Cities court Amazon after it dumps NY

NEW YORK — Amazon's breakup with New York was still fresh when other cities started sending their own valentines to the online giant.

Officials in Newark, N.J., sent a giant heart that read, "NJ & Newark Still Love U, Amazon!" Word came that Chicago and suburban Maryland are also still interested in a relationship with Amazon.

The love notes have come even though Amazon says it's not looking for another site now that it has canceled its project to build a big new headquarters in the Queens section of New York City.

Feds seek ways to recycle lithium batteries

CHICAGO — The U.S. government is leading an ambitious effort to develop ways to recycle lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles, phones and other sources to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of metals crucial to battery production.

The Energy Department announced a $15-billion, three-year research and development project at the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago. Officials say it's an attempt to catch up with China and other countries that manufacture and recycle the vast majority of lithium-ion batteries, including those shipped back from the U.S.

They say depending on other countries for metals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite, as well as finished batteries, undermines national security because the source countries are not always close allies.

PepsiCo swings to 4Q gain, sees tax benefit

PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo moved to a profit in its fourth quarter, getting a boost from a large tax benefit as sales in its Frito-Lay unit North America strengthened.

The food and beverage company recorded a $5.3 billion tax benefit in the quarter, which included reorganizing its international operations. A year earlier it had a tax expense of $2.5 billion.

PepsiCo Inc. earned $6.85 billion, or $4.83 per share, for the period ended Dec. 29. The company lost $710 million, or 50 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

Adjusted earnings were $1.49 per share, matching the expectations of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue was basically flat at $19.52 billion, edging out Wall Street's forecast of $19.51 billion. Frito-Lay North America posted a 4 percent revenue gain, while the North America beverages segment reported a 2 percent increase.

PepsiCo expects 2019 organic revenue — or revenue before acquisitions — to grow 4 percent, with earnings of $5.50 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet predict $5.85.

Industrial output tumbled in Jan.

WASHINGTON — U.S. industrial production fell 0.6 percent in January, stemming in large part from an 8.8 percent plunge in the making of motor vehicles and auto parts.

The Federal Reserve said Friday that that the manufacturing component of the index dropped 0.9 percent last month, reversing a 0.8 percent gain in December. Over the past 12 months, factory production has increased just 2.9 percent. Manufacturing of wood products, computers, electrical equipment, apparel and chemicals also fell in January.

The decline suggests a clear cooling at U.S. factories that could prompt a slower pace of growth this year compared to 2018.

FAA opens door for US-Vietnam flights

WASHINGTON — Federal officials say Vietnam is now meeting international standards for aviation safety, a decision that will let the country's airlines fly to the United States and work with U.S. airlines.

The Federal Aviation Administration said late Thursday that it granted Vietnam a "Category 1" safety rating after an August 2018 assessment of how well that country's government oversees civil aviation.

The FAA had not previously judged Vietnam's compliance with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, the United Nation's aviation agency.

The new rating means Vietnamese carriers can get U.S. approval to begin service to the United States. They can also begin code-sharing, in which Vietnamese and U.S. carriers could sell seats on each other's flights.

There are no current flights between the two countries.

Wire reports

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