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Stocks mixed...IMF sees tax cuts boosting US temporarily...Microsoft pursues checkout technology

June 14, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes are mixed in afternoon trading on Wall Street, with the Dow industrials turning negative and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq slightly higher. Comcast and Walt Disney are gaining as the two companies battle for control of businesses being sold by Twenty-First Century Fox. Fox shares also rose.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund believes the U.S. economy will post solid growth this year and next, helped by a sizable boost from tax cuts. But then it says growth will slide as huge budget deficits drag growth far below the Trump administration’s goals. The IMF says growth will hit 2.9 percent this year and 2.7 percent next year, significant increases from last year’s 2.3 percent expansion. But after an initial boost from the $1.5 trillion tax cut package, the IMF forecasts growth will slow steadily.

UNDATED (AP) — Microsoft is working on automated checkout technology that could help retailers compete with Amazon’s new cashier-less stores. One firm building automated checkout systems, AVA Retail, says it is working with Microsoft on the technology for physical stores. The company says Microsoft’s cloud computing technology will power the retail system. Amazon opened its first cashier-less Amazon Go store in Seattle this year and plans more locations in Chicago and San Francisco.

UNDATED (AP) — Grabbing a ride from Uber or Lyft? Now you can get an insurance policy from your phone for the ride, too. Startup SURE says it has partnered with underwriter Chubb to launch a new service that allows passengers to buy accidental medical, death and dismemberment insurance coverage for the ride. The company says future versions of its RideSafe product will include coverage for passengers riding in autonomous vehicles used for ride-sharing.

OCEANPORT, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey has launched sports betting. Gov. Phil Murphy kicked off a new era of gambling in the state, making the first official bets on Thursday morning at Monmouth Park, a racetrack near the Jersey shore. He placed two $20 bets — one on Germany to win soccer’s World Cup and another on the New Jersey Devils to win next year’s Stanley Cup. New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case last month that cleared the way for all 50 states to offer sports betting should they choose.

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