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Business Highlights

July 24, 2018

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US announces billions to help farmers hurt by Trump tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is announcing a $12 billion program to aid farmers who have been hurt by the president’s trade disputes with China and other U.S. trading partners. The Agriculture Department says the plan would include direct assistance to farmers, a food purchasing plan of excess crops and trade promotion activities aimed at building new export markets. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue calls it a ‘short-term solution.’

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Ivanka Trump is shutting down her clothing company

NEW YORK (AP) — Ivanka Trump’s clothing company is shutting down after some stores dropped her line and she decided ethics restrictions were holding back its ability to grow. All 18 employees are being laid off. The president’s daughter says she made the decision so she could focus on her work in Washington where she is a White House adviser.

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Trump vs EU: next round in battle features White House visit

BRUSSELS (AP) — A key European Union leader is sitting down with U.S. President Donald Trump Wednesday, hoping to stave off a trans-Atlantic trade war in which U.S. tariffs on cars could be the tipping point. The White House visit of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker comes on the heels of an especially ill-tempered continental tour of Trump in which he called historic U.S. allies united in the EU his “foe.”

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‘Difficult baptism’ awaits new Fiat Chrysler CEO

MILAN (AP) — Fiat Chrysler’s second-quarter earnings presentation was meant to celebrate long-time CEO Sergio Marchionne’s achievement of zero debt. That will be overshadowed by the accelerated debut of a new global boss, Mike Manley, after the sudden deterioration of Marchionne’s health.

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Chinese mobile phone tower operator plans $8.7B IPO

HONG KONG (AP) — The state-owned monopoly that operates China’s vast network of mobile phone towers plans to raise up to $8.7 billion in the biggest global stock offering in four years. China Tower Corp. said 60 percent of the money will be invested in its operations.

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As Harley looks abroad to juice sales, tariffs hit home

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson executives said Tuesday they expect tariffs to increase the company’s annual costs by as much as $100 million as long as the trade dispute between the U.S. and other countries continues. The executives made the comments during their first call with investors since the Milwaukee-based company announced last month that production of motorcycles sold in Europe would move from U.S. facilities to overseas to avoid retaliatory tariffs the EU is imposing on American exports.

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House GOP launches push for permanent individual tax cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans have launched an effort to expand the massive tax law they muscled through Congress last year, aiming to make permanent the individual tax cuts and small-business income deductions now set to expire in 2026. The push before the midterm elections is portrayed as championing the middle class and small business. Rep. Kevin Brady, who heads the House Ways and Means Committee, says making the tax cuts permanent would add 1.5 million new jobs.

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Peugeot succeeds where GM failed: making Opel profitable

PARIS (AP) — PSA Group, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, has done in one year what General Motors failed to do in 20 — make the mass market brand Opel Vauxhall profitable. In its six-month earnings update, the French company, which bought Opel Vauxhall from GM last year, said the unit made an operating profit of 502 million euros ($588 million).

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Samsung, workers agree to end standoff on workers’ deaths

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics and a group representing ailing Samsung computer chip and display factory workers say they have agreed to end a yearslong standoff over compensation for deaths and grave illnesses of Samsung workers. Samsung and Banolim agreed Tuesday to accept without preconditions terms of compensation and apologies to be drafted by a mediator. Banolim said it will stop protests outside Samsung buildings, where its supporters have camped out for nearly three years.

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US stock indexes end mostly higher on solid earnings reports

NEW YORK (AP) — The major U.S. stock indexes finished mostly higher Tuesday as investors welcomed strong corporate earnings reports from Google parent Alphabet and other companies. Gains by technology companies and health care stocks outweighed losses in consumer goods manufacturers, retailers and other sectors. Smaller-company stocks turned sharply lower as investors weighed the implications of the Trump administration’s decision to send billions in emergency aid to farmers hurting from tariffs.

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The S&P 500 index rose 13.42 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,820.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 197.65 points, or 0.8 percent, to 25,241.94. The Nasdaq composite lost 1.11 points to 7,840.77. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks had its worst day in a month, sliding 18.22 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,680.20.

Benchmark U.S. crude climbed 63 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $68.52 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 38 cents to $73.44 per barrel in London. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $2.13 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $2.09 a gallon. Natural gas added a penny to $2.73 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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