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Business Highlights

March 26, 2019

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Banks, technology companies power a rebound for US stocks

Stocks finished broadly higher on Wall Street Tuesday, erasing the market’s modest losses from a day earlier. Financial, technology and health care stocks accounted for much of the rally. Banks benefited from rising bond yields, which let them charge higher rates on loans. Energy companies led the S&P 500 higher as the price of U.S. crude oil moved briefly above $60 a barrel. Homebuilders slumped on data showing the pace of newly started home construction projects fell sharply last month.

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Apple tries to take a bite out of credit card industry

Apple is rolling out a credit card that it says is designed to do things no other card can. So how does it stack up? It looks different from a traditional credit card — there’s no number on the front and the users’ name is etched in metal. The card expands the company’s digital Apple Pay services and comes with a bevy of perks. But industry experts say the benefits are underwhelming, mirroring many of those already out there.

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Dems cry foul as Trump calls for striking down ‘Obamacare’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has told a federal appeals court that the entire Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare,” should be struck down as unconstitutional. That’s far more sweeping than the administration’s previous stance in the lawsuit filed by Texas and other GOP-led states. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says it shows Republicans “say one thing and do another” when they promise to maintain protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

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Uber acquires Mideast competitor Careem for $3.1 billion

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Ride-hailing service Uber says it has acquired its Mideast competitor Careem for $3.1 billion, making it the largest-ever technology purchase in the region. Uber said in a prepared statement on Tuesday that the $3.1 billion consists of $1.7 billion in convertible notes and $1.4 billion in cash.

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Apple facing US import ban on some iPhones in tech dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — A trade court judge will recommend banning some iPhones from being imported into the U.S. after concluding Apple’s best-selling device infringed on technology owned by mobile chip maker Qualcomm. The U.S. International Trade Commission decision is the latest twist in a bitter legal dispute between Qualcomm and Apple over the rights to some of the technology that enables the iPhone to connect to the internet.

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The good, bad and the unknown of Apple’s new services

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple on Monday unveiled a new streaming TV service, its own branded credit card and a news subscription product, but it hasn’t yet filled in all the blanks. Monday’s announcements lacked some key details, such as pricing of the TV service and terms of the new Apple Card.

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Newspapers largely shun Apple’s news subscription service

NEW YORK (AP) — Many newspaper publishers — after suffering for a decade from job losses, shrinking ad dollars and circulation declines — are so far shunning Apple’s new “Netflix for news” subscription. For $10 a month, Apple News Plus offers articles from more than 300 magazines, but only three newspapers. But many publishers want to build their own sites and customer base rather than be at the whim of giant technology companies.

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Wall Street bonuses fall over $30K despite profit upturn

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state’s comptroller says the average bonus paid to Wall Street security industry employees dipped by more than $30,000 despite an 11 percent increase in securities industry profits in 2018. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s annual estimate of the average bonus paid to security industry employees was released Tuesday. The Democrat’s report says the average bonus fell 17 percent, from $184,400 in 2017 to $153,700 last year.

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Maker of OxyContin reaches $270M settlement in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The maker of OxyContin and the family that owns the company have reached a $270 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma over the prescription painkiller’s role in the nation’s deadly opioid crisis. Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family have made billions from OxyContin since the 1990s. But the company has been hit with close to 2,000 lawsuits.

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Russian ex-minister arrested on fraud charges

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s top state investigative agency says that a former government minister has been arrested on fraud charges. The Investigative Committee says that Mikhail Abyzov is accused of leading a criminal group that embezzled funds belonging to two energy companies in Siberia and siphoned them into foreign bank accounts. The 46-year-old Abyzov was a member of the Russian Cabinet in 2012-2018, overseeing information technologies and efforts to increase the government’s transparency.

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The S&P 500 index gained 20.10 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,818.46. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 140.90 points, or 0.6 percent, to 25,657.73. The Nasdaq composite added 53.98 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,691.52. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 15.30 points, or 1 percent, to 1,528.17.