Global Glance: US employers add 178,000 jobs; Starbucks CEO steps down

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

US employers add 178,000 jobs as unemployment sinks to 4.6 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added a solid 178,000 jobs in November, reflecting the steady economy President-elect Donald Trump will inherit. And the unemployment rate hit a nine-year low of 4.6 percent, though mainly because many people stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed. Average hourly pay slipped after a solid gain the previous month. Pay has increased at only a modest pace in the past year. Still, nearly every economic report since the election has pointed to accelerating growth — a key reason why the Federal Reserve is considered certain to raise short-term interest rates at its next meeting later this month. Read more

House bill would relax bank rules aimed at averting crash

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House approved legislation Thursday easing bank curbs that Democrats imposed to prevent another financial crisis, as Republicans offered a symbolic preview of regulatory changes they plan to pursue after President-elect Donald Trump takes office. The GOP bill targets the landmark Dodd-Frank law, which President Barack Obama and Democrats enacted to rein in Wall Street following the financial crisis that struck in 2008. Trump urged during his campaign that the 2010 law be dismantled, and his transition team has set that as a goal. Read more

Starbucks: Schultz to step down as CEO, focus on innovation

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz is stepping down as CEO of the coffee chain he joined more than 30 years ago and transformed into a globally known brand. Schultz will become executive chairman in April to focus on innovation such as high-end shops and social impact activities, the Seattle-based chain announced Thursday. Kevin Johnson, who was named president and chief operating officer last year, will be chief executive as of April 3. Read more

China to US: Avoid politics in purchase of Germany’s Aixtron

BEIJING (AP) — China appealed to Washington and Berlin to avoid injecting politics into the proposed takeover of a German maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment following a report President Obama plans to oppose it as a security risk. The proposed 670 million euro ($740 million) acquisition of Aixtron SE by Fujian Grand Chip, a semiconductor maker, is “normal business activity,” said a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang. Read more

Kroger digs in with food prices tumbling

CINCINNATI (AP) — Kroger lowered its profit expectations for the year as it fights with other grocers for more of the customers’ dollar even as food prices fall. The nation’s largest grocery chain has historically had leverage in the industry with suppliers because of its size, but now it’s competing with companies like Wal-Mart and Target as well. And even some of the largest retailers in the world are unable to lure more customers given the trend in food prices. Read more

Toyota to revamp America’s top-selling car amid boom in SUVs

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota plans to reveal a new version of America’s top-selling sedan next month at a time when U.S. buyers are moving away from cars toward SUVs and trucks. The Japanese automaker said Thursday that it would show off the 2018 Camry at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in January. It is likely to arrive in showrooms late next summer. Read more

Buffett’s firm facing pressure to sell fossil fuel stocks

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A group of environmentalists is proposing that Warren Buffett’s company sell off its investments in Phillips 66 and other companies tied to fossil fuels over 12 years. Nebraskans for Peace said Thursday it had submitted a formal proposal for Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shareholders to consider next spring. The same group failed last year with a different proposal related to climate change. Read more

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