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Exclusive Labor Department to delay, revisit fiduciary rule sources


´╗┐The U.S. Labor Department is preparing to delay its controversial Obama-era fiduciary rule on financial advice for 180 days and seek public comment on the rule. The agency has sent two separate documents to the Office of Management and Budget for approval, according to sources familiar with the agency's actions. One document is a proposed rulemaking that simply delays the regulation's effective date - now April 10 - for 180 days. That proposal has a comment period as short as 15 days. The second document would start another round of public comment on the rule, which requires brokers and other financial advisers to put their clients' best interests first when advising them about individual retirement accounts or 401(k) retirement plans.

The Labor Department proposed the rule in September 2010 under President Barack Obama but withdrew the proposal in September 2011 after receiving criticism from the financial services industry. The department re-proposed the rule in April 2015 and made it final on April 6, 2016. Industry critics claim the rule limits their ability to service clients who cannot afford to pay for financial advice and must use products that carry commissions or other indirect costs.

On Feb. 3, President Donald Trump ordered the Labor Department to review the fiduciary rule - a move widely interpreted as an effort to delay or kill the regulation. On Wednesday, a U.S. District Court judge upheld the legality of the rule.

The Trump administration could write a new rule to replace or eliminate the Obama-era one. A spokesman from the Labor Department declined to comment.

Intel uses White House Oval Office for splash on Arizona factory


´╗┐Intel Corp (INTC. O) chose the White House Oval Office as its backdrop to announce a $7 billion investment in a previously shelved Arizona factory, which it said would create 3,000 jobs when it is up and running. Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich told reporters about the investment while standing behind President Donald Trump. Trump told reporters Krzanich called him a few weeks ago to say he wanted to meet to make a big announcement. Krzanich said he made the announcement at the White House as a sign of support for the "tax and regulatory policies that we see the administration pushing forward."Trump, a Republican who took office on Jan. 20, promised during his campaign to push companies to keep or create jobs in the United States rather than sending them abroad.

Intel was one of more than 100 companies that joined together to file a legal brief opposing Trump's temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority nations. The issue did not come up during the Oval Office meeting, said Reed Cordish, a White House official in charge of technology initiatives.

The company said in a statement that the plant would be completed in three or four years. The chip factory was started in 2011 as a $5 billion project that was targeted to open in late 2013. Intel shelved its plans in 2014 when smartphones and tablets cut into demand for chips for personal computers.

Krzanich said in an email to Intel employees that was posted on the company's website that the factory would build chips for data centers and smart devices. Intel announced less than a year ago that it would cut up to 12,000 jobs globally, or 11 percent of its workforce, as it refocused its business towards microchips that power data centers and Internet connected devices and away from the declining personal computer industry it helped found.