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Business Highlights

March 19, 2019

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High-level US-China trade talks to resume next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top U.S. trade and economic officials will visit China late next week for another round of negotiations, a White House official says. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will lead the delegation, Trump administration officials say. The scheduled talks suggest the two sides believe they can make at least some progress. President Trump said Thursday at the White House that, “Talks with China are going very well.”

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Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook will overhaul its ad-targeting systems to prevent discrimination in housing, credit and employment ads to settle five lawsuits that alleged the social network enabled illegal discrimination. That clears one significant legal issue for the social network, but leaves it with many others, including government investigations in the U.S. and Europe over its data and privacy practices.

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Transportation Department will review FAA’s Boeing decision

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Transportation Department is confirming that its inspector general will review how regulators certified the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as safe to fly. That is the plane involved in two fatal accidents within five months, one in Indonesia and the most recent in Ethiopia. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao sent a letter to her agency’s inspector general, saying an audit will improve the department’s decision-making.

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UK aims to salvage Brexit deal as EU says: make up your mind

LONDON (AP) — The British government is preparing to ask the European Union for a delay of at least several months to Brexit after the speaker of the House of Commons ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May cannot keep asking lawmakers to vote on the same divorce deal that they have already rejected twice. Speaker John Bercow’s ruling was a potentially fatal blow to May’s Brexit deal with the EU.

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Trump names pick for FAA job as agency faces new scrutiny

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is announcing the nomination of a permanent administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration as the agency faces new scrutiny over its oversight of industry in the wake of a pair of deadly crashes involving a new Boeing aircraft. The White House announced Trump has selected former Delta Air Lines pilot and executive Steve Dickson for the post, which has been filled in an acting capacity for 14 months by Daniel Elwell. Dickson must be confirmed by the Senate.

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Fox Corp. begins trading as Disney completion looms

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox Corp., the Fox assets that are not part of Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment assets, begins trading on Tuesday. The company named Paul Ryan and others to its board of directors. Disney’s acquisition of Fox assets is set to close around midnight, more than a year after the mega deal was first proposed in December 2017.

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Trump: Social media sites discriminate against conservatives

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is directing his ire at the nation’s major social media companies, claiming they’re biased against Republicans and attacking them with the same gusto he uses for the rest of the media world. Trump’s focus on social media began with a morning tweet and continued into a press conference with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, where he reveled in the rightwing leader’s use of Trump’s trademark phrase “fake news.”

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Goodbye console? Google launches game-streaming platform

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google has unveiled a video-game streaming platform called Stadia, positioning itself to take on the traditional video-game business. The platform lets gamers playing Stadia jump across devices operating on Google’s Chrome browser and Chrome OS, such as Pixel phones and Chromebooks. Alphabet Inc.’s Google says playing video games will be as simple as pressing a “Play Now” button, without anything to download. There is a dedicated Stadia controller that is optional.

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SEC says Musk’s contempt defense ‘borders on the ridiculous’

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. securities regulators are fighting back against Tesla CEO Elon Musk, arguing in a Monday filing that he should be held in contempt for brazenly violating a federal court order. The Securities and Exchange Commission says that at the time of a contempt motion in February, he didn’t get a single tweet approved by a company lawyer, violating terms of the October order that settled fraud allegations. Musk’s lawyers accuse the SEC of violating Musk’s First Amendment rights.

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US stocks give up an early rally, ending winning streak

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes closed mostly lower Tuesday after a late-afternoon splash of selling erased early gains, ending a weeklong rally. Banks accounted for much of the decline, along with utilities and industrial companies. Those losses offset gains in health care, technology and consumer products stocks. The benchmark S&P 500 ended barely lower, its second loss over the past seven trading days. Investors were looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate policy update Wednesday.

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The S&P 500 index slipped 0.37 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,832.57. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 26.72 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,887.38. The Nasdaq composite gained 9.47 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,723.95. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 8.95 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,554.99.