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Stocks continue to slide...Perdue says likely no trade deal before July...Retirement plan bill passes House

May 23, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) _ Trade issues between the U.S. and China continue to weigh on the markets. The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled more than 400 points in afternoon trading as investors worried that a prolonged trade war could hurt economic growth and corporate profits. A broad sell-off placed the benchmark S&P 500 index on track for its third straight weekly loss. Traders sought safety in the bond market, driving bond prices higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.30%, the lowest level in more than a year.

NEW YORK (AP) — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the U.S. and China probably won’t reach a trade deal by July or August, when the government will likely make its first aid payments to farmers from a new $16 billion support program. Perdue noted that President Donald Trump will likely meet with China’s President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) in late June on the sidelines of an international summit and that an agreement could happen before the second of three payments are made in the late fall.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The House has approved a bill to promote retirement security by making it easier for small businesses and other companies to offer retirement plans. The bill also makes it easier for workers to transfer retirement plans when they change jobs and allows part-time workers to save for retirement. The bill now goes to the Senate.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell slightly this week, marking a fourth straight week of declines to lure prospective purchasers in the spring home buying season. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 4.06% from 4.07% last week. That’s about half a percent less than a year ago.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Senior Republican and Democratic senators jointly released draft legislation to address the problem of surprise medical bills. Those are the shockingly high charges insured patients can get hit with when a hospital or doctor is not in their insurers’ network. The proposal by Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Washington state Democratic Senator Patty Murray is a break from the partisanship that threatens to paralyze the nation’s capital.

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