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Business Highlights

December 20, 2018

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Dow sinks another 464 points as slowdown fears worsen

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks took another dive on Wall Street, adding to the steep losses in recent days as investors remain concerned that economic growth around the world and in the U.S. could slow dramatically over the next few years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 400 points, putting it on track for its biggest monthly loss in almost a decade, and the benchmark S&P 500 index is now nearly 16 percent below the peak it reached in late September.

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Stock market woes raise a nagging fear: Is a recession near?

BALTIMORE (AP) — Fears of a recession have been mounting with the U.S. stock market appearing to be headed for its worst December since 1931 — during the Great Depression. Wall Street’s sustained slump has been fueled by investor concerns about lower corporate profits, higher corporate debt, a festering trade war between the United States and China and a broader global slowdown. So is a U.S. recession imminent? Not necessarily.

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Mnuchin says market’s negative reaction to Fed ‘overblown’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the negative market reaction following the Federal Reserve’s rate hike this week was “completely overblown.” Mnuchin says the market overreacted and that computerized program trading took over and drove stock prices down further.

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Apples pulls iPhone 7, 8 from German stores in patent spat

BERLIN (AP) — A court in Germany has sided with chipmaker Qualcomm in a patent dispute with Apple that could see sales of older iPhone models halted. The Munich regional court ruled Thursday that Apple and its subsidiaries had breached a European patent held by San Diego-based Qualcomm.

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Dushku says CBS agreed to monitor ‘Bull’ star’s behavior

NEW YORK (AP) — Eliza Dushku says she struggled with her decision to keep quiet about the sexual harassment she says she endured from actor Michael Weatherly on the set of the CBS show “Bull.” In the end, the actress agreed to stay silent as part of a $9.5 million settlement reached with CBS. But Dushku says she took solace in a requirement she imposed on the company: that CBS designate someone trained in sexual harassment compliance to monitor Weatherly and the show in general.

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Human rights group report gains traction, Twitter hammered

NEW YORK (AP) — A report on Twitter by the human rights group Amnesty International is gaining traction and the company’s shares are being punished. The report, released earlier this week, said the social media platform has permitted a toxic online culture that allows pervasive abuse of women. While reports from Amnesty International are not regular reading on Wall Street, the Citron Research newsletter is. On Thursday, Citron cited the report and called Twitter the “Harvey Weinstein” of social media.

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APNewsBreak: US miscalculated benefit of better train brakes

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Critics say the Trump administration should reconsider ending a stricter safety rule for trains that haul explosive fuels after The Associated Press found the government miscalculated the potential benefits. A government analysis omitted up to $117 million in estimated future damages from train derailments that could be avoided by installing more advanced brakes. The administration pointed to the analysis when it scrapped an Obama-era rule requiring railroads to use better brakes.

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In a record year, the movie theater strikes back

NEW YORK (AP) — Ticket sales this weekend will reach a new record for the year, passing the previous 2016 high of $11.4 billion. Driven in part by zeitgeist-grabbing cultural events like “Black Panther,” ″Crazy Rich Asians” and even documentaries like “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” the box office sped past $11 billion faster than it ever has before. The overall domestic gross is up nearly 9 percent from last year.

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Administration moves closer to opening Arctic refuge for oil

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is acknowledging its plan to open Alaska’s pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development would affect polar bears, tribal hunters and many others. The administration released its environmental impact statement Thursday for its plan to sell oil and gas leases in the refuge. The release moves the administration a step closer to realizing the plan.

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The S&P 500 index skidded 39.54 points, or 1.6 percent, to 2,467.42. The Dow fell 464.06 points, or 2 percent, to 22,859.60. The Nasdaq fell 108.42 points, or 1.6 percent, to 6,528.41. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dropped another 23.23 points, or 1.7 percent, to 1,326.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 4.8 percent to $45.88 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slipped 5 percent to $54.35 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 4.6 percent to $1.32 a gallon and heating oil slid 3.1 percent to $1.75 a gallon. Natural gas gave up 3.8 percent to $3.58 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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