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Update on the latest in business:

September 21, 2018

WALL STREET

Stocks continue gains

NEW YORK (AP) — Major U.S. stock indexes are mostly higher, extending gains from a day earlier when the market climbed to all-time highs.

Gains in industrial, technology and health care companies outweighed losses in banks and materials stocks. Energy companies rose along with the price of U.S. crude oil.

Several airlines notched gains, part of a broad pickup in industrial sector stocks. And Texas Instruments climbed 2.2 percent after the chipmaker raised its quarterly dividend and said it will buy back $12 billion in stock.

MICRON

Micron shares fall on tariff fears

UNDATED (AP) — Micron fell 2.8 percent after the chipmaker said its profits would be hurt by tariffs on Chinese imports that go into effect on Monday.

The latest U.S. tariff hike on Chinese goods in a dispute over Beijing’s technology policy involves an additional 10 percent tax on $200 billion of Chinese imports. The tariffs will rise to 25 percent on Jan 1.

Beijing has said it would retaliate by imposing tariffs of 5 or 10 percent on $60 billion of U.S. goods including coffee, honey and industrial chemicals.

WTO-US-CHINA

World trade body to rule on US, China anti-dumping spat

GENEVA (AP) — A World Trade Organization arbitrator will step into a years-old dispute brought by China over U.S. anti-dumping measures.

A trade official said Friday the arbitration was triggered automatically after the U.S. objected to Beijing’s request for authorization to retaliate against more than $7 billion worth of U.S. goods in the case.

The case originated with a Chinese challenge nearly five years ago over 40 U.S. anti-dumping rulings against Chinese goods, which the U.S. says were sold below market value.

In 2017, the WTO’s appellate body ruled largely in favor of China. Beijing insists the U.S. has not complied.

The arbitrator has until Oct. 21 to rule on the issue, but such cases often go past the deadline.

The standoff comes amid a high-profile showdown between China and the Trump administration over trade.

RUSSIA-US

Kremlin slams new US sanctions affecting arms exports

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin has dismissed the latest round of U.S. sanctions that affected an aircraft-making factory as an “unfair” move to undercut Russia as a major arms exporter.

The United States on Thursday blacklisted 33 Russian nationals and three entities in a new round of sanctions for the Russian interference in the 2016 election. One of the companies is an aircraft-making factory in Russia’s Far East.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that Russia views the new set of sanctions as an attempt to undermine the competitiveness of Russian arms exports and vowed to reciprocate.

As part of the Thursday announcement, the U.S. also imposed sanctions on a Chinese military agency over the purchase of Russian weapons. China has demanded that they be revoked.

BREXIT

Tusk says a compromise is still possible

LONDON (AP) — EU Council President Donald Tusk says he remains convinced that a Brexit compromise that is “good for all, is still possible.”

His comments come a day after a clear lack of progress at an EU leaders summit in the Austrian city of Salzburg and hours after Prime Minister Theresa May rebuked the EU for damning her Brexit proposals. The Brexit talks, she said, have hit at an “impasse.”

In a statement, Tusk said “the U.K. stance presented just before and during the Salzburg meeting was surprisingly tough and in fact uncompromising.”

In spite of that viewpoint, he insisted he remained “a close friend of the U.K. and a true admirer of PM May.”

Ahead of the summit, Tusk said some parts of May’s plan were a step in the right direction, even though the Irish border and the economic cooperation proposals need to be reworked.

CREDIT FREEZE

Credit freeze is free nationwide

UNDATED (AP) — Consumers can now freeze their credit for free under a new federal law.

A credit freeze restricts access to your credit file, essentially halting anyone from opening any new credit in your name. The rules used to vary by state, but previously it could cost up to $10 to put a freeze in place. That fee often had to be paid again when someone wanted to unfreeze it for any legitimate uses.

But under a new law that takes effect today, consumers anywhere in the U.S. can do so quickly and for free.

Congress passed the law in response to last year’s massive Equifax hack, which exposed the private information of more than 145 million Americans. President Donald Trump signed it into law in May.

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