Business Briefs – December 1, 2016

U.S. Consumers Should Feel Muted Impact From Rising Oil Price

DALLAS (AP) — OPEC’s decision to cut production gave an immediate boost to oil prices, but the impact on consumers and the U.S. economy is likely to be more modest and gradual.

The cartel agreed Wednesday to cut output by 1.2 million barrels a day, reversing a strategy that produced lower oil prices and pain for U.S. drillers but saved money for consumers. Even if OPEC members carry through on their promises, global oil production would only fall by about 1 percent.

Requests for U.S. Jobless Aid Rose Last Week, But Still Low

WASHINGTON (AP) – More Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. But claims are still at low levels that point to greater job security.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for jobless aid rose by 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 268,000. The less-volatile four-week average ticked up 500 to 251,500. The overall number of people collecting unemployment checks was 2.08 million, down more than 5 percent from a year earlier.

Weekly claims are at historically low levels that suggest a stable environment for jobseekers.

Wells Fargo Splits Chairman, CEO Roles After Sales Scandal

NEW YORK (AP) – Wells Fargo said it will split the jobs of chairman and CEO and will make other major changes to the composition of its board of directors in an effort to make the bank more accountable following a scandal over its sales practices.

The bank said Thursday it was amending its corporate bylaws to require that separate people fill the job of chairman and the job of CEO. The chairman and vice chairman will have to be independent directors who don’t own shares in the company, the bank said.

Police Make 5 Arrests In ‘Unprecedented’ Cybercrime Takedown

PARIS (AP) – U.S. and European officials say they’ve knocked out a cybercrime group accused of inflicting hundreds of millions of dollars in losses worldwide, putting five key suspects in custody.

The European Union police agency said Thursday the sweep was “unprecedented in its scale” and resulted in the seizure of 39 servers and hundreds of thousands of internet domains used by the Avalanche network, a major player in the market for cybercrime services.

Unlike some past seizures — which grabbed crooks’ infrastructure while leaving the masterminds free to reorganize their networks — officials say they’re confident they’ve struck a fatal blow this time.

Feds to Appeal Ruling That Blocks Expansion of Overtime Pay

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Obama administration says it will challenge a federal court’s decision to block implementation of a regulation that would make an estimated 4 million more higher-earning workers eligible for overtime pay.

The U.S. Labor Department filed a notice of appeal Thursday, the same day the administration’s rule had been set to take effect nationwide.

Twenty-one states sued to block the rule, arguing it would unduly burden the public and private sectors.

Last week, a federal judge in Texas issued an injunction suspending it to allow for further scrutiny.