Business Highlights

Samsung new phone shows limits of innovation

Samsung’s new smartphone illustrates the limits of innovation at time when hardware advances have slowed. The Galaxy Note 9 will be faster and last longer without a recharge, but won’t offer earth-shattering new features.

The new phone will get some automatic photo editing and a stylus that can serve as a remote control. The new phones, announced Thursday, will come out Aug. 24.

Uber faces new roadblock in NY on its way to IPO

Uber will now have to navigate around a new regulatory pothole in New York on an already bumpy road to its initial public offering of stock next year. New York is imposing a one-year moratorium on new ride-hailing licenses in Uber’s largest U.S. market, raising the specter that other cities may adopt similar crackdowns as they try to ease traffic congestion.

If that were to happen, it would be more difficult for Uber to reverse its uninterrupted history of losses leading up to its IPO.

Indictment draws focus on Congress’ activities

The indictment of GOP Rep. Chris Collins on insider trading charges is drawing new attention to the freedom members of Congress have to serve on corporate boards or to buy and sell stock in industries they’re responsible for overseeing.

Collins has denied any wrongdoing stemming from his involvement with a biotechnology company. He was a member of the company’s board of directors. The arrangement isn’t a violation of the law, but one that can create the potential for a conflict of interest.

Tesla stock drops back near pre-Musk tweet level

Tesla shares have dropped back to near the level they were trading at before CEO Elon Musk tweeted Tuesday that he may take the company private. Shares were down 6 percent to $347.26 in midday trading Thursday.

The SEC has reportedly opened an inquiry into the wording and method of Musk’s disclosure about the deal. Musk acknowledged he was serious in an email to employees, and Tesla directors have said they’re evaluating it.

Hog nuisance trials to get new judge

The federal judge who’s managing a series of North Carolina lawsuits accusing the world’s largest pork company of creating nuisances for rural neighbors is being temporarily replaced.

The order replacing U.S. District Judge Earl Britt for a trial starting next month was finalized Monday. Court records don’t indicate why Britt, who’s in his mid-80s and semi-retired, was replaced or for how long.

Retail gains and bank losses leave stocks flat

Major U.S. indexes stood stock-still for the third consecutive day Thursday as gains for retailers were canceled out by losses for banks and other companies.

Energy companies again headed lower after a sharp drop in oil prices the day before. Amazon and media company Viacom led consumer-focused companies higher.

Major markets post mixed results

The S&P 500 index fell in the final minutes of trading and lost 4.12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,853.58. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 74.52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,509.23.

The Nasdaq composite added 3.46 points to 7,891.78. The Russell 2000, an index of smaller companies, added 4.01 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,690.89.