Business Highlights

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Trump tariffs on US allies draw retaliation threats

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration's announcement that it will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada has drawn swift vows of retaliation from key allies, inflamed trade tensions and sent stock markets sinking. The action threatens to drive up prices for U.S. consumers and companies and heighten uncertainty for businesses and investors across the globe.

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New business deals bring autonomous vehicles a step closer

DETROIT (AP) — Two technology giants have announced major new investments in self-driving vehicles, bringing the world a step closer to a time when autonomous cars are a part of everyday life. Japanese technology investor SoftBank announced Thursday that it would spend $2.25 billion for a 20 percent stake in General Motors' autonomous vehicle business. Then Waymo, Google's self-driving operation, said it would buy up to 62,000 more minivans from Fiat Chrysler to expand its soon-to-start ride-hailing venture.

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EPA sends fuel economy changes to White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has sent to the White House a proposal widely expected to roll back fuel-economy standards for cars and trucks. EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox has confirmed that the agency has sent the proposed new standards to the White House Office of Management and Budget. The move is one of the required steps before a federal rule is adopted.

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Sears to close another 72 stores as sales plunge

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears will close another 72 stores as sales plunge and losses grow in yet what has become a long-standing saga that keeps repeating itself. The beleaguered retailer, which operates Kmart and Sears stores, said that it has identified about 100 stores that are no longer turning a profit, and the majority of those locations will be shuttered soon.

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US consumer spending up 0.6 percent, best in 5 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans boosted their spending by 0.6 percent in April, the biggest increase in five months and a strong indication that the economy is reviving after a winter slowdown. The Commerce Department says last month's increase in consumer spending was the largest since a 0.7 percent rise last November.

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'Roseanne' cancellation brings unemployment, uncertainty

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Roseanne Barr isn't the only person who's out of her ABC job following her racist tweet that resulted in the cancellation of her popular comedy. Rebecca Sun of the industry trade publication The Hollywood Reporter says a lot of people working on the show were "just middle class Americans making a living," and she says they're "now collateral damage." Though "Roseanne" and many shows just have had their season finales, most other jobs for next season are already taken.

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Glut of marijuana in Oregon is cautionary tale, experts say

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A massive oversupply of legal marijuana in Oregon has pot prices in the state in a freefall. Small, craft cannabis producers say they're losing their businesses to marijuana retail chains and out-of-state investors. Experts say the dizzying evolution of Oregon's marijuana industry serves as a cautionary tale for California. A similar regulatory structure there could mean an oversupply on a much larger scale as California's legal market emerges.

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Stocks skid as US imposes tariffs and allies retaliate

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks slide after the Trump administration said it is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Europe, Canada and Mexico. Canada and Mexico said they will put tariffs on some U.S. exports, and the European Union is expected to follow suit. American steel and aluminum companies climb while big steel users and potential tariff targets like household goods makers are down. General Motors surges after SoftBank of Japan said it will invest in GM's autonomous car business.

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The S&P 500 index lost 18.74 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,705.27. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 251.94 points, or 1 percent, to 24,415.84. The Nasdaq composite dipped 20.34 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,442.12. The Russell 2000 index, which is made up of smaller companies that tend to do more business in the U.S., slipped 14.38 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,633.61.

U.S. crude oil slipped 1.7 percent to $67.04 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 0.1 percent to $77.59 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 1.1 percent to $2.16 a gallon. Heating oil lost 1.8 percent to $2.19 a gallon. Natural gas rose 2.3 percent to $2.95 per 1,000 cubic feet.