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Business Highlights

September 27, 2018

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SEC files complaint against Tesla’s Elon Musk

DETROIT — U.S. securities regulators have filed a complaint against Tesla CEO Elon Musk alleging that he made false and misleading statements about plans to take the company private in August. The Securities and Exchange Commission says in the complaint filed Thursday that Musk falsely claimed in an Aug. 7 statement on Twitter that funding was secured to take the company private at $420 per share.

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More US corporate giants warn tariffs will mean price hikes

DETROIT (AP) — From Ford to Walmart to Procter & Gamble, a growing number of iconic American companies are warning that President Donald Trump’s tariffs on U.S. imports are raising their costs and prices. Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford, the second-largest U.S.-based automaker, said Wednesday that Trump’s taxes on imported steel and aluminum are costing Ford $1 billion through 2019.

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Trump health chief: Premiums to drop for popular ACA plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health secretary Alex Azar says premiums for a popular type of health plan under the Affordable Care Act will edge downward next year. Speaking in Nashville, Azar said premiums for a so-called “benchmark” silver plan will drop by 2 percent in the 39 states served by the federal HealthCare.gov website. The number of marketplace insurers will grow for the first time since 2015. That tracks with an earlier independent analysis by Avalere Health and The Associated Press.

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US economy grew at robust 4.2 percent rate in Q2

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a robust annual rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter, the best performance in nearly four years, though economists believe growth has slowed in the current quarter partly because of a drag from trade. The government reports that performance of the gross domestic product, the country’s total output of goods and services, was unchanged from an estimate the Commerce Department made last month.

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Need a spatula now? Amazon has a new store for that

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is expanding its physical presence again, this time opening a 4,000-square-foot store that sells a wide range of products, including shower curtains, Hallmark cards and baby bottles. The store, called Amazon 4-star, opened Thursday in New York and will only offer Amazon.com’s best-selling items or those that get four or more star ratings on its website. The products in the store can be changed out weekly, based on changing customer reviews or what is or isn’t selling well.

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After 3 years, Greece ends limits on bank cash withdrawals

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities say they will soon lift restrictions on domestic cash withdrawals imposed more than three years ago to prevent a bank run by depositors at the height of the country’s debt crisis. The finance ministry said Thursday that from Oct. 1 depositors will face no limits on withdrawals from bank accounts in Greece.

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US pending home sales fell in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pending home sales slipped in August as fewer Americans signed contracts to purchase a house, the fourth decline in the past five months. The National Association of Realtors says that its pending home sales index fell 1.8 percent last month to 104.2. This measure of contract signings has tumbled 2.3 percent in the past year with the sharpest annual decline of 11.2 percent in the West where homes generally cost more.

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House approves GOP tax measures for savings, startups

WASHINGTON (AP) — Proposals to expand the new tax law by adding incentives for savings and startup businesses have passed the House as Republicans push legislation forward ahead of the approaching midterm elections. The votes Thursday were 240-177 and 260-156, mostly along party lines, to approve a pair of Republican-written measures. The action was a prelude to an expected vote Friday on broader legislation to make permanent the individual tax cuts now set to expire in 2026 under the tax law.

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US stocks break four-day losing skid as Apple, Amazon climb

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks make modest gains on Wall Street as Apple and Amazon, the two most valuable companies on the U.S. market, lead major indexes higher following a four-day losing streak. An analyst said Apple is successfully building up its services offerings such as music and payments and that its stock could climb another 20 percent by late next year. Bed Bath & Beyond plunged after cutting its forecasts following a weak quarter.

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The S&P 500 index rose 8.03 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,914. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 54.65 points, or 0.2 percent, to 26,439.93. The Nasdaq composite climbed 51.60 points, or 0.6 percent, to 8,041.97. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 1.08 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,690.53.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 0.8 percent to $72.12 per barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 0.5 percent to $81.72 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 1.2 percent to $2.08 a gallon. Heating oil gained 1 percent to $2.32 a gallon. Natural gas rose 2.6 percent to $3.06 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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