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Business Highlights

November 27, 2018

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White House expresses ‘disappointment,’ ‘anger’ at GM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is expressing “great disappointment” in General Motors after the automobile giant announced it would be cutting thousands of jobs. National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow says the White House’s reaction was “a tremendous amount of disappointment maybe even spilling over into anger.” General Motors Co. says it’s abandoning many of its car models and restructuring to focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles.

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Trump adviser: US ‘disappointed’ in China’s trade stance

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is warning Chinese President Xi Jinping against trying to wait out President Donald Trump in the ongoing trade dispute between their countries. The warning from National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow comes ahead of the two leaders’ high-stakes sit-down on Saturday in Argentina. Kudlow says the Trump administration has been disappointed by China’s engagement in trade talks but the meeting between Trump and Xi at the Group of 20 summit could be a game-changer.

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US farmers store record soybean crop as China dispute weighs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — American farmers still working to get out their remaining soybeans after a weather-plagued harvest season are struggling to figure out what to do with a record crop now their traditionally dominant export market is largely closed. China, a leading soybean consumer, has all but stopped buying American soybeans in response to President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs, and economists are warning some famers could be forced out of business by the export crisis.

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Apple’s stock sours, Microsoft’s soars. Say what?!

Microsoft is threatening to overtake Apple as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company. The market closed Tuesday with Microsoft just behind Apple. That Microsoft is even close would have been surprising not long ago as rival tech giants Amazon and Google were the more likely favorites for catching up to the iPhone maker. It’s a sign of Microsoft’s steady resilience as it transitions into a cloud-computing provider more focused on long-term business contracts than consumer demand.

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Top EU court hears Brexit challenge as critics slam May deal

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s highest court has begun considering whether Britain can unilaterally change its mind about leaving the EU, as British Prime Minister Theresa May as struggled to contain criticism of her divorce deal from both U.K. politicians and U.S. President Donald Trump. The Brexit session opened Tuesday by the European Court of Justice will assess the issue under an accelerated procedure, since Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29.

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Global lawmakers grill Facebook exec; Zuckerberg’s a no-show

LONDON (AP) — Lawmakers from nine countries grilled a Facebook executive on Tuesday as part of an international hearing at Britain’s parliament on disinformation and “fake news.” The rare “international grand committee” sought to turn up the pressure on Facebook, frustrated by founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to answer their questions on its role in data privacy scandals and how it was used to influence elections.

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US goal to be ‘first’ on devices worries former regulators

WASHINGTON (AP) — US health officials have adopted a goal under pressure from industry to be “first in the world” in approving new medical devices for US patients. The Food and Drug Administration’s new “vision” mirrored talking points from industry lobbyists. And former regulators say the agency’s shift ushered in a series of changes that may put American patients at risk.

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Retail group says holiday season off to a strong start

NEW YORK (AP) — The holiday shopping season has gotten off to a “very strong” start, according to the largest U.S. retail trade group. The National Retail Federation said Tuesday that consumer spending has been strong, fueled by a better economy and stores’ investments in online services including features that allow shoppers to buy online and pick up the items at the store.

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US home prices rise more slowly amid weaker sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices grew at a slower pace in September compared with a year ago as higher mortgage rates have weighed on home sales. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, rose 5.1 percent from a year earlier, down from 5.5 percent in the previous month.

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US stock indexes edge higher a day after a big gain

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes end a wobbly day of trading with modest gains as communications and utility stocks rise but industrial stocks and smaller companies drop. United Technologies sank after saying it will split up into three companies and won’t buy back its own stock during the breakup. Airlines are rising after a strong forecast from Spirit.

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The S&P 500 index rose 8.72 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,682.17. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 108.49 points, or 0.4 percent, to 24,748.73. The Nasdaq composite inched up 0.85 points to 7,082.80. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slid 13.10 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,492.86.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 0.1 percent to $51.56 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 0.4 percent to $60.21 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 1.5 percent to $1.42 a gallon and heating oil slipped 0.4 percent to $1.89 a gallon. Natural gas edged up 0.4 percent to $4.26 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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