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Business Highlights

May 22, 2019

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US stocks fall on mixed earnings, trade tensions; oil slumps

U.S. stocks closed lower Wednesday, weighed down by mixed corporate earnings from big retailers and uncertainty over the trade spat between the U.S. and China. Lowe’s and Nordstrom were among the biggest decliners in the S&P 500 after reporting disappointing results. Target surged after its latest results topped analysts’ forecasts. Chipmakers and other technology stocks also dragged down the market, continuing a pattern of volatile trading as trade tensions heat up.

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Retailers, shoppers could feel more pain if tariffs spread

NEW YORK (AP) — An escalating trade war between the U.S. and China could mean higher prices on a broad array of products from toys to clothing. But some retailers will be less equipped to handle the pain than others, leaving consumers to carry the load. Target and Walmart are best positioned to absorb the costs by using clout with their suppliers or judiciously increasing prices on a broad array of items. The losers will be the ones that have been struggling all along, including mall-based clothing stores.

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Judge rules Qualcomm violated antitrust law in chip market

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Qualcomm violated antitrust laws and must renegotiate its deals with smartphone makers that use its chips. Qualcomm says it will appeal. If Qualcomm suffered a big hit to its profitability, that could mean less spending on research and development — a knock to an American tech icon as the U.S. embarks on a politically sensitive race with China to update to 5G, a new wireless technology. Phone prices aren’t likely to change, though.

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US, China appear to brace for long haul in trade dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — With negotiations on hold and tariffs piling up, the United States and China appear to be bracing for a prolonged standoff over trade. China is airing Korean War movies to arouse patriotic fervor and offering tax cuts to Chinese companies threatened by U.S. export controls. In the U.S., Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he’s spoken to Walmart and other companies about ways to ease the pain for U.S. consumers.

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3 Chinese airlines seeking Boeing compensation over 737 Max

BEIJING (AP) — China is stepping up pressure on Boeing Co. for compensation over the grounding of its 737 Max jetliners and a role in approving changes after fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. On Wednesday, Air China and China Southern Airlines joined China Eastern Airlines in seeking compensation from the aircraft maker. China Eastern made the request last month. Air China says it also wants compensation for delays in delivery of new planes.

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Threat or promise? E-auto boom could cost industry jobs

ZWICKAU, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen has employed generations of local workers in Zwickau, eastern Germany, to make combustion engine cars. Now it’s changing to make only electric cars, in a shift that some see as a promise for the future but others fear will mean thousands have to retrain or move, affecting the local community.

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Last days of May? UK leader in peril as Brexit offer slammed

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May is digging in against a growing push by both rivals and former allies to remove her from office, as her attempts to lead Britain out of the European Union appear headed for a dead end. There was a feverish atmosphere in Parliament, as Conservative lawmakers met in private to plot a leadership challenge. Expectations are rising that May could be forced to announce her departure within days.

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Mnuchin says Tubman $20 bill design delayed past 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the redesign of the $20 bill to feature 19th century abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman has been delayed. The decision to replace Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president, with Tubman on the $20 bill had been made by Mnuchin’s predecessor, former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who had served in the Obama administration.

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Ski resort leaders, businessman indicted on fraud charges

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The former owner and former president of a Vermont ski resort accused in a multimillion-dollar fraud case have been indicted on multiple federal charges over a failed plan to build a biotech facility using foreign investors’ money. The charges were filed Wednesday against former Jay Peak owner Ariel Quiros, of Florida, and former president William Stenger, of Newport.

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The S&P 500 index fell 8.09 points, or 0.3%, to 2,856.27. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 100.72 points, or 0.4%, to 25,776.61. The Nasdaq composite slid 34.88 points, or 0.5%, to 7,750.84. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks gave up 13.62 points, or 0.9%, to 1,531.63.

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