Business Briefs – June 16, 2019

Target’s Tech Trouble Clogs Stores With Long Checkout Lines

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A glitch stalled checkout lines at Target stores worldwide on Saturday, exasperating shoppers and potentially eating into sales at a prime time for retailers, the day before Father’s Day.

The roughly two-hour outage periodically prevented Target’s cashiers from scanning merchandise or processing transactions as long lines formed in some stores. Self-checkout registers, usually the speediest of options, also weren’t working at times.

Target temporarily closed some of its stores, including one in San Francisco, rather than risk aggravating shoppers.

Middle East Attack Jolts Oil-Import Dependent Asia

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – The blasts detonated far from the bustling megacities of Asia, but the attack this week on two tankers in the strategic Strait of Hormuz hits at the heart of the region’s oil import-dependent economies.

Officials, analysts and media commentators on Friday hammered home the importance of the Strait of Hormuz for Asia, calling it a crucial lifeline, and there was deep interest in more details about the still-sketchy attack and what the United States and Iran would do in the aftermath.

Trump Says He Plans to Keep Criticizing Fed Over Rates

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says he has no intention of ending his public attacks on the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate policies even though he knows he has made Chairman Jerome Powell’s job more difficult. Trump told ABC News that he thinks economic growth and stock market indexes would be substantially higher if the chairman “wouldn’t have raised interest rates so much.”

Major Oil Companies Commit To Carbon Pricing at Vatican

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Some of the world’s major oil producers have committed to supporting “economically meaningful” carbon pricing regimes after the Vatican summit on climate change and a personal appeal from Pope Francis to avoid “perpetrating a brutal act of injustice” against the poor and future generations. The companies said governments should set such pricing regimes at a level that encourages business and investment, while “minimizing the costs to vulnerable communities and supporting economic growth.”

Top Dog: Shares of Online Pet Store Chewy Soar in Debut

NEW YORK (AP) — Chewy, the online seller of pet food and squeaky toys, went public Friday and had a strong debut as investors bank on the growing pet industry. Its shares soared 59% Friday, putting the company’s market value at about $14 billion. Demand for the initial public offering was high. Chewy raised just over $1 billion, with 46.5 million shares sold at $22 each. That’s above what the company had expected.

Quicken Loans to Pay $32.5M To Settle Lawsuit Over Bad Loans

DETROIT (AP) – Quicken Loans has agreed to pay $32.5 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the company of fraudulently sticking the government with bad mortgages. Crain’s Detroit Business says the agreement, with no admission of wrongdoing, was disclosed Friday by a mediator. The government had accused Quicken of cutting corners when verifying the income of certain borrowers. The Detroit-based company denied the allegations and had described the lawsuit as “abusive.”