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Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night!

    That's all for today from Business Live - thanks for reading. We're back at 06:00 tomorrow so do join us then.

    We leave you tonight with a sneak preview of the New Yorker's next issue. 

    View more on twitter
  2. Snap keeps sinking

    Snap shares ended the day 21% lower at $18.06 - barely above the $17 float price.

    The plunge has been a boon for short-sellers, however, who made $192m on Thursday, according to Ihor Dusaniwsky, head of research at S3 Partners: "They were in the red as of yesterday; today they are in the black."

    The stock had dipped as low as $17.60 earlier in the session.

  3. Nordstrom misses too

    More woes for the US department store sector after Macy's and Kohl's disappointed today.

    Now Nordstrom has reported a 0.8% fall in first quarter sales, compared with forecasts for flat growth. At least revenue was every so slightly above expectations at $3.35bn.

    After falling 7.6% today the retailer's shares have so far sunk another 5% in after-hours trading.

  4. BreakingWall Street falls

    Wall Street fell after worse-than-expected sales at Macy's and Kohl's sparked a selloff in department store shares and stirred fears that consumers are not spending enough to drive strong economic growth. 

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 0.1% to 20,919 points, the S&P 500 lost about 0.2% to 2,394.5 points, while the Nasdaq Composite also slipped 0.2% to 6,115.9 points.  

  5. Did Trump really invent the term 'prime the pump'?

    Donald Trump

    Students of 1930s economics are no strangers to the idea of 'priming the pump' - public spending to get the economy back on its feet.

    But US President Donald Trump appears to be laying claim to the phrase for himself.

    In an interview with The Economist published on Thursday, he used the metaphor to describe his hopes for tax reform (see earlier post).

    Then he asked: "Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven't heard it. I mean, I just… I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It's what you have to do."

    His claim immediately raised eyebrows.

    Or, as The New York Observer put it: "The Entire Internet Is Trolling President Trump Over 'Priming the Pump." Read more here

  6. Robert Lighthizer confirmed as US trade rep

    BBC World Service

    Robert Lighthizer

    The American Senate has approved President Trump's nominee for US Trade Representative, a critical position ahead of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, reports BBC World Service

    The veteran trade lawyer Robert Lighthizer was confirmed by a vote of 82 to 14. 

    During his election campaign, Mr Trump described the agreement as the worst trade deal ever signed by the United States.  

  7. Man who hacked employer to pay damages

    Hands on keyboard

    A former private security officer in California must pay nearly $319,000 (£248,000) in damages for attacking his employer's computer systems.

    Yovan Garcia accessed payroll records at Security Specialists, which provides private security patrols, to inflate the number of hours he had worked.

    He later hacked the firm's servers to steal data and defaced its website.

    District Judge Michael Fitzgerald said Garcia had used the stolen data to help set up a rival business. Read more here

  8. Vermont legislature votes to approve cannabis legalisation

    The Vermont legislature has voted to approve legalising the use of cannabis as a recreational drug.

    The measure could be vetoed, passed, or be allowed to pass unopposed by Republican governor Phil Scott.

    A spokeswoman for Mr Scott said: "On the issue of legalising marijuana, the governor has said he is not philosophically opposed, but we must ensure certain public safety and health questions are answered."

    If allowed to pass into law, the state would be the ninth to legalise the drug.

    Neighbuoring Massachusetts and nearby Maine have also legalised the drug, doing so after statewide ballots showed that a majority of voters approved of the idea.

  9. Snap shares still struggling

    Intraday Snap Inc shares graphic 11 May 2017

    There's been no respite for Snapchat owner Snap's shares. They're down by more than 21% in New York. 

    The fall has been prompted by disappointing results released after the close of trading on Wednesday. 

    These revealed poor growth in the first three months of the year and showed Snapchat had attracted fewer than expected daily active users. 

  10. Ex-wife gets £453m divorce payout

    Exterior of Royal Courts of Justice

    A Russian billionaire has been ordered to pay his estranged wife £453m in a divorce settlement at a British court.

    The payment from the 61-year-old, a former oil and gas trader, to his ex-wife, 41, has been described as one of the biggest awards made by a UK court.

    During a High Court hearing, a judge said the couple met and married in Moscow before moving in Surrey.

    Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said he had awarded the woman 41.5% of the "total marital assets". Read more here

  11. Deliveroo overhauls courier contracts

    Deliveroo rider on bike

    Deliveroo has changed the contract for its couriers after receiving a drubbing from MPs over the so-called "gig economy's" treatment of workers.

    The takeaway delivery business has removed a clause that banned couriers from challenging their self-employed status before an employment tribunal.

    The clause was legally unenforceable.

    However, the Labour MP Frank Field called it "egregious", adding: "It does seem a business model if you can get away with it." Read more here

  12. Sterling still down

    Let's check in on sterling now, and the pound is still trading down against the dollar and euro.

    The dip follows the Bank of England's warning that consumer spending will be squeezed this and economic growth is likely to be slightly lower than previously forecast. 

    The pound is at $1.2882, a fall of 0.44%.

    Against the euro it's down at 1.1851 euros, that's 0.47% lower.

    Intraday graphic pound-dollar 11 May 17
  13. Merlin closes water rides

    Splash Canyon
    Image caption: Drayton Park's Splash Canyon ride

    Rapid water rides at theme parks across the country have been closed after Evha Jannath, 11, fell from a circular raft on Splash Canyon at Drayton Manor on Tuesday.

    Alton Towers and Legoland Windsor are among those to have closed similar water-based white knuckle rides.

    Merlin Entertainments said it had closed the Congo River Rapids at Alton Towers, Legoland Windsor's Vikings River Splash and Thorpe Park's Rumba Rapids.

    More here.

  14. 96% vote for RBS executive pay plan

    RBS logo

    Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has also been holding its AGM in Edinburgh today.

    It's been coming under fire over its new plans for executive pay. According to these, chief executive Ross McEwan would be eligible for a long-term award of 175% of his salary and finance chief Ewen Stevenson 200%, both a cut from the previous 400%.

    Two advisory groups - Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) - asked shareholders to vote against the pay plans. ISS said the bank's attempts to reduce the pay awards were not "sufficient".

    However, more than 96% of shareholders voted to back the executive pay plan.

    At the AGM RBS said it had recognised that its pay policies had become too complex and the new plan would reduce excessive risk-taking. 

    "The time is right for a new, simpler approach, developed specifically to align with RBS's culture and our thinking on pay," said Sandy Crombie, the chairman of RBS's remuneration committee.

  15. Bollore moves on Havas

    Vincent Bollore

    French tycoon Vincent Bollore has taken a first step in his attempt to merge media giant Vivendi and advertising company Havas - two groups he controls through his family-run conglomerate. 

    Vivendi. which owns record label Universal Music, is offering to buy the 60% stake owned by Group Bollore in Havas for 9.25 euros a share - an 8.8% premium over the closing price for Havas on Wednesday.

    It values Bollore's stake in Havas at 2.36bn euros ($2.56 billion), Group Bollore said in a separate statement, adding that its board welcomed the offer. 

    Bollore, Vivendi's chairman and controlling shareholder with a 20.6% stake, has pledged to turn the group into an integrated European media powerhouse and has launched a spree of acquisitions, including in Telecom Italia and Italian broadcaster Mediaset. 

    Havas is led by Mr Bollore's son Yannick. 

  16. US retail shares follow Macy's lower

    The results from Macy's pulled down shares in rival US department stores. 

    Shares in Nordstrom are down by 7.8%, shares in Kohls were down by 5.8%, J C Penney is 7.5% lower and fashion retailer L Brands fell by 4.5% 

    Home improvement chain, Home Depot, was down by 1.12%. 

  17. Macy's shares dive after results

    Macy's sign

    Shares in Macy's have plunged after the US department store owner said quarterly sales slid 7.5%.

    Although some of the decline was due to stores being closed, like-for-like sales fell a worse than expected 4.6%.

    Chief executive Jeff Gennette said the company, which also owns Bloomingdales, did not have its "head in the sand".

    However, Macy's also expected sales this year to fall by up to 4%, causing investors to send its shares down 14% in afternoon trading in New York. Read more here