Business Briefs – October 6, 2016

Regulators Expand Protections To Prepaid Debit Card Users

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal regulators announced new rules Wednesday governing the quickly growing prepaid debit card industry, an effort more than two years in the making which should bring basic account protections to its customers, who are often financially disadvantaged.

Prepaid debit card issuers will have to provide their users with basic account information like balances and transaction history free of charge to customers. Protections for lost or stolen cards will also be expanded to prepaid debit cards. Fees for the cards will have to be more clearly disclosed on the packaging.

U.S. Trade Deficit in August Rises 3 Percent to $40.7 Billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit rose in August as a flood of imports offset the best showing for exports in 13 months. The politically sensitive deficit with China rose to the highest level in 11 months.

The trade deficit increased 3 percent to $40.7 billion, up from a gap of $39.5 billion in July, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

Imports jumped 1.2 percent to $228.6 billion, reflecting big increases in shipments of foreign oil, autos and commercial aircraft. Exports were up 0.8 percent to $187.9 billion, the fourth straight monthly increase and the highest level in 13 months.

U.S. Factory Orders Ticked Up in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories edged higher in August, with a key category that tracks business investment plan rising for a third straight month.

Factory orders increased 0.2 percent in August after a much larger 1.4 percent gain in July, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. However, the overall figure was heavily influenced by a swing in the volatile commercial aircraft category, which had jumped 72.9 percent in July but declined 22.7 percent in August.

Yum Shares Fall After Sales Miss Expectations

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut fell Wednesday after it reported a quarterly profit and sales that missed Wall Street expectations.

Its Pizza Hut division saw a 1 percent decline in sales at established locations, while the figure rose 4 percent for KFC. The figure rose 3 percent for the Taco Bell division.

Yum Brands earned $622 million, or $1.56 per share, for the quarter.

Adjusted earnings were $1.09 per share, a penny less than analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Total sales were $3.32 billion, also short of market expectations.