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Business Highlights

July 30, 2019

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Apple’s quarterly profit falls as iPhone sales sputter

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple’s iPhone sales are still sputtering while the company tries to offset the decline by milking more money from services tied to its most profitable product. The latest downturn announced Tuesday along with Apple’s latest quarterly results underscores the challenge facing a company that has been riding the smartphone revolution since 2007. The iPhone’s waning popularity is the main reason Apple’s profit for the April-June period fell 13% to $10 billion.

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US stocks end slightly lower amid mixed company earnings

A mixed batch of corporate earnings helped drag the major U.S. stock indexes slightly lower Tuesday, pulling the market farther from its recent record highs for the second straight day. Mixed or disappointing reports from several companies weighed on the market. This week’s modest market pullback came as investors looked cautiously ahead to a key policy update from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. The central bank is widely expected to cut its interest rate for the first time in a decade.

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One hack, 106 million people, Capital One ensnared by breach

SEATTLE (AP) — A security breach at Capital One Financial, one of the nation’s largest issuers of credit cards, compromised the personal information of about 106 million people, and in some cases the hacker obtained Social Security and bank account numbers. It is among the largest security breaches of a major U.S. financial institution on record. The bank’s stock tumbled 7% Tuesday, the largest single-day decline in four years.

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Richer US households fueling a hot job sector: ‘wealth work’

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the fastest-growing job categories of the past decade has been in what economists call “wealth work”: Catering to the whims, desires and appetites of the wealthy. Yet economists note that most so-called wealth jobs don’t benefit workers or the economy as much as traditional employment does.

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Merck’s global sales jump 12% in second quarter

Soaring sales of its cancer blockbuster and vaccines helped drive Merck’s second-quarter profit up a whopping 54%, blowing past Wall Street expectations. Merck also reported a 12% jump in global sales, largely due to blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda. But the company said it no longer thinks hiking prices in the U.S. is an option.

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Trump administration, Democrats make progress on new NAFTA

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Democrats appear to be moving from “no way” to “maybe” on President Donald Trump’s rewrite of a trade pact with Canada and Mexico. Democrats have met four times with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, most recently on Friday, and both sides say they are making progress toward a deal that would clear the way for Congress to approve Trump’s U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA. Talks could still fall apart as Democrats present more proposals.

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US, China revive trade talks with low hopes for progress

BEIJING (AP) — Negotiations aimed at ending a tariff war between the U.S. and China are due to begin Tuesday in Shanghai. Both sides are trying to temper hopes for a breakthrough in the talks, which were last held in May. Positions seem to have hardened despite the agreement in June by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to restart efforts at ending the costly fight over technology and trade. Tensions worsened after Washington imposed curbs on technology sales to Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei.

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Pound slumps as PM Boris Johnson’s Brexit rhetoric toughens

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is visiting Wales on a national tour to reassure voters that his push for Brexit “come what may” won’t hurt the economy and rip apart the U.K. The move has failed to persuade currency markets, as the pound slid to a new 28-month low. A day after Johnson was booed in Scotland, he faced another tough reception from farmers — a group central to the Welsh economy — who fear economic havoc if Britain leaves the European Union without a divorce deal.

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The S&P 500 index fell 7.79 points, or 0.3%, to 3,013.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 23.33 points, or 0.1%, to 27,198.02. The Nasdaq composite slid 19.71 points, or 0.2%, to 8,273.61. The Russell 2000 index rose 16.57 points, or 1.1%, to 1,585.60.

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