Business Highlights

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White House adviser 'counseled' after brand promotion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has "counseled" a top aide to President Donald Trump after she promoted Ivanka Trump's fashion line during a national cable television appearance from the White House. But House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz says that's not enough, calling what Kellyanne Conway did "wrong, wrong, wrong, clearly over the line, unacceptable."

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Celebrity megaphone fails to lure ordinary users to Twitter

NEW YORK (AP) — Many people have heard of Twitter, but not enough of them are signing up to use it. Twitter's role as a megaphone for the U.S. president, not to mention celebrities and businesses hasn't attracted enough people to the service, not in the way Facebook has, or even Instagram and Snapchat. This is apparent in the San Francisco company's latest earnings report and dismal forecast.

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How Trump & Co. have moved to quash tighter financial rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just three weeks into his administration, President Donald Trump and his allies are moving quickly to dismantle the web of regulations the government passed after the 2008 financial crisis to tighten oversight of banks and protect consumers and taxpayers.

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Lobbyist: Trump supports privatizing air traffic control

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top airline industry lobbyist says President Donald Trump was "extraordinarily positive" when airline executives urged him to support privatizing America's air traffic control system. Nick Calio, president and CEO of Airlines for America, said after a White House meeting between Trump and airline and airport executives that he expects Trump will back legislation to spin off air traffic control operations from the Federal Aviation Administration.

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Pension crisis forces Puerto Rico retirees to rethink future

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Retirement in Puerto Rico once meant carefree days at the beach and more time spent with family. But the island's largest retirement system faces a $40 billion deficit and is expected to collapse next year, threatening to plunge into poverty a quickly growing elderly population

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Strong company earnings drive US stock indexes to new highs

Strong company earnings put investors in a buying mood, lifting the major U.S. stock indexes to record highs. Banks and other financial companies led the rally as bond yields rose. Energy also notched big gains as crude oil prices climbed. Utilities and materials lagged the broader market.

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Dominican deal tests Trump pledge of no new foreign projects

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump Organization is returning to a long-dormant real estate licensing deal in the Dominican Republic, testing the limits of President Donald Trump's pledge to halt new international Trump-branded projects during his during his presidency.

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Yum blames Pizza Hut's problems on weak image for delivery

NEW YORK (AP) — Yum says Pizza Hut's sales fell in the U.S., and that the chain needs to have a stronger reputation for delivery. The company noted that higher sales at KFC and Taco Bell came despite the competitive industry. Yum spun off its China division last year.

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Kellogg CEO: No 'discernible' impact from online boycott

NEW YORK (AP) — Kellogg says it saw no "discernible" effect from an online boycott spurred by its decision to pull ads from a website formerly run by one of President Trump's top aides. CEO John Bryant said it's difficult to gauge the impact of such consumer actions given the volume of its sales, but that the company did not see any effect it could attribute to the boycott. Kellogg had announced its decision in late November to pull ads from Breitbart.com, which has been criticized for featuring racist, sexist and anti-Semitic content.

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As L.L. Bean cuts costs, liberal returns policy could change

FREEPORT, Maine (AP) — L.L. Bean will freeze its pensions and offer an early retirement program next year as it seeks to control growing expenses. Officials at the outdoors retailer said it's part of a look at all aspects of the Maine-based company's operations, including generous shipping and return policies.

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The Dow Jones industrial average rose 118.06 points, or 0.6 percent, to 20,172.40. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 13.20 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,307.87. The Nasdaq composite index added 32.73 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,715.18.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 66 cents, or 1.3 percent, to close at $53 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, gained 51 cents, or about 1 percent, to close at $55.63 a barrel in London. In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline added 2 cents to $1.57 a gallon, while heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.64 a gallon. Natural gas futures gained 2 cents to $3.14 per 1,000 cubic feet.