Rail shipping hurt by Trump’s trade war


Shipping hurt by Trump’s trade war

This year’s railroad slump is getting worse as a slowdown in manufacturing threatens broader weakness in the US economy. There’s no bottom in sight as the decline in carloads for large US railroads widened to 5.5 percent in the third quarter, the biggest drop in three years, according to weekly reports from the Association of American Railroads. Shipments are down for autos, coal, grain, chemicals, and consumer goods, with crude oil the only bright spot. The rail downturn underscores the damage from the US-China trade war, which is making shippers more cautious and crimping freight — validating earlier warnings from railroad executives. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Income inequality worse in urban areas with strong economies

Wage inequality tends to be the most pronounced in US urban areas with strong economies, while pay in regions with weaker economies — such as the Rust Belt — is more even. Cities like San Francisco and New York, which have a concentration of skilled workers in high-wage industries like tech and finance, experience higher levels of inequality than cities such as Detroit or Indianapolis, researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in a blog posted Monday on the bank’s website. Other cities with elevated wage inequality include Houston, Los Angeles, Washington, and Chicago. Metro areas in which pay was more equitable included Minneapolis, Kansas City, and El Paso. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Fed chairman Powell stresses the need for an independent Fed

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell praised one of his early predecessors for laying the foundations for the independence of the US central bank, in comments that looked back to the 1930s but resonate strongly today. Speaking Monday in Salt Lake City before the premiere of a film commemorating Marriner Eccles, who led the Fed from 1934 until 1948, Powell said in prepared remarks that Eccles “is responsible more than any other person for the fact that the United States today has an independent central bank — a central bank able to make decisions in the long-term best interest of the economy, without regard to the political pressures of the moment.” Powell, who did not comment on monetary policy or his economic outlook in the text of his brief speech, has been under yearlong fire from President Trump to cut interest rates faster and resume crisis-era bond purchases. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



One of the founders of Quartz out as editor

Kevin Delaney, the editor-in-chief of Quartz and one of the digital publication’s co-founders, is stepping down as part of a shake-up of the company’s leadership. Quartz announced the change Monday, adding that another of its co-founders, Zach Seward, had become the chief executive officer. Delaney had previously shared that role with Jay Lauf, the publisher, who was named chairman of the company Monday. Katie Weber, previously the chief commercial officer, was elevated to president in the series of moves. The moves represented the first major turnover at the site, which covers business news, since it was sold last year by its founder, Atlantic Media, to Uzabase, a Japanese financial intelligence company. At the time, the announced sale price was between $75 million and $110 million. Uzabase, which also owns the business news aggregator NewsPicks, said it bought Quartz to expand its overseas news operation. — NEW YORK TIMES


Gourmet grocer Dean & DeLuca shuts its flagship store in NYC

Dean & DeLuca, the gourmet grocer whose trend-setting New York store introduced Americans to international delicacies more than four decades ago, has shut its flagship location in Manhattan. The SoHo closing is temporary, according to a notice posted on the door, which said the store will reopen soon. While the lights were on, and shelves and containers and espresso machines were still in place, there was mostly no food or products. The chain has been struggling to hold on amid stalling sales and a cutthroat competitive landscape, and suppliers have gone to court over unpaid bills. Some shelves at the main store were bare in recent weeks, and some other US locations have been shuttered. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Supreme Court refuses to reinstate patent-infringement suit against Apple

The US Supreme Court refused to revive a $506 million patent-infringement lawsuit against Apple Inc. by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s licensing unit. The court rejected arguments by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation that a US appeals court should have ordered a new trial instead of dismissing the case when it threw out a jury verdict against Apple. The jury had ordered Apple to pay $234 million in a dispute over microprocessor technology. The judge added more damages, royalties, and interest to bring the final judgment to $506 million. Apple, in urging the Supreme Court to deny the foundation’s appeal, argued that the Federal Circuit used settled law to decide that “no reasonable juror could have found” infringement in the case. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


DeVos faces possible sanctions for continuing to collect debt

US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos faces potential sanctions or a finding she’s in contempt of court for continuing to collect on the debt of former students at bankrupt Corinthian Colleges Inc., going so far as seizing their tax refunds and wages. “I’m not sure if this is contempt or sanctions,” US Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim told lawyers for the Education Department at a hearing Monday in San Francisco. “I’m not sending anyone to jail yet but it’s good to know I have that ability.” The judge said she was “astounded” that the department violated her June order to stop collecting the debts from students, who had been promised refunds of their tuition. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Supreme Court says Domino’s can face lawsuit by blind man over its websites, phone app

The US Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Domino’s Pizza Inc., leaving the company to face a lawsuit by a blind man who says its website and mobile-phone app don’t comply with a federal disabilities law. Corporate trade groups had urged the court to take up the case, saying they are seeing an explosion of lawsuits alleging that sites don’t comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They contended that businesses can’t be sued for failing to make their websites and mobile-phone apps accessible to people with disabilities. The high court left intact a federal appeals court decision that said Domino’s must defend against claims by Guillermo Robles, who says the pizza chain’s website and app don’t work with the common screen-reading software he uses on other sites. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Startups with at least one female founder got more VC funding

Startups with at least one female founder raised 21 percent more in venture capital funding than companies with all male teams, according to a study released by the Kauffman Fellows Research Center, a two-year training program for senior venture capitalists. In earlier rounds, mixed-gender teams do just as well as those without women, but the advantage grows in the later stages of fund raising. In the third- and fourth-round raises, companies with at least one female founder get on average $23 million in VC investment, compared with $18 million on average for all-male teams. — BLOOMBERG NEWS