Dec. 5 Business Briefs


US service sector grows at slower rate in November

(AP) — U.S. services companies expanded at a slower pace in November, an unsurprising downshift after having grown in October at the fastest rate in a dozen years.

The Institute for Supply Management says its services index slipped last month to 57.4 from 60.1 in October. Any reading above 50 signals expansion.

Measures of business activity, new orders employment fell last month, but they still remained in positive territory.

There were 16 sectors reporting growth last month, with only agriculture saying activity had declined.

More than 70 percent of U.S. jobs comes from the service sector, so the signs of continued expansion point to steady gains for the broader economy in the coming months.

Senate panel approves Jerome Powell as Fed chairman

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Banking Committee has given approval to President Donald Trump’s selection of Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Powell won the support of everyone on the committee except Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts. She cast the lone no vote saying she could not support Powell because of her concerns that he would join in efforts by the Trump administration to unravel the Dodd-Frank Act passed in 2010 to strengthen regulation of the nation’s banking sector.

The nomination now goes to the full Senate where it is expected to win easy approval.

Cineworld buying Regal movie chain in global expansion

NEW YORK (AP) — Cineworld Group PLC is buying Regal Entertainment Group for $3.61 billion in a deal that gives the movie theater operator a larger global footprint.

United Kingdon-based Cineworld is paying $23 cash per Regal share, an 11 percent premium over its closing price on Monday. The deal is valued at $5.9 billion including debt.

Regal, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, operates 7,315 screens in 561 theaters in the U.S. under brands including Regal Cinemas and United Artists. Cineworld operates 2,227 screens in nations including the U.K., Ireland, Poland, and Slovakia. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018.

Coal mine idled in West Virginia, 260 out of work

BLACKSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — A union official says a coal mine in northern West Virginia has been idled, with 260 workers losing their jobs, apparently because of adverse geological conditions and market issues.

Phil Smith of the United Mine Workers of America saud another 59 people were laid off a few months ago at the Federal No. 2 mine owned by ERP Compliant Fuels, which has no other mine to transfer the workers to.

He says a few workers remain to prevent flooding and keep the mine ready to reopen, but coal reserves were getting thin.

The company did not reply to a request for comment.