Global Glance: Belgian deal clears way for EU-Canada trade; Twitter slashes staff

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

Belgian deal clears way for EU-Canada free trade pact

BRUSSELS (AP) — A landmark free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada could be signed within days after the Belgian government overcame an impasse with its regional authorities on Thursday. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said his government had reached a deal with the holdout region of Wallonia. The region held a veto over the country’s ability to back the trans-Atlantic agreement. And the EU, in turn, needed unanimity among all its members. The deal will go through regional legislatures by Friday night and have to be vetted again by the other 27 EU states. Read more

Chip maker Qualcomm buying NXP Semiconductors in $38.1B deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm is buying NXP Semiconductors N.V. in a deal valued at approximately $38 billion. NXP shareholders will receive $110 per share for each share they own. That’s an 11.5 percent premium to the company’s Wednesday closing price of $98.66. The companies put the deal’s total value at about $47 billion. The combined company is expected to have annual revenues of more than $30 billion. Read more

Twitter slashes staff with revenue under pressure

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter, seemingly unable to find a buyer and losing money, is cutting about 9 percent of its employees worldwide. The social media site has failed to keep pace with rivals Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram and in recent months, rumors that it would be acquired have run rampant. The San Francisco company said it expects to take $10 million to $20 million in charges as it lays off more than 300 of its 3,860 workers. Read more

US goods orders dip in September with investment down

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders for big-ticket manufactured goods dipped slightly in September as a key category that tracks business investment fell by the largest amount in seven months. The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods edged down 0.1 percent in September after gains of 0.3 percent in August and 3.6 percent in July. Orders in the category that serves as a proxy for business investment plunged 1.2 percent in September, the biggest setback since a 2.1 percent drop in February. Read more

British economy grows more than expected after Brexit vote

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s economy grew faster than expected in the three months after its vote to leave the European Union despite concern that uncertainty over the country’s future would weigh on business. The figures, however, are preliminary and experts warn they do not yet reflect some of the looming negative impacts, such as an expected rise in inflation. The Office of National Statistics said Thursday that the economy grew by a quarterly rate of 0.5 percent in the July-September period thanks mainly to the services sector. Read more

California farmers divided in legal cannabis

GARBERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — California voters will decide Nov. 8 whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use – an issue that has sown deep division here among longtime growers. Many pot farmers in the area have yearned for the legitimacy and respectability that growers of legal crops enjoy. But they also fear Proposition 64 will bring big changes, including costly regulations and taxes, lower prices and the risk that corporate interests could put smaller operations out of business. Read more

Ford’s 3Q profit falls on recall, truck launch

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Troubles in Ford Motor Co.’s home market – including a massive recall and the difficult launch of new heavy-duty pickups – are hurting the company’s bottom line. Ford said Thursday its net income plunged 56 percent to $957 million in the third quarter, down from $2.2 billion in the July-September period a year ago. The earnings, of 24 cents per share, compared to earnings of 55 cents per share in the July-September period a year ago. Adjusted earnings of 26 cents per share – which exclude one-time items – beat Wall Street’s forecast of 20 cents, according to analysts polled by FactSet. Read more

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