US stocks dip ahead of French election

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street closed lower Friday as investors awaited this weekend's French presidential election and President Trump's "big announcement" on tax reform planned for Wednesday.

The Dow Jones fell 30.95 (-0.15 percent) to finish at 20,547.76.

The Nasdaq slid 6.26 (-0.11 percent) to close at 5,910.52, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,348.69, down 7.15 (-0.30 percent) from its open.

Crude oil prices sunk over 2 percent; under $50 a barrel.

Uncertainty surrounds France's presidential election set for Sunday as there are several front-runners, including Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front and Centrist Emmanuel Macron. If no candidate wins a majority, there will be a run-off on May 7.

President Trump: While signing three presidential directives at the U.S. Treasury Department on financial regulation and taxes, President Trump promoted a "big announcement" on tax reform.

"And we'll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform," the president said Friday. "The process has begun long ago but it formally begins on Wednesday."

Winners and Losers:  Shares of toy manufacturer Mattel, Inc. tumbled about 14 percent after reporting weaker-than-expected earnings in the first-quarter.

Honeywell International Inc. boasted quarterly profit that exceeded analysts' estimates and boosted its full-year guidance. The manufacturer's stock closed nearly 3 percent higher.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Treasury denies Exxon waiver to drill in Russia

David McNew/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Treasury Department announced Friday that it will not waive sanctions for ExxonMobil to drill in Russia.

The move ends what could have been seen as a controversial conflict of interest for the Trump administration, with the oil giant’s former CEO Rex Tillerson now leading the State Department.

“In consultation with President Donald J. Trump, the Treasury Department will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement.

Exxon applied for a waiver from U.S. sanctions against Russia so that it could move ahead with a deal negotiated by Tillerson in 2012 to partner with the Russian state-controlled oil company, Rosneft. The deal would have allowed the two companies to work on projects exploring and drilling for oil and natural gas in the Kara Sea and Black Sea.

It is unclear when Exxon applied for this waiver, whether it was before or after Tillerson was sworn in, and for which specific deal they asked sanctions to be waived.

The State Department has said that Tillerson will recuse himself from any issue involving Exxon for two years.

“He is not involved with any decision made by any government agency involving Exxon during this time period,” a State Department official told ABC News Thursday.

Still, critics were quick to point to the waiver application as a potential conflict of interest.

“Considering Russia's continued aggression in the Ukraine, its interference in our elections on behalf of the Trump campaign, the Trump Administration's many suspicious ties to Russia and the Kremlin, and the fact that Trump's own Secretary of State led ExxonMobil, alarm bells should be going off for the American public,” said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee. “I have long said that we need to keep a watchful eye on Rex Tillerson.”

The sanctions were implemented by the Obama administration in 2014 in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and incursion into eastern Ukraine. Those sanctions prohibit U.S. businesses from providing goods, services, or technology to five Russian energy companies, including Rosneft, the country’s largest oil company -- freezing the partnership with Exxon.

At a ceremony overseen by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tillerson in 2011, Exxon and Rosneft signed a Strategic Cooperation Agreement -- a partnership to jointly develop projects in Russia, the U.S. and around the world. The two companies later agreed to more ventures, including the 2012 deal for development in the Kara and Black Seas.

The announcement from Treasury comes amid still unanswered questions about ties between Russian officials and members of the Trump campaign and transition teams. Two Congressional committees are still investigating the matter, as well as the FBI.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Exclusive inside look at Jessica Alba's Honest Company office

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Target(PLAYA VISTA, Calif.) — Jessica Alba can measure her Honest Company's success by the size of its offices.

"This is my fourth office — for the company, the third office — and when we first started, we had $1,000 to build it," Alba told Architectural Digest's website. "The second, I think we had barely more than that. This office we had a more significant budget. There was nothing here, so we had to start from scratch. I wanted to have a more sophisticated look and feel. In the other office, I personally did a lot of the decorating myself, with someone from customer service, with a hammer and a nail and tried to ‘pretty up’ the office. But this time we had a professional team."

Before Alba and her 450 employees moved into their new Playa Vista, California, office, she called on Mat Sanders and Brandon Quattrone from Consort, who also designed her home.

"Mat and Brandon were really great collaborators — they really get my vibe," Alba told Architectural Digest. "I like vintage and some new things; I like luxe fabrics, but I don’t care about [them being] designer necessarily. I also need things that are going to be durable because I have kids and animals, and I want everything to feel cozy and I want things you can sit on and put your feet on. And I wanted that same vibe in the office."

That's exactly what she got for the office, which has a different style than her more traditional Spanish-style Beverly Hills home. The Honest Company office is more crisp and modern with black and white elements, featuring a large communal kitchen, lounge areas and a showroom for the company's more than 100 eco-friendly baby, personal care and cleaning products.

But it's still cozy.

"I wanted many unconventional spaces that had a home vibe, but you could also plug in your computer and you can have meetings with multiple people," Alba explained. "We have lots of whiteboards; you know it’s still a work space. But the comfort level is you can throw your feet up, you can get your work done on your own. I just didn’t want it to feel like an old stodgy corporate office. I wanted it to feel cozy and warm like a home, but still have all the conveniences of an office."

Alba's own personal office is decorated with artwork from her two daughters, Honor, 8, and Haven, 5. What it doesn't have is a traditional desk with computer.

"Instead, I have a round table, I have a couch, [and] I have an espresso machine," she said. "I like to bring people in and we talk things out. We really tackle everything as teams. That’s the kind of boss I am."

Even though she's a Hollywood actress, Alba keeps regular hours in the office like her employees.

"I never think of myself as 'Jessica Alba the Actress' unless I’m going to a premiere of a movie and someone is asking me for my autograph," she said. "Outside of that, I always think of myself as 'Jessica who works at The Honest Company.'"
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Why "InStyle'"s Laura Brown says 'There's no better time to get into magazines'

ABC News(NEW YORK) --  Laura Brown has put Rihanna in a shark, taken The Simpsons to Paris fashion week and now she's even doing Dirty Laundry with your favorite celebrities.

"I think of myself as a creative producer," Brown, the editor-in-chief of InStyle, told Rebecca Jarvis on ABC Radio's podcast "No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis."

The Australian native, who spent her early days growing up on a dairy farm before moving to a beachside suburb outside of Sydney, knew from a young age that she wanted to work in the magazine industry.

When she was 15, she started interning for various magazines in her area and used any spare time or vacations as an opportunity to get experience.

 "I have the hustle muscle...through the end of high school I would do as many of those [internships] as I could," she said. "I knew I wanted to write and I wanted to be in print magazine."

After high school, Brown decided to study communications and journalism at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, Australia.

While in college, she continued to gain work experience in the magazine industry and she even graduated early, submitting her final school paper while working for a publication called Australian Family Magazine.

At the age of 21, she took her first ever plane ride, a one way ticket to London to try to be a freelance fashion writer. She eventually found herself back in Sydney working for Harper's Bazaar in Australia but she knew ultimately that she wanted to move to New York.

"I remember we used to get all the American magazines in a bag from New York and I snaffled them all up and I would take them home," she said. She recalled how one day while living near Sydney Harbor reading New York Magazine, "I was so immersed," she said. "I swear I looked up and I'd completely forgotten where I was. I just was in New York."

With $5,000 in the bank, she decided to take the plunge, moving to New York City on Sept. 4, 2001. She began freelancing for a number of different magazines and landed her first full-time position at W Magazine.

She eventually joined Harper's Bazaar, spending 11 years there, rising the ranks becoming its executive editor.

In 2016, Brown became the editor-in-chief of InStyle, where she's combined her forward thinking creativity and social media savvy to refresh the brand, appealing to a wider audience with a "stylish and relatable voice." Brown credits a lot of her success to paying her dues, putting in the time and gaining trust behind her ideas.

 "When people trust you enough...that's the equity you get after being in magazines for a certain amount of time," Brown said. "Sometimes you can have the idea and sometimes you're going to have to get the bagel, too."

"It’s never easy but there is an ease about having the equity behind your ideas...your idea is nothing unless people come along with you."

In a world dominated by technology with endless forms of communication and expression, Brown says there is no better time to be in the magazine industry.

"We now have 360 degrees of a way to communicate," she said. "It's not just the page...I've got this playground that is so much bigger than just the printer."

 "I think that there's no better time to get into, I’ll use the old fashion word, magazines, because you can you can really tell a story and it challenges you to communicate in all these different forums on all these different levels," she said.

“There's no better time to have a voice and use it," she added. "If you have something to say people, will pay attention...And that's how InStyle is distinguishing itself."

Hear Laura Brown's full interview on the ABC Radio podcast "No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Bill O'Reilly to get payout up to $25 million: Reports

Purestock/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Bill O’Reilly could receive a payout as high as $25 million as he exits his role at Fox News, media reports said.

The Financial Times and others reported on Thursday that O’Reilly would receive the sum -- “equivalent to one year’s salary” -- from 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company.

O’Reilly lost his job as host of "The O'Reilly Factor" Wednesday -- while vacationing in Italy -- when 21st Century Fox announced that he would not be returning to his anchor chair on Monday.

The announcement marked a remarkable downfall for cable news’ biggest star, who had been dogged by harassment and sexual misconduct allegations since an April 1 investigation in The New York Times. ABC News has not been able to independently verify these claims.

O'Reilly issued a statement on Wednesday after the news of his departure was announced, saying, "It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Bill O’Reilly accuser reveals identity, feels ‘triumphant’ he won't return to Fox News

Dimitrios Kambouris/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The woman who remained anonymous when she alleged Bill O’Reilly sexually harassed her publicly revealed her identity today, appearing on ABC’s "The View." She said she felt "triumphant" upon hearing that O’Reilly would not return to the airwaves.

Perquita Burgess appeared on "The View" one day after Fox News jettisoned its top-rated host amid allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct by several women.

Burgess said that she was a temporary worker at Fox News in 2008 when she claims the host acted inappropriately towards her.

“Within the first week and a half of working there ... he made like a grunting noise," she told "The View." "As time went on, I noticed every time he walked past my desk, if no one was around, he
would make that noise."

"Fast forward to maybe three, four weeks in, we were on the elevator alone coming up to our floor, and he let me off first as gentlemen usually do," she continued. "As I was getting off the
elevator, he said 'looking good, there, girl.'"

"One day he walks past my desk ... he walks past and says 'Hey, hot chocolate,'" she said. "I didn’t respond. I was mortified ... I took that as a very plantational remark."

Burgess said that she did not report the behavior at the time because she was not an employee of Fox News. She said that she did not tell her temporary work agency because she didn’t want to damage
the relationship she had with the firm.

Asked why she was speaking out now, Burgess said that she was "tired of reliving the trauma every time I saw a woman speak out, and I wanted to save him from doing it to anyone else."

"I did not want to," she said. "I was very afraid."

O’Reilly’s representative did not immediately return ABC News' request for comment.

Attorney Lisa Bloom was also present on the set and said that Burgess was not seeking money from O’Reilly. She also noted that the statute of limitations had run out, so Burgess could not seek a
settlement as other women had, even if she desired to do so.

Burgess and Bloom also spoke out against President Donald Trump, who defended O’Reilly in an April interview in the Oval Office, saying, "I don’t think Bill did anything wrong."

Burgess said she felt "mortified" by the president’s remarks.

Bloom went further, saying, "What Trump said is 'I don’t think he did anything wrong.' He didn’t say, 'I don’t think he did it.'"

"He doesn’t think sexual harassment is wrong," Bloom said. "He’s made that very clear."

Burgess' allegations first came to light on Tuesday in a story published by The Hollywood Reporter, which heavily quoted her lawyer Lisa Bloom.

Bloom also appeared on ABC News’ "Good Morning America” on Wednesday and on Thursday.

During the Thursday appearance, she hailed O’Reilly’s departure as "a very important first step," but said that the network needed "to clean house and show us that they really do respect women."

O'Reilly issued a statement on Wednesday after the news of his departure was announced, saying, "It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is
the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


New lawsuit claims Bose shared data from playlists

Bose(NEW YORK) — Could your headphones be spying on you? A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday against Bose Corporation charges that the company tracks the audio content customers listen to through an app connected to their wireless headphones and sells that information without permission.

Kyle Zak, who filed the lawsuit in Chicago, is seeking millions in damages for buyers of at least six different Bose wireless headphones and speakers and wants data collection to stop.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Lawyer says O'Reilly's departure is 'a very important first step' but cautions that more needs 'to be done'

ABC News(NEW YORK) --  Celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom said Bill O’Reilly’s ouster from Fox News on Wednesday “is a very important first step,” but added “there’s a lot more to be done” at the cable network.

Bloom, who represented some of O’Reilly’s accusers, told ABC News’ Good Morning America on Thursday that the network needed “to clean house and show us that they really do respect women.”

The attorney said that her phone “has been ringing off the hook” since yesterday and she expected more allegations to come out against O’Reilly and the network.

On Wednesday, 21st Century Fox announced that O’Reilly – who was vacationing in Italy – would not be returning to his anchor chair on Monday.

The announcement marked a remarkable downfall for cable news’ biggest star, who had been dogged by harassment and sexual misconduct allegations since an April 1 investigation in The New York Times.

ABC News has not been able to independently verify these claims.

An internal 21st Century Fox memo obtained by ABC News on Wednesday said that the "decision follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel." The memo was signed by Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch, the company's top executives.

The Murdochs did praise O'Reilly, saying, "By ratings standards, Bill O'Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news. In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable."

"We want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect," the memo concluded.

Earlier in April, 21st Century Fox enlisted the prominent law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to probe at least one complaint against O'Reilly.

"21st Century Fox investigates all complaints, and we have asked the law firm Paul, Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters," a 21st Century Fox spokesman said at the time.

O'Reilly issued a statement on Wednesday after the news broke, saying, "It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today."

Unfounded or not, the appearance of impropriety created a public relations nightmare and dozens of advertisers pulled spots from his show.

The nightmare subsided for a few days after O’Reilly disappeared from the air after his April 11 broadcast, vowing to return on April 24 after what he called a long-planned vacation. That broadcast would prove to be his last.

Hours after his ouster, his program was on air under the same name, but with the conspicuous absence of O’Reilly’s name: The Factor.

At the top of the program, guest host Dana Perino addressed O'Reilly's departure, saying, "Before we get to the other big stories of the day, we want to address the situation many of you may already be aware of. Bill O'Reilly, who hosted this program for 20 years is leaving the Fox News Channel. We know that you, his very loyal viewers, will have a lot of feelings about this."

She added: “It is the end of an era here at the Fox News Channel ... Bill has been the undisputed king of cable news, and for good reason. He is an incredibly talented broadcaster who raise the bar for interviewers everywhere. He has also held the staff to exacting standards in his quest to put the best possible program on the air and they are great. And you, his audience, responded in record numbers making The Factor the number one cable news show for more than 16 years. You have also been loyal and we can’t tell you how much that means to everyone on The Factor."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Jobless Claims Climb to 244K

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims climbed higher last week, increasing by 10,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending April 15, the number of people filing for benefits jumped from an unrevised level of 234,000 the previous week to 244,000.

The four-week moving average, however, decreased by 4,250 to 243,000.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


FTC warns Instagram 'influencers' about not disclosing brand relationships

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Federal Trade Commission is warning social media influencers -- celebrities, athletes and other brand marketers with large online followings -- to properly disclose relationships with brands when endorsing or promoting products on Instagram.

In a Wednesday press release, the regulatory body announced that it had sent over 90 letters "reminding influencers and marketers" about the FTC's guidelines on "influencer advertising" in response to petitions launched by consumer rights advocacy groups like Public Citizen.

"Our goal is to influence influencers to comply with those established principles in their Instagram posts," the FTC wrote in an accompanying blog post.

In the FTC guide for commercial practices concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials, it states that the material connection between an endorser and the seller of the advertised product must be fully disclosed.

"A material connection could be a business or family relationship, monetary payment, or the gift of a free product," the FTC press release said.

But the FTC said that a number of influencer Instagram posts it reviewed left that connection ambiguous, and the disclosures were sometimes insufficient. It noted that hashtags used in some posts to denote that relationship -- including “Thanks [Brand],” or “#partner” -- were not always obvious.

While not an official warning, the FTC's letters are meant to act as a reminder to influencers to stick within the proper standards for endorsing or promoting products.

Legally, it is up to both the brand and influencer to clearly disclose their marketing relationship, but the FTC said celebrities and influencers should directly make people aware of their connection and marketers should educate clients about their posts and monitor their adherence to FTC guidelines.

 In its blog post, the FTC recommended three steps that influencers should take to ensure the effectiveness of disclosures on Instagram:

Keep your disclosures unambiguous.

Make your disclosures hard to miss.

Avoid #HardtoRead #BuriedDisclosures #inStringofHashtags #SkippedByReaders.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 1737 Next 10 Entries »

ABC News Radio