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Business Highlights

September 25, 2018

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Into the fold? What’s next for Instagram as founders leave

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The departure of Instagram’s founders underscores the degree to which Facebook has already put its stamp on the photo-sharing service it acquired in 2012, as well as the big plans it has in store. Instagram, now ad- and video-friendly, is growing users and revenue faster than Facebook and may soon be the company’s main engine of growth. But it’s gotten where it is largely because it’s stayed fairly independent.

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Michael Kors ups the glamour, buys Versace for $2 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Kors is buying the Italian fashion house Versace in a deal worth more than $2 billion (1.83 billion euros), continuing its hard charge into the world of high-end fashion. The deal Tuesday comes just 14 months after the New York handbag maker spent $1.35 billion adding to its portfolio Jimmy Choo, the shoemaker that rocketed to fame on the high heels of “Sex and the City.”

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NTSB considering technology to avoid accidents, close calls

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Aviation-safety investigators are recommending the use of technology to avoid the kind of near-disaster that occurred last year in San Francisco. They’re also calling for tougher anti-fatigue rules. An off-course Air Canada jet coming in to land flew just 10 to 20 feet above a plane on the ground. The National Transportation Safety Board was expected to vote on the recommendations Tuesday.

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Just Dunkin’: Dunkin’ Donuts to change its name

NEW YORK (AP) — Dunkin’ is dropping the donuts — from its name, anyway. Doughnuts are still on the menu, but Dunkin’ Donuts is renaming itself Dunkin’ to reflect its increasing emphasis on coffee and other drinks, which make up 60 percent of its sales.

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Nike’s marketing strikes a chord without hurting business

NEW YORK (AP) — Nike caused an uproar earlier this month with its ad featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick that debuted just as the football season was about to begin. But its stock is up and sales have been steady. The furor seems to have largely died down as the company reports earnings on Tuesday. While purpose-driven marketing can be a land mine for some companies, others have found it a useful way to differentiate themselves in an increasingly polarized political landscape.

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US home prices rise at slowest pace in nearly a year

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose in July at the slowest pace in 10 months as home sales have stumbled amid higher mortgage rates. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased 5.9 percent in July compared with a year earlier, down from a 6.4 percent annual gain in July.

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3 things to watch for from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is all but certain to raise its key short-term interest rate for the third time this year and to signal that another hike is likely before the year ends. But what about next year? Here are three things to watch for after the Fed meeting ends Wednesday afternoon.

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US consumer confidence rises to 18-year high in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence shot up to an 18-year high in September — good news for retailers as the holiday shopping season approaches. The Conference Board, a business research organization, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index climbed to 138.4 in September from 134.7 in August. This month’s reading was the highest since September 2000.

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AP investigation: Drug prices going up despite Trump promise

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump has made reducing drug prices a key promise, and on May 30 he claimed drug companies would be announcing “massive” voluntary drug price cuts within two weeks. Those cuts didn’t come, and an Associated Press analysis of brand-name prescription drug prices shows it’s mostly been business as usual for drugmakers. Even Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the administration’s point person on drug prices, concedes it will be quite a while before drug prices fall.

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Higher interest rates and oil prices send US stocks lower

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. indexes finished mostly lower as oil prices rise further, which helped energy stocks but hurts transportation companies. Meanwhile bond yields continued to climb, which weighed on high-dividend stocks. Drive-in restaurant chain Sonic jumped after announcing its sale to the parent company of Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. CenturyLink sank after its chief financial officer left to join T-Mobile.

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The S&P 500 fell 3.81 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,915.56. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 69.84 points, or 0.3 percent, to 26,492.21. The Nasdaq composite added 14.22 points, or 0.2 percent, to 8,007.47. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 3.49 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,708.80.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 0.3 percent to $72.28 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, rose 0.8 percent to $81.87 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline added 0.6 percent to $2.07 gallon. Heating oil rose 0.8 percent to $2.31 a gallon. Natural gas rose 1.4 percent to $3.08 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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