will take a hit, and governments are ramping up stimulus measures for economies that just weeks ago were hoping to see recoveries after months of uncertainty due to trade tensions and slowing global growth.


Walmart reports disappointing earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart reported disappointing fourth-quarter profits and sales after a sluggish and shortened holiday shopping season. Violent social protests in Chile cut into international sales.

Walmart also delivered a weak profit forecast for the year Tuesday, and shares slipped about 1% before the opening bell.

It's a rare miss for Walmart, which has distanced itself from rivals through strong online grocery sales while holding its own against Amazon.com.

Walmart is the first major retailer to report fiscal fourth-quarter results, and the numbers underscore a multitude of challenges that retailers faced this holiday season. It was the shortest holiday shopping season since 2013, leaving retailers the figure out how to get people thinking about the holidays sooner.


Biggest European bank to cut 35,000 jobs

LONDON (AP) — HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, will cut some 35,000 jobs.

The move is one of the biggest changes in years for the bank, which is based in London but makes most of its money in Asia. Interim chief executive Noel Quinn said the number of people employed by the bank would fall from 235,000 to 200,000 in the next three years.

The bank said its net profit fell 53% in 2019 to $6 billion.

HSBC said it plans to revamp its U.S. and European business and shed $100 billion in assets.

The bank said the virus outbreak that began in China has caused a “significant disruption" for its staff, suppliers and customers.


Franklin Resources buying Legg Mason for $4.5 billion

SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) — Franklin Resources is buying rival investment manager Legg Mason for $4.5 billion. It's the latest shakeup in an industry grappling with customers who keep clamoring for lower fees.

Franklin Resources will pay $50 for each Legg Mason share, and it will assume about $2 billion in debt. The combined company will operate as Franklin Templeton, and the deal is expected to close no later than the third quarter of this year. Analysts called it a “win-win” deal because it gives the combined company more size and diversification.

Shares of both companies jumped in morning trading.


Dutch court reinstates order for Russia to pay Yukos shareholders

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch appeals court has reinstated an international arbitration panel’s order to Russia to pay $50 billion compensation to shareholders in former Russian oil giant Yukos.

Tuesday’s ruling overturned a 2016 decision by The Hague District court that quashed the compensation order on the grounds that the arbitration panel did not have jurisdiction.

The Hague Court of Appeal ruled that the 2016 decision quashing the arbitration decision “was not correct. That means that the arbitration order is in force again.”

The Russian government said it will appeal.


MIT to caption online videos after discrimination lawsuit

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has agreed to make its website and online educational videos more accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing under a settlement announced in federal court.

The settlement was announced Tuesday and comes months after a similar agreement was reached in a lawsuit brought against Harvard University by the National Association of the Deaf. The group accused the schools of discriminating against people with hearing disabilities by not adequately or accurately captioning videos of lectures and other programs it posts online.

An MIT spokeswoman didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.

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