Stocks rise…Flight cancellations mount…Target to boost holiday hiring by 20 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology companies are leading stocks higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street, shaking off a recent bout of weakness. Apple jumped, a day after putting out its new lineup of iPhones, and chipmaker Qualcomm rose after announcing a big stock buyback program. Kroger plunged after the supermarket chain reported disappointing quarterly results.

UNDATED (AP) — A flight-tracking service says about 1,200 U.S. airline flights scheduled for today or tomorrow have been canceled, with some airports in the Carolinas essentially shut down. FlightAware said in its midday report that the number of canceled flights could increase. However, the hurricane’s effect on the nationwide air-travel system could be less than feared if, as now forecast, Florence veers away from the American Airlines hub airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, and doesn’t score a direct hit on Delta Air Lines’ massive hub in Atlanta.

UNDATED (AP) — Power outages are creeping up along the North Carolina coast as tropical storm-force winds started sweeping over land. Electric utilities and cooperatives reported about 12,000 outages statewide as of early this afternoon, mostly in Carteret and Craven counties. Duke Energy is the largest of the utilities in the Carolinas. The company predicts the outages caused by Florence will range from 1 million to 3 million customers.

NEW YORK (AP) — Target plans to hire more than 120,000 people for the busy holiday shopping season, a 20 percent increase from last year. The retailer says the temporary hires will stock store shelves and check people out at the register. In addition, it plans to hire 7,500 people to pack online orders at its warehouses. Target says it will pay workers $12 an hour, a dollar more than last year. Target has more than 1,800 stores around the country.

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says he will start a $2 billion charitable fund to help homeless families and open new preschools in low-income neighborhoods. Bezos, whose stake in Amazon is worth about $160 billion, says the he’ll call it the Bezos Day One Fund. An Amazon.com spokeswoman said the $2 billion will all come from Bezos.

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