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Stocks rise...Budget deficit up 15%...Facebook rolls out new steps to combat harmful information

April 10, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are mostly higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street, reversing course from yesterday’s downturn that ended an eight-day winning streak. Technology and health care companies are leading led the gains. Airline stocks are rising after Delta Air Lines reported quarterly earnings that easily beat forecasts. Levi Strauss also gained ground after swinging to a quarterly profit in its first period as a publicly traded company.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is reporting a $146.9 billion deficit in March, causing annual debt to rise 15% for the first half of the budget year compared to the same period in 2018. The Treasury Department says in its monthly report that the fiscal year deficit has so far totaled $691 billion, up from nearly $600 billion in 2018. The Treasury Department expects that the deficit will exceed $1 trillion when the fiscal year ends in September.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook says it is rolling out a wide range of updates aimed at combatting the spread of false and harmful information on the social media site. The updates will limit the visibility of links found to be significantly more prominent on Facebook than across the web as a whole. The company is also expanding its fact-checking program with outside expert sources, including The Associated Press, to vet videos and other material posted on Facebook.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is starting to show interest in prying open the “black box” of tech companies’ artificial intelligence with oversight that parallels how the federal government checks under car hoods and audits banks. One proposal introduced today is co-sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker, a Democratic presidential candidate. It would require big companies to test the “algorithmic accountability” of their automated systems that are helping make important criminal-justice decisions and affecting people’s access to housing, credit and jobs.

NEW YORK (AP) — Forbes estimates the New York Yankees are baseball’s most valuable franchise at $4.6 billion, up 15 percent from its figure last year. The Los Angeles Dodgers are second at $3.3 billion. They are followed by the World Series champion Boston Red Sox at $3.2 billion, the Chicago Cubs at $3.1 billion, the San Francisco Giants at $3 billion and the New York Mets at $2.3 billion.