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Stocks edge lower...Trump to impose tariffs...Americans’ net worth jumped at end of 2017

March 8, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes have given up early gains and turned slightly lower in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts jumped after it agreed to be bought by health insurer Cigna, while Cigna shares slid. Grocery chain Kroger tumbled after its annual profit forecast fell short of Wall Street’s estimates.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump will sign orders to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports this afternoon. The announcement comes amid a last-minute lobbying effort to blunt the impact of tariffs. The president suggested earlier today that he would provide temporary exemptions for Canada and Mexico as he aims to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump also suggested Australia and “other countries” might be spared.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says a soaring U.S. stock market and healthy home-price gains lifted Americans’ net worth to $98.7 trillion in the final three months of last year. The value of U.S. stock portfolios jumped $1.3 trillion in the October-December quarter compared with the previous three months. Home values, which make up the bulk of middle-class wealth, increased $500 billion. The figures are at a record high, though they are not adjusted for inflation or population growth.

NEW YORK (AP) — Health insurer Cigna will spend about $52 billion to acquire Express Scripts, the nation’s biggest pharmacy benefit manager. The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which is expected to close at the end of this year. It’s the latest in a string of proposed tie-ups as health care’s bill payers look to grow and gain better leverage to deal with rising costs.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) — Las Vegas Sands Corp. is selling its casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to an American Indian tribe from Alabama. Wind Creek Hospitality, an affiliate of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, will acquire the Sands Bethlehem property for $1.3 billion under a deal announced today. The casino opened in 2009 on the site of Bethlehem Steel’s former headquarters plant.

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