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  1. US economy creates 156,000 jobs in December
  2. UK labour costs accelerated in late 2015
  3. BA to cancel 20 flights during next week's strike
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Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

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That's all from the Business Live page for another week. Join us again on Monday for more breaking business news.

Dow Jones narrowly misses 20,000

US stock market trader
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The Dow Jones industrial average came within a whisker of hitting a record 20,000 but ended Friday's session at 19,963.80.

The index of America's 30 leading stocks closed up 64.51 points after a rally took the Dow Jones within one point of reaching a fresh high. 

Although new data showed that US job creation slowed in December, annual wage growth rose at its quickest pace since June 2009.  

Technology stocks helped propel both the Nasdaq and the broader S&P 500 to new highs.

The S&P 500 closed up 7.8 points to 2276.98 and the Nasdaq climbed 33.12 points to 5,521.06.

Apple rose 1.1%, helping all three major indexes, after Canada's Competition Bureau said it did not find sufficient evidence that the iPhone maker had engaged in anti-competitive conduct, closing a two-year investigation into the company.

Ford: 'Fully autonomous cars by 2021'

Ford: 'Fully autonomous cars by 2021'

Ford insists it will have a fully autonomous car, without steering wheel or brake pedals, on the road by 2021.

It comes after other car makers including Nissan and BMW said they believed full autonomous driving won't be likely until the 2030's.

Ford's Ken Washington speaks to the BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones.

Sainsbury's in Singhbury's shop name row

Singhbury's sign

A shopkeeper removed the sign outside his store after supermarket giant Sainsbury's said it looked too much like theirs, he has claimed.

Singhbury's Local in Aylesbury put its orange sign up last year.

Co-owner Inderjit Singh Nagpal said Sainsbury's objected, but he said "Singh" was his middle name, "bury" referred to Aylesbury and the colour orange was important to Sikhs.

Sainsbury's said it contacted the shop after its customers raised "concerns".

Read more here.

Volkswagen car fix gets thumbs up

Volkswagen Beetle
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Some good news for Volkswagen. 

US regulators have approved a fix for 67,000 of the 475,000 Volkswagens and Audis with 2-litre diesel engines that were programmed to cheat on US emissions tests.   

The US Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board have given the thumbs up to the remedy for 2015 models of the Volkswagen Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta and Passat as well as the Audi A3.

The German company has submitted a fix for older models but it is yet to be approved.

Volkswagen admitted in 2015 that some cars sold in America had software that recognized when they were being tested on a treadmill and turned on pollution controls. 

US regulators accuse Bank of America of discriminatory lending

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has filed charges against Bank of America and two of its employees, saying they wrongfully discriminated against prospective Hispanic mortgage borrowers in South Carolina.

The case may be heard in federal court, where a judge could potentially order the bank to pay damages.

Unconfirmed reports of more shots at Fort Lauderdale

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For more information on the Fort Lauderdale shootings, please see the US Live page.

Five people dead in Fort Lauderdale shooting

US department store Neiman Marcus pulls float

Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills
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Upmarket US department store chain Neiman Marcus has pulled its flotation plans.

The company's formal withdrawal reflects the challenges facing the high-end retailer, as the broader industry struggles under the weight of competitive pressures including from online retailers.  

The Dallas-based company filed with regulators to go public in August 2015. 

Amid market jitters, it decided to delay those plans later that year.

Shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport

A number of people have been shot dead at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida, according to tweets by Broward County Sheriff's office.

Reports suggest three deaths.

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Courier 'delighted' by tribunal decision

Courier Maggie Dewhurst, who an employment tribunal found was an employee of City Sprint, told the BBC's John Moylan:

"I'm delighted that the tribunal ruled in our favour as it has set a legal and moral precedent which others can use to make similar claims."

Courier wins employment rights case against City Sprint

Maggie Dewhurst

A bicycle courier has won a case over employment rights in a ruling which could have major implications for the "gig economy".

A tribunal has ruled that Maggie Dewhurst, a courier with logistics firm City Sprint, should be classed as a worker rather than self-employed.

As a worker, she would be entitled to basic rights including holiday and sick pay and the national living wage.

It follows a similar ruling against the taxi-hailing service Uber in October.

Read more here.

City Sprint: 'Disappointed with ruling'

Courier firm City Sprint has sent through this statement after an employment tribunal found in favour of one of its couriers, who had argued that she was a worker at the firm, and not self-employed:

“We are disappointed with today’s ruling. It is important to remember that this applies to a single individual and was not a test case.

Because of the complexity of the judgement we will be reviewing it in detail before making any further comment.”

“We enjoy a good relationship with our fleet, many of whom have worked with us for some time, and have always strived to help them maximise their earnings.

"Evidence presented at the tribunal confirmed that the vast majority of our couriers enjoy the freedom and flexibility of their current role. As was clearly highlighted in this case, CitySprint is a good company that pays its couriers some of the best rates in the industry.

“This case has demonstrated that there is still widespread confusion regarding this area of law, which is why we are calling on the government to provide better support and help for businesses across the UK who could be similarly affected.”

Tribunal finds in favour of City Sprint courier

A cycle courier was a worker of City Sprint, the Central London Employment Tribunal has found.

The tribunal found the claimant, Margaret Dewhurst, should have been paid for two days holiday she took.

The test case is one of a number of legal challenges to firms working in the so-called "gig economy", where people are classified as self-employed by companies, but get most or all of their work from that firm.

And closer...

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is getting closer to the 20,000 point level.

It's now up 73.99 points at 19,973.28.

Dow edges towards 20,000 mark

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average is getting very close to breaking through the 20,000 point barrier after a mixed jobs report.

Data suggested the US economy added fewer-than-expected jobs last month, but average hourly earnings rose, suggesting sustained momentum in the labour market.

The Dow is up 0.30% at 19,959.01 points.

FTSE 100 hits all time high at the close

The upward movement of the FTSE 100 in response to a weak pound has continued, with the share index finishing the week on a fresh record high.

The FTSE 100 closed on 7,210.05 points, up 0.2%, beating Thursday's 7,195.31 point close.

The gadgets coming to your home

Wall Street climbs after mixed jobs data

Wall Street traders
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US stocks are rising higher after a dip at the open.

Data showed that employment in December rose less than expected but a rebound in wages suggested sustained growth in the labour market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 32.39 points, or 0.16%, at 19,931.68, the S&P 500 was up 3.45 points, or 0.16%, at 2,272.74 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 23.35 points, or 0.43%, at 5,511.94. 

London Underground strike talks break down

London Underground Piccadilly Line tube trains
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Talks to avert a 24 hour tube strike starting on Sunday at 6pm have broken down.

The dispute is over the closure of ticket offices and involves the RMT and TSSA Unions.

London Underground has warned of significant disruption with no Zone 1 tube stations open - that's central London stations.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "Despite huge efforts by the union negotiating team London Underground have failed to come up with any serious plans to tackle the staffing and safety crisis caused by the axing of nearly 900 safety-critical station jobs.

"As a result of the management failure to face up to the current crisis the talks have collapsed and all industrial actions remains on.

"It is up to London Underground... to come back to us with a serious set of proposals." 

Germany in the dark over Trump foreign policy

Donald Trump
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Germany says it still doesn't know what kind of foreign policy to expect from Donald Trump.

A German foreign ministry spokesman, Martin Schaefer, told a news conference in Berlin that officials who'd held talks with members of Mr Trump's transition team had emerged none the wiser.

"First contacts have been made," he said. "But it ultimately remains the case that there still is no clear, coherent and comprehensive picture of what kind of foreign and security policy the new Trump administration wants to pursue in the world."

Trump tells Obama ambassadors to go

Donald Trump
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Countries including the UK, Germany and Canada may be left without a US ambassador for months after 20 January, the New York Times reports.

A blanket edict was issued on December 23 by US President-elect Donald Trump's transition team require Obama's ambassadors to leave their posts by Inauguration Day.

In the past, extensions have been granted on a case-by-case basis, for example, to minimise disruptions to the ambassador's family if their children are in a particular school.

Some ambassadors are now are "scrambling to secure living arrangements and acquire visas allowing them to remain in their countries so their children can remain in school," the article said. 

Bites of the Apple

Tim Cook
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Apple chief executive Tim Cook (pictured right) got a big award from vested shares in 2016, according to a regulatory filing.

Mr Cook's compensation including salary and bonus came to $8.75m - less than the previous year's $10.3m.

But a huge tranche of shares which vested gave him a lump sum of more than $136m, taking his total compensation to around $145m.

US bond yields rise

US Treasury bond yields have risen after investors focused on a rise in hourly earnings in the US non-farm payroll data rather than the number of jobs added.

The 156,000 figure missed expectations of 178,000 jobs created, but hourly earnings increased 10 cents or 0.4%.

Hourly pay jumped 2.9% from a year earlier, the sharpest increase in more than seven years.

That is a positive sign that the low unemployment rate is forcing some businesses to offer higher wages to attract and keep workers.

Sluggish growth in Americans' paychecks has been a longstanding weak spot in the economic recovery.  

In morning trading US ten year bonds yielded 2.386%, up from 2.368% late on Thursday.

Wall Street opens lower after jobs figures

US stocks have opened lower after data showed employment in December rose less than expected.

However, a rebound in wages suggested continued growth in the labour market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 41.74 points, or 0.21%, at 19,857.55.

The S&P 500 was down 4.10 points, or 0.20%, at 2,264.78 and the Nasdaq Composite index was down 4.14 points, or 0.07%, at 5,484.01. 

Jobs under Obama

Andrew Walker

World Service economics correspondent

Barack Obama
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Since his inauguration in January 2009, the number of people with jobs (non-farm payrolls) has increased by 11.25 million.

It went down in the first year of his presidency, before recovering.

Note that the working age population has increased in that period.

The percentage of the population aged 16 or over that are employed has fallen from 60.6% to 59.7%. Part of that is due to population ageing.

The unemployment rate has fallen from 7.8% to 4.7% now, having peaked at 10.0% in Obama’s first year.

US earnings 'bode well for stock market'

Wall Street bull
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An uptick in the US economy and hourly earnings bode well for the stock market in 2017, according to Kully Samra, Charles Schwab UK managing director.

"We remain optimistic that this is an ongoing [long term] bull market in US stocks and the risk of it ending swiftly is low. Bear markets tend to sniff out economic recessions and, with growth accelerating from its below-trend pace, the risk of that is also low," Mr Samra said.

US economy: 'Trump the only show in town'

Aberdeen Asset Management investment manager Luke Bartholomew comments:

"This solid report further underlines the Fed’s point in December that the economy is now very close to full employment. Job growth was decent and wage growth is picking up nicely. But the only real show in town is Donald Trump’s inauguration... The interaction between the Fed and Trump, and the resulting policy mix, is likely to be the defining theme for investors this year.”    

BreakingUS economy creates 156,000 jobs in December

US factory

The US economy created 156,000 jobs in December, according to the Department of Labor.

The unemployment rate edged higher to 4.7%.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls increased by 10 cents to $26.00, after edging down by 2 cents in November.   

TP ICAP tops the 250

TP ICAP - nee Tullett Prebon - is top of the FTSE 250 risers today after a strong trading update. 

It expects 2016 revenue to be 12% higher than the £796m reported for 2015, helped by a spike in trading volumes since November. 

"The expectation of future interest rate rises in the wake of the US presidential election has seen an increase in volatility and market activity," said analyst Paul McGinnis at Shore Capital.

"This has benefited the company's traditional products areas such as interest rate derivatives, fixed income and Treasury products, all of which have been generally weak in the years since the credit crisis."

Shares are 8.6% higher at 470.7p. 

Holding the wooden spoon is International Personal Finance, down nearly 10% at 159p after an adverse decision by the Polish tax man for its Polish subsidiary. 

IPF provides small loans to more than 2.7 million borrowers in Europe and Mexico.

A credit card, or a computer?

More fun from CES: Intel has revealed a computer that is not much bigger than a credit card.

The Compute Card can operate as a PC or act as the brains of other electronics.

BBC Click's Spencer Kelly got an exclusive first look before its official launch.

Follow all our CES coverage at

CES 2017: Intel reveals credit card-sized modular computer

Do you want a handbag with that?

Industry correspondent John Moylan tweets:

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F1 team owner goes into administration

Manor Motor racing
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The company behind the Manor Formula One motor racing team has gone into administration.

Just Racing Services failed to find investors to keep it going. 

Manor Grand Prix Racing, the company which holds the rights to participate in the championship, is not in administration. 

However, the racing team's participation in the next season, which begins on 26 March, is now in jeopardy.

Administrators said participation will "depend on the outcome of the administration process and any related negotiations with interested parties in what is a very limited window of opportunity".

If Manor fails to make the starting grid, the number of F1 teams would be reduced to 10.

Scotsman editor quits

Ian Stewart

Ian Stewart, the editor-in-chief of The Scotsman, will step down in March, it is understood.

The announcement comes just three weeks before The Scotsman is due to celebrate its bicentenary.

Mr Stewart is in charge of The Scotsman and the Edinburgh Evening News, as well as sister title Scotland on Sunday.

He has edited The Scotsman since 2012 and Scotland on Sunday since 2009.

Shares in Johnston Press, which owns the titles, have had a torrid 12 months, falling about 70%. That means the company is worth just £15m - but has a debt mountain of £140m.

It bought the i newspaper last year.  

Lloyds shares rise

Shares in Lloyds Banking Group are one of the biggest winners on the FTSE 100 today, with a 1.7% gain.

Shares have been helped by a positive report from analysts at Barclays.

They are optimistic about the prospects for Lloyds.

They think that profit margins at the bank will improve, allowing it to reward shareholders for the next couple of years.

Overall the FTSE 100 is little changed at 7,190.

Is there a crisis in economics?

There is some angst among the economics profession this morning following Andy Haldane's concession that the Bank of England was too gloomy in its forecast about how the economy would perform in the event of a leave vote.

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Another brick in the (Mexican) wall...

Donald Trump has been tweeting again...

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One, two or three screens?

Razer laptop

Just how many screens do you need on a laptop? Gaming PC maker Razer thinks the magic number is three.

It has unveiled a concept device with a trio of 4K screens at the CES tech show in Las Vegas.

The firm claims Project Valerie is the world's first portable laptop of its kind. 

Two additional screens slide out from the central display via an automatic mechanism.

One analyst praised the design, noting that gamers were increasingly splashing out on high-end laptops.

Read more from our tech team here.

Will a cyber attack bring down a bank this year?

BBC technology of business editor Matthew Wall tweets:

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