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Business Highlights

Business Highlights

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US risks trade fight with Europe as sanctions delay expires

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration risks igniting a trade battle with Europe just as it's preparing for tense trade talks in China later this week. Trump is weighing whether to permanently exempt the European Union and five other countries from hefty steel and aluminum tariffs it imposed last month.

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Marathon bids big for Andeavor and a far-reaching fuel realm

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — With drivers beginning to take note of rising prices at the pump, Marathon Petroleum is buying the refiner and pipeline owner Andeavor for more than $23 billion, creating a refiner with an extensive reach across the U.S. Marathon, based in Findlay, Ohio, has operations concentrated in the East while Andeavor, formerly known as Tesoro, has operations in the West.

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Govt argues that AT&T-Time Warner deal would hurt consumers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government pleaded its case Monday for blocking AT&T from absorbing Time Warner, saying it would hurt consumers as a big antitrust trial crept toward its end and a decision by a federal judge. The $85 billion proposed merger is a "big deal," Craig Conrath, the lead Justice Department attorney, said on the last day of the trial. Conrath said that by hurting competition in the pay TV industry, the deal "would impose substantial harm on consumers."

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AP Explains: The proposed Sprint and T-Mobile $26.5B deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Sprint and T-Mobile are talking up their $26.5 billion merger as great for investment in high-speed wireless technology, rural service and U.S. competitiveness. But there are reasons to doubt the combination would do much on any of those fronts — and that it would also result in higher wireless costs for consumers.

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US pending home sales tick up in March for 2nd straight gain

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slightly more Americans signed contracts to buy homes in March, yet higher mortgage rates and a shortage of available houses has lowered contract signings from a year ago. The National Association of Realtors says that its pending home sales index ticked up 0.4 percent last month to 107.6.

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Sen. Rubio: Corporations aren't investing tax cuts in jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Marco Rubio says big businesses aren't investing much of their windfall from President Donald Trump's tax cuts into their workers. The Florida Republican told The Economist that "there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio, a rival contender to Trump for the GOP nomination in 2016, ultimately voted for the tax cuts in December.

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Fed is set to leave rates alone but to hike later in year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is all but sure to leave interest rates unchanged this week, though steady economic growth and inflation pressures will likely keep the Fed on a path toward further rate hikes later this year. The central bank is meeting as its board is undergoing a makeover, with a raft of new appointees by President Donald Trump who appear generally supportive of the Fed's cautious approach to rates since the Great Recession ended.

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Supreme Court to hear Google class action settlement case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has agreed to review the settlement of a class action lawsuit involving Google, where the settlement agreement largely directed money to organizations rather than search engine users. The court agreed Monday to take the case. The lawsuit involves Google users who sued saying Google violated privacy rights by disclosing to websites the search terms users entered to get there.

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UK government suffers Brexit defeat in House of Lords

LONDON (AP) — The British government is facing pressure over Brexit at home and abroad, including a defeat in Parliament over who gets the final say on an exit deal with the European Union. By 335 votes to 244, the House of Lords backed an amendment to the government's key Brexit bill to give Parliament decision-making power on the outcome of negotiations with the EU — including the power to call off the divorce.

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US Treasury says Q1 borrowing set record of $488 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department says that the government borrowed a record $488 billion in the January-March quarter, but it expects borrowing needs will decline sharply for the current April-June quarter. Treasury announced Monday that actual borrowing in the first quarter exceeded the old record of $483 billion set in the first quarter of 2010, a period when the country was struggling to pull out of a deep recession and prop up the financial system following the 2008 financial crisis.

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Stocks close lower, as telecom companies weigh on market

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell moderately after an early burst of buying faded away. The market still ended April higher, its first monthly increase since January, helped by relatively strong company earnings.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 21.86 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,648.05 and the Nasdaq composite lost 53.53 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,066.27. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 148.04 points, or 0.6 percent, to 24,163.15. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 14.35 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,541.88.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 47 cents to $68.57 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 53 cents to $75.17. Wholesale gasoline stayed around $2.13 a gallon. Heating oil rose 0.8 percent to $2.17 a gallon. Natural gas fell 0.8 percent to $2.76 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Updated : 2021-03-01 19:03 GMT+08:00