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Business Highlights

September 20, 2018

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Stocks at records; Dow beats all-time high from January

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street delivered another set of milestones Thursday as a wave of buying sent U.S. stocks solidly higher, driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average above the all-time high it closed at in January. The S&P 500, the benchmark for many index funds, also hit a new high, eclipsing the peak it reached last month. Technology stocks, banks and health care companies accounted for much of the broad rally. Energy companies declined along with crude oil prices.

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Buoyant stocks lift US household wealth, mainly for affluent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Solid stock market returns lifted U.S. household wealth to a record $106.9 trillion in the April-June quarter, the culmination of a decade of economic recovery but a gain that is concentrated largely among the most affluent.

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Foreign government hackers target US senators, aides’ Gmail

An American lawmaker and web giant Google say foreign government hackers continue to target the Gmail accounts of U.S. senators and their aides. It’s an illustration of how personal accounts are vulnerable to exploitation by digital spies. Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, says his office discovered that an unspecified number of senators and aides have received warnings that their personal accounts have been targeted; Google later confirmed that its Gmail service was implicated.

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Fox-Comcast battle to buy Sky to be settled by auction in UK

LONDON (AP) — British regulators say that the corporate battle to take over broadcaster Sky will be settled by auction. The Takeover Panel, an independent regulator, says that since neither 21st Century Fox nor Comcast has declared its offer final, an auction procedure is expected to commence at 5 p.m. on Sept. 21 and end during the evening of Sept. 22.

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AT&T fires back in bid to preserve its deal with Time Warner

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fighting to defend its $81 billion takeover of Time Warner from a government challenge, AT&T is arguing the Trump Justice Department has failed to show that the merger will raise prices for pay-TV programming and for the consumers who watch it. In a filing Thursday, the phone and pay-TV giant asserted the merger will save it money on content from Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting, enabling it to cut charges to its DirecTV customers by at least $78 million a year.

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It’s high times for soaring marijuana stocks on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Marijuana stocks have made gigantic gains this summer as Canada prepares to legalize the drug, and billions of dollars have flowed into the sector as investors and companies start to evaluate the pot market. But those rapid moves are also coming with huge volatility.

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S&P 500 gets new look as it shuffles some key companies

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors may look at the S&P 500 index in a new way next week after some of the biggest companies on index move to a new home. The small, reliable telecommunications group will be changed into a much larger group of communications companies that includes Facebook, Netflix, and Google’s parent company Alphabet as well as media and video game companies.

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Will American Airlines bar customers from changing a ticket?

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American expects to bar customers from making changes to nonrefundable tickets if Congress cracks down on ‘unreasonable’ airline fees. The CEO says airlines should be just like baseball teams or the opera — fans can’t change those tickets without buying a new one. Consumer advocates say the stance could backfire, making it more likely that Washington might impose tougher regulations on airline pricing.

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Colorado meatpacker recalls ground beef after E. coli death

FORT MORGAN, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado company has recalled more than 132,000 pounds of ground beef after a suspected E. coli outbreak that killed one person and sickened 17. The USDA said Wednesday the beef came from Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan. Cargill said all of the affected products have been removed from supermarkets. Regulators warned that people should also check for the products in their freezers. Most people infected with E. coli develop diarrhea and vomiting.

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Wells Fargo to cut 10 percent of workforce over next 3 years

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo is planning to cut up to 10 percent of its workforce over the next three years, which will result in tens of thousands of job losses for employees of the nation’s third-largest bank. Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan made the announcement Thursday. The bank employs roughly 265,000 workers, and plans to cut its headcount through both attrition and layoffs.

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The S&P 500 index rose 22.80 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,930.75. The Dow gained 251.22 points, or 1 percent, to 26,656.98. The Nasdaq composite climbed 78.19 points, or 1 percent, to 8,028.23. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 17.25 points, or 1 percent, to 1,720.18.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 0.4 percent to settle at $70.80 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 0.9 percent to close at $78.70. Heating oil gave up 0.8 percent to $2.23 a gallon, wholesale gasoline lost 0.4 percent to $2 a gallon and natural surged 2.3 percent to $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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