Business Highlights

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Fed’s Powell sees steady growth, signals pause in rate cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell expects the U.S. economy to keep growing at a solid pace, though it faces risks from slower growth overseas and trade tensions. But for now, in testimony before a congressional panel Wednesday, Powell expressed optimism about the prospects for the U.S. economy and said he expects it will grow at a solid pace, though it still faces risks from slower growth overseas and trade tensions.

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Sour grapes: Trade war puts cork in US wine sales to China

LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) — Caught in the crossfire of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, U.S. vineyards are struggling to sell Shiraz in Shanghai and Chardonnay in Shenzhen. They risk losing their foothold in one of the world’s fastest-growing wine markets. Since June, China has been imposing 93% tariffs and taxes on American wine, up from 48% before the hostilities began. Unless the two countries reach a ceasefire, the levies on U.S. wine in China will ratchet up to 106% on Dec. 15.

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Nike cuts ties with Amazon, but shoes won’t vanish from site

NEW YORK (AP) — Nike is ending a sales partnership with Amazon. The company says it wants to create a more direct customer experience, but the announcement Wednesday is a setback for Amazon. Amazon is under pressure from big-name brands to cut back on fake goods from third-party sellers. Nike announced the pilot program with Amazon in 2017, hoping that it would have more control over the brand if it were more closely involved.

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US budget deficit surges to $134.5 billion in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government began the new budget year with a deficit in October 33.8% larger than a year earlier. That was after ending the 2019 budget year with the highest deficit in seven years. The Treasury Department says the deficit last month totaled $134.5 billion, up from a shortfall in October 2018 of $100.5 billion.

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Flying this Thanksgiving? Expect record crowds at airports

Be prepare for record numbers of people to join you if you’re flying this Thanksgiving. The Transportation Security Administration is predicting record crowds at airports. The agency expects to screen more than 26.8 million passengers between Nov. 22 and Dec. 2. The busiest day is forecast to be Dec. 1, the Sunday after the holiday, when TSA expects to screen more than 2.8 million people. That’s about 700,000 more than the agency handles on a normal day.

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California sued again for requiring women on company boards

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's first-in-the-nation law requiring publicly held companies to put women on their boards of directors faces a second legal challenge. Publicly traded companies must have at least one woman on their boards by year’s end. The Pacific Legal Foundation provided The Associated Press with the lawsuit it filed in federal court Wednesday. The libertarian group says the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause. It wants to block the law in California and other states.

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Facebook says it removed 3.2B fake accounts in 6 months

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook says it removed 3.2 billion fake accounts from its service from April to September, up slightly from 3 billion in the previous six months. Nearly all of the bogus accounts were caught before they had a chance to become “active” users of the social network, so they are not counted in the user figures the company reports regularly. Facebook estimates that about 5% of its 2.45 billion user accounts are fake.

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Hyatt will remove small bottles from hotel bathrooms by 2021

CHICAGO (AP) — Hyatt Hotels Corp. is the latest hotel company to say it’s removing small bottles from its bathrooms in an effort to reduce waste. Hyatt is shifting to large, multi-use bottles for shampoo, conditioner, bath gel and lotion at its 875 hotels worldwide. Marriott International and Holiday Inn owner IHG announced similar moves in August.

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Disney Plus hits 10M subscribers in 1 day

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney Plus says it hit more than 10 million sign-ups on its first day of launch, far exceeding expectations. Disney’s mix of Marvel and Star Wars movies and shows, classic animated films and new series appears to be a hit out of the gate.

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Wobbly day on Wall Street ends mixed; new highs for S&P, Dow

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street capped a wobbly day for stocks with another record-setting finish Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index each eked out a modest gain that was good enough to nudge them to record highs. The Nasdaq closed just below its all-time high set a day earlier. Much of the buying involved safe-play stocks like utilities, real estate companies and makers of consumer products. Demand for bonds also increased, sending yields lower. Banks and industrial stocks fell the most.

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The S&P 500 rose 2.20 points, or 0.1%, to 3,094.04, a record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 92.10 points, or 0.3%, to 27,783.59. The Nasdaq dropped 3.99 points, or 0.1%, to 8,482.10. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks index fell 5.94 points, or 0.4%, to 1,589.18.