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Business Highlights

August 8, 2019

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China imports from US fall 19% in July amid trade war

BEIJING (AP) — China’s imports of U.S. goods plunged in July as a trade war with Washington intensified. Imports fell 19% from a year earlier, while exports to the United States fell 6.5%. Beijing has retaliated for U.S. tariff hikes in a dispute over trade and technology by imposing its own punitive duties and suspending purchases of American soybeans and other goods. The latest data follow President Trump’s threat last week of tariff hikes on additional Chinese imports.

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China lowers yuan’s trading range but currency stabilizes

BEIJING (AP) — China has lowered the trading range for its currency again, showing its potential for use as a trade weapon against Washington, but the exchange rate steadied after three days of declines. The starting point for the day’s trading was set at 7.0039 yuan to the U.S. dollar — its first time below seven since the 2008 financial crisis. The yuan was trading higher at mid-afternoon. The central bank promised earlier it would keep the exchange rate stable.

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Uber posts biggest quarterly loss ever after stock payouts

NEW YORK (AP) — Uber lost $5.24 billion in the second quarter, its largest quarterly loss ever, after making huge stock-based payouts in the months following its stock market debut. The ride-hailing giant said Wednesday it paid $3.9 billion in stock-based compensation and expenses during the quarter. It also paid $298 million in stock and cash to drivers to show appreciation in connection with the IPO.

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UN climate report: Change land use to avoid a hungry future

GENEVA (AP) — A new UN climate report says people need to change the way they eat, grow food and manage forests to avoid a hungry future. The report says a warming climate and poor land usage are degrading the Earth, making food costlier, scarcer and less nutritious. NASA climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig, one of the authors of the UN report, says “the threat of climate change affecting people’s food on their dinner table is increasing.”

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Technology companies power broad rally for US stocks

Technology companies powered stocks broadly higher on Wall Street Thursday driving the S&P 500 to its best day in more than two months and erasing its losses for the week. The rally came as investors set aside concerns, for now, about the heated trade war between the U.S. and China that roiled the market earlier in the week. Stocks rose following an early increase in bond yields after a weekly government report on unemployment claims came in better than economists had expected.

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Celebs, members push for gym boycott over Trump fundraiser

Luxury gym Equinox and indoor cycling studio SoulCycle are facing a backlash from some members and celebrities over a fundraiser being held for President Donald Trump. Stephen Ross, chairman and founder of real estate development company The Related Cos., which owns Equinox and SoulCycle, is throwing the fundraiser on Friday at his house in the Hamptons. Trump critics took to Twitter, asserting that they didn’t want their money supporting his 2020 presidential campaign.

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As mortgage rates drop, the trick is finding a house

Heightened jitters about slowing global economic growth amid an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China drove U.S. government bond prices sharply higher this week. That’s expected to bring down mortgage rates, which track the moves in the 10-year Treasurys. That should give homebuyers more purchasing power, giving home sales a boost. But experts say any benefit is likely to be short-lived, as the housing market remains constrained by a low supply of homes for sale.

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US long-term mortgage rates fall sharply: 30-year at 3.60%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell sharply this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan touching its lowest level since November 2016. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year mortgage dropped to 3.60% from 3.75% last week. The average rate for 15-year, fixed-rate home loans tumbled to 3.05% from 3.20%.

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Japan OKs 1st export to South Korea under new trade curbs

TOKYO (AP) — Japan has granted its first permit for a South Korea-bound shipment of chemicals to produce high-tech materials under Tokyo’s new export requirement that has increased tensions with Seoul. Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko made a rare announcement of the approval Thursday. More than 100 people protested outside the Japanese prime minister’s residence demanding the government reverse its recent downgrading of South Korea’s trade status and try to fix rapidly souring bilateral relations.

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Broadcom to buy Symantec’s enterprise business for $10.7B

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Semiconductor giant Broadcom agrees to buy the enterprise business of cybersecurity company Symantec for $10.7 billion in cash. Symantec provides cloud, web and data security for organizations.

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The S&P 500 index rose 54.11 points, or 1.9%, to 2,938.09. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 371.12 points, or 1.4%, to 26,378.19. The Nasdaq composite vaulted 176.33 points, or 2.2%, to 8,039.16. The Russell 2000 index picked up 31.45 points, or 2.1%, to 1,532.13.

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