Business Highlights

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Twitter bans all political advertisements

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter, reacting to growing concern about misinformation spread on social media, is banning all political advertising from its service. Its move sets it apart from Facebook, which continues to defend running paid political ads, even false ones, as a free speech priority. Facebook has taken fire since it disclosed earlier in October that it will not fact-check ads by politicians or their campaigns, which could allow them to lie freely.

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Fed cuts rates for a 3rd time but signals it will now pause

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate Wednesday for the third time this year to try to sustain the economic expansion in the face of global threats. But it indicated that it won't cut again in the coming months unless the economic outlook worsens. Chairman Jerome Powell suggested that the Fed will now pause unless the economic picture darkens.

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Apple overcomes iPhone slump with strong fiscal 4Q showing

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is still running a well-oiled moneymaking machine despite cooling demand for its hottest product, the iPhone. Sales and revenue in the July-September quarter exceeded analyst estimates as Apple's newest iPhones got off to a better start than expected, even though the devices aren't that much different last year's models. Apple also signaled its confidence that the momentum will continue in the current quarter, which spans the crucial holiday season.

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Fiat Chrysler merger with PSA appears headed for approval

DETROIT (AP) — A tie-up between Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot Citroen appears to be nearing. For Fiat Chrysler, it would mean gaining electric vehicle technology. PSA Peugeot Citroen would get a badly needed dealership network to reach its goal of selling vehicles in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the PSA board has approved the deal, which would create the world's fourth-largest automaker with a combined market value of around $50 billion.

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Freebies are the key hook in new 'streaming wars'

Apple, Disney and AT&T want to jump-start their new streaming services with a big audience base as they face off with Netflix. One way to do that is to bring on the freebies. Apple, Disney and AT&T are all dangling discounts and even a year of service for free. A big question is whether subscribers will stick around when the deals end.

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Starbucks ends fiscal year on a high note

SEATTLE (AP) — Starbucks Corp. ended its fiscal year on a high note as new drinks and more efficient stores drew in U.S. customers. Starbucks said sales at stores open at least 13 months in the Americas region rose 6% during the July through September period.

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Lyft loses money again but eyes profits in about 2 years

NEW YORK (AP) — Lyft is continuing to lose staggering sums of money as it barrels ahead with impressive revenue growth. But the company says it will turn a corner and reach profitability in about two years. The ride-hailing heavyweight raised $955.6 million in revenues in the third quarter, up 63% from the same time last year. But the company lost $463.5 million in the quarter compared with a $249.2 million loss a year ago.

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Boeing employee raised concern about design of Max system

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two days of congressional hearings have produced internal Boeing documents showing that company employees raised concerns about the design of a key flight-control system and the hectic pace of airplane production long before two 737 Max jets crashed. Angry lawmakers bombarded the hearings' star witness, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, with questions and lectures. They asked why he got a pay raise last year and whether anyone is being held accountable for the crashes, which killed 346 people.

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Facebook posts solid 3Q despite rising regulatory threats

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is reporting solid results for the third quarter along with a steady growth in its user base even as it facings broad regulatory threats and criticism over its power and negative effects on society. It ended the quarter with 2.45 billion monthly users, up 8% from a year earlier. It also said that about 2.8 billion people use at least one of its services — Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram — at least once a month.

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S&P 500 hits new high as traders welcome latest Fed rate cut

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Wednesday, sending the S&P 500 to a record high for the second time this week, as investors welcomed the Federal Reserve's decision to lower interest rates for the third time this year. The central bank also indicated that it won't cut rates again in the coming months unless the economic outlook worsens. The Fed has been using its power to cut short-term interest rates to shore up the economy amid the costly impact from the U.S.-China trade war.

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The S&P 500 index rose 9.88 points, or 0.3%, to 3,046.77. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 115.27, or 0.4%, to 27,186.69. The Nasdaq composite added 27.12 points, or 0.3%, to 8,303.98. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks fell 4.23 points, or 0.3%, to 1,572.85.