Business Highlights

Markets Associated Press

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With Fed expected to hike, attention turns to what it says

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's all but certain the Federal Reserve will raise its benchmark interest rate after its policy meeting ends Wednesday. This will be its first increase in a year.

The Fed is expected to raise its key rate by a modest quarter-point to a range of 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent — a move that will likely lead to slightly higher rates on some consumer and business loans. But the real anticipation surrounds what Fed officials may or may not say about the pace of future rate hikes against the backdrop of Donald Trump's election.

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Lockheed falls as Trump tweets that F-35 program is costly

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NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Lockheed Martin fell Monday, wiping out nearly $2 billion of the company's market value, as President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that making F-35 fighter planes is too costly and that he will cut "billions" in costs for military purchases. Shares of other defense contractors, including Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, also tumbled Monday.

Trump didn't mention any specific company in his tweet, but Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed makes the F-35 one-seat fighter aircraft and is a major U.S. defense contractor.

The F-35 program made up 20 percent of Lockheed's total 2015 revenue of $46.1 billion. And U.S. government orders made up 78 percent of its revenue last year.

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Oil spurt drives Dow to record despite drop for most stocks

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks mostly fell on Monday, but a spurt in oil prices helped push the energy sector higher and the Dow Jones industrial average to another record.

The Dow was able to make the lone gain among the big three indexes partly thanks to Exxon Mobil and Chevron. They rose with the rising price of oil.

Still, nine stocks fell on the New York Stock Exchange for every five that rose, and the day's loss marked the end of a six-day winning streak for the S&P 500, its longest such run since June 2014.

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Chipotle founder Ells takes over as sole CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Chipotle Mexican Grill named founder Steve Ells as its sole CEO on Monday as the burrito chain keeps trying to recover from a series of food scares that has driven customers away.

Ells had been co-CEO with Monty Moran, who is stepping down from that position and from his seat on the board of directors, and will retire from the company in 2017. Moving to one chief executive is "about stripping away" things that are getting in the way of the business and, in general, complicating what is a "very simple idea," Ells said.

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Google, Cuba sign allowing faster access to company's data

HAVANA (AP) — Google and the Cuban government signed a deal Monday allowing the internet giant to provide faster access to its data by installing servers on the island that will store much of the company's most popular content.

Storing Google data in Cuba eliminates the long distances that signals must travel from the island through Venezuela to the nearest Google server. More than a half century after cutting virtually all economic ties with Cuba, the U.S. has no direct data link to the island.

The deal announced Monday removes one of the many obstacles to internet in Cuba, which suffers from some of the world's most limited and expensive access.

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Venezuelans prepare for largest currency note to be yanked

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelans are rushing to spend their 100-bolivar notes after President Nicolas Maduro's announcement they will be taken out of circulation to stop the contraband smuggling "mafias" along the Colombian border that he says hoard cash outside the country.

The government has promised to issue new, higher-denomination bills this week amid the world's highest inflation.

Maduro warned Sunday that people will not be allowed to bring back 100-bolivar bills from outside the country to trade them in for new currency.

An estimated third of Venezuelans have no bank account and keep their savings in the soon-to-be-worthless bills.

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Accreditor of for-profit colleges loses appeal to stay alive

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal education officials are standing by their decision to cut ties with the nation's largest accreditor of for-profit colleges — a ruling that will bar hundreds of schools from providing federal financial aid and likely force some to close.

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, which oversees more than 250 institutions nationwide with a combined enrollment of 600,000 students, had appealed a September Education Department decision to strip it of credentialing authority.

Education Secretary John B. King Jr. denied the appeal on Monday on the grounds of "a profound lack of compliance" with federal standards for accreditors.

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Titans of new industry spring $1 billion clean energy fund

DALLAS (AP) — Some big names with big money say they plan to put more than $1 billion into developing technologies that will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and lower the price of energy.

Bill Gates said the fund plans to make its first investments next year and run for 20 years. A year ago, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp. started the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, whose members include Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros and Richard Branson, with a commitment to invest in new types of energy.

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Supreme Court upholds broad reach of bank fraud law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the broad reach of a federal law prohibiting bank fraud, a ruling that gives the government more leeway to prosecute financial crimes.

The unanimous ruling came in the case of a California man who illegally siphoned about $307,000 out of a Taiwanese businessman's Bank of America bank account.

Lawrence Shaw argued that he wasn't guilty of bank fraud because he only intended to cheat the bank customer, not the bank itself. But Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the court, said the bank has an interest in preserving the money in its customers' accounts.

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The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39.58 points, or 0.2 percent, to 19,796.43. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.57 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,256.96. The Nasdaq composite lost 31.96 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,412.54.

U.S. benchmark crude rose $1.33, or 2.6 percent, to settle at $52.83 per barrel in New York. The price of Brent crude, the international standard, rose $1.36, or 2.5 percent, to close at $55.69 a barrel in London.

In other energy trading, natural gas dropped 23.9 cents, or 6.4 percent, to settle at $3.507 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline rose 4 cents to $1.54 per gallon, and heating oil rose 3 cents to $1.67 a gallon.