Tesla cuts number of stock colors to streamline production

The Tesla emblem. File/AP

Tech, energy help boost stocks

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday as technology companies continued to recover from their recent losses.

The approach of Hurricane Florence sent home improvement retailers and gas prices higher. The Department of Energy said it's seeing signs that shipments of oil from Iran are falling as the U.S. prepares to resume sanctions on the Iranian energy industry and pushes other countries to stop buying.

Apple climbed a day before it's set to announce new phone designs and other products. Video game companies Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive also jumped. Other big technology companies, and their compatriot Amazon, rose for a second day after big declines last week.

Big technology companies slumped last week as executives from Facebook and Twitter appeared before Congress at hearings about election meddling and political bias. That led to a rare decline for the sector.

While the stocks are bouncing back from that drop, Facebook and Twitter have yet to recover from the big losses they absorbed in July after investors began to worry about their user growth.

Tesla is dropping 2 paint options

NEW YORK — Tesla is dropping two of the seven standard colors it had offered to customers as it tries to streamline production.

In a tweet early Tuesday, CEO Elon Musk said obsidian black and metallic silver will still be available, but at a higher cost.

Tesla fans can still choose as standard colors solid black and "midnight silver metallic," as well as pearl white, deep blue metallic and red.

The company, based in Palo Alto, California, has struggled to vault from a niche maker of expensive electric cars into a mass-market automaker.

There is a waiting list of more than 400,000 people who want to buy a Tesla, and some have been waiting since March 2016, when the company first started taking orders.

Bigger, pricier iPhone is expected

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is expected to unveil its biggest and most expensive iPhone on Wednesday as part of a lineup of three new models aimed at widening the product's appeal amid slowing sales growth.

If media leaks pan out, the newest additions to the iPhone lineup will make their debut at a scheduled company event in California.

Most of the buzz is swirling around a rumored iPhone that is supposed to boast a 6.5-inch OLED screen, up from 5.8 inches on the existing iPhone X. OLED is a step up from traditional LCD technology in offering a display without a backlight, so black is truly black rather than simply dark.

The iPhone X became the first mass-market smartphone to sell for $1,000, and now Apple is upping the ante again.

As job openings rise, so does quitting

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers advertised the most jobs on record in July, and the proportion of workers quitting their jobs also hit a new all-time high.

Americans are increasingly taking advantage of a tight labor market to find new, often higher-paying jobs.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the number of job openings rose 1.7 percent to 6.9 million, the most on record dating back to late 2000. The number of people quitting jumped 3 percent to 3.58 million, or about 2.4 percent of the workforce.

With the unemployment rate near an 18-year low of 3.9 percent, businesses are increasingly desperate to find workers. Even as the number of available jobs rose, overall hiring was essentially flat, the report showed.

What's in the Amazon box? Xmas tree

NEW YORK — Watch out for the 7-foot box on the doorstep. Amazon plans to sell and ship fresh, full-size Christmas trees this year.

But a live tree is no paperback book. Amazon says the trees, including Douglas firs and Norfolk Island pines, will be bound and shipped without water in the usual sort of box. They'll go on sale in November and be sent within 10 days of being cut. Amazon says they should survive the shipping fine.

But will people buy a Christmas tree sight unseen? Tim O'Connor, executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association, said choosing trees and hauling them home is part of the fun. The association estimates that only about 1 percent to 2 percent of the 27 million real Christmas trees purchased last year were bought online.

Cadbury owner is stockpiling chocolate

LONDON — A major confectionery maker says Brexit could come between Britons and their beloved sweet treat.

Hubert Weber, European chief of Mondelez International,  which owns U.K. chocolate-maker Cadbury, says the company is stockpiling ingredients, chocolate and cookies as part of contingency plans for a disruptive "hard Brexit."

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29. The two sides have yet to agree on future economic relations, leaving companies uncertain about whether currently frictionless trade can continue.

Weber was quoted Tuesday by The Times of London as saying that "from a buffering perspective for Mondelez, we are stocking higher levels of ingredients and finished products."

He said Britain "is not self-sufficient in terms of food ingredients" and warned shoppers could face higher prices and fewer choices if there is no deal.

Wire reports