Global Glance: Doubts grow over stock market’s Trump-inspired surge; J.C. Penney to close 13 to 14 percent of stores

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

Doubts grow over stock market’s Trump-inspired surge

NEW YORK (AP) — How much more can the “Trump Bump” lift the stock market? U.S. stocks have screamed to records since Election Day because investors are expecting Donald Trump’s White House to cut taxes for business, make regulations easier for them and goose more growth out of the economy. But investors around the world are questioning whether the rally is exhausting itself. The big jump for stocks has come at a time when some investors had already seen markets as overpriced. Plus, skeptics see cause for caution with a president who prides himself on unpredictability. Read more

J.C. Penney to close 13 to 14 percent of stores

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney says it will be closing anywhere from 130 to 140 stores as well as two distribution centers over the next several months as it aims to improve profitability in the era of online shopping. The closures, announced Friday, represent about 13 percent to 14 percent of the company’s current store count, and less than 5 percent of total annual sales. The news came as Penney posted a profit in the fourth-quarter compared to a loss a year ago. Read more

Former House speaker predicts ‘Obamacare’ won’t be repealed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former House Speaker John Boehner predicted on Thursday that a full repeal and replacement of “Obamacare” is “not going to happen.” The Ohio Republican, who was forced out by conservatives in 2015, said he started laughing when he heard President Donald Trump and Republicans promise swift action on undoing and replacing the health law. “Republicans never ever agree on health care,” Boehner said. Read more

US factory CEOs to Trump: Jobs exist; skills don’t

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump brought two dozen manufacturing CEOs to the White House on Thursday and declared their collective commitment to restoring factory jobs lost to foreign competition. Yet some of the CEOs suggested that there were still plenty of openings for U.S. factory jobs but too few qualified people to fill them. They urged the White House to support vocational training for the high-tech skills that today’s manufacturers increasingly require – a topic Trump has seldom addressed. Read more

Sessions: US to continue use of privately run prisons

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled Thursday his strong support for the federal government’s continued use of private prisons, reversing an Obama administration directive to phase out their use. Stock prices of major private prison companies rose at the news. Sessions issued a memo replacing one issued last August by Sally Yates, the deputy attorney general at the time. That memo, which followed a harshly critical government audit of privately run prisons, directed the federal Bureau of Prisons to begin reducing and ultimately end its reliance on contract facilities. Read more

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