Business Briefs – November 20, 2019

Fed Minutes: Officials Felt 3 Cuts This Year Could Be Enough

WASHINGTON (AP) – Most Federal Reserve officials believed last month that the three rate cuts they made this year would be enough unless the economy weakened significantly. The minutes of the October Fed meeting reveal that “most participants” thought that this year’s rate cuts would be sufficient to support moderate growth, a continued strong job market and inflation rising toward the Fed’s 2% target level.

Fake Doctors, Pilfered Medical Records Drive Oxy China Sales

SHANGHAI (AP) – OxyContin sales reps in China told The Associated Press they disguised themselves as doctors and illegally copied patient records to boost profits. The AP examined more than 3,300 pages of training and marketing material used by employees of Purdue Pharma’s Chinese affiliate, Mundipharma. They contained claims about addictiveness and safety that U.S. courts, prosecutors and regulators have said are false. Mundipharma says it’s investigating.

Target Bursts Into the Shopping Season With a Bang

NEW YORK (AP) – Target is reporting another quarter of strong sales and profits and raising its outlook as it pushes faster delivery and new store brands. One highlight was that Target’s clothing sales rose 10% at a time when department stores and mall-based chains are struggling with their fashion assortments.

Hedge Fund Alden Becomes Tribune’s Largest Shareholder

NEW YORK (AP) – A hedge fund is now the largest shareholder of Tribune Publishing, the company that owns the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and New York Daily News. Tribune says Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund known for layoffs and slashing costs at newspapers it acquires, purchased the 25% stake from former Tribune chairman Michael Ferro. Financial firms have become involved as owners and investors in U.S. media companies as the industry struggles with the shift to digital.

Road-Safety Regulator Rapped Over Regulating Autonomous Cars

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s road-safety regulator is under fire again for what critics call lax oversight of tests involving autonomous vehicles. The nation’s top transportation safety investigator says that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doesn’t give enough direction to companies developing more automated cars.

Uber to Let Users Record Audio Of Rides in Brazil, Mexico

NEW YORK (AP) — Uber will let passengers and drivers record audio of their rides in an attempt to improve its safety record. The ride-hailing company plans to pilot the feature in cities in Brazil and Mexico in December. It eventually hopes to launch it in other markets including the United States, although it has no timeline for possible expansion.