Business Highlights

By The Associated Press Markets Associated Press

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Shoppers fixated with discounts pose big worry for stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers who got addicted to sales and deals during the Great Recession now have more tools to cross-check prices and are finding a surplus of goods online. That's creating a race to the bottom among retailers — particularly for clothes.

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Pound dives as UK enters new period of uncertainty

LONDON (AP) — The pound fell sharply after Britain's election saw the Conservatives lose their majority in parliament, raising questions about the next government's ability to lead the talks to leave the European Union. The pound lost as much as 3 cents against the dollar, to $1.2636, by Friday as the results confirmed that the Conservative party, which got the most votes, failed in its gambit to gain a stronger majority.

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Tick-tock: EU says time pressing hard to start Brexit talks

BRUSSELS (AP) — EU states are getting impatient about the delays in the Brexit talks, with some warning Friday after Britain's election that the country should not be given more than the allotted two years to settle its divorce. It is nearly a year since Britain voted to leave the bloc and divorce talks have yet to start.

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Q&A: What leaving the Paris climate deal means for business

President Donald Trump's decision to abandon the Paris climate agreement will have different impacts on different US companies, depending on what they make and whether they do business overseas. A look at some key questions about the accord and Trump's decision.

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US bucks trend amid increases for clean energy research

BEIJING (AP) — As energy ministers from around the world gathered in Beijing to report increased spending to help counter climate change, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has delivered a starkly countervailing message. India, France, Norway, Canada, Australia and Japan said they were on track to double their clean energy research spending. Perry says in the U.S., the private sector will have to do more as President Donald Trump promotes fossil fuels and proposes to roll back clean energy spending.

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Edmunds: SUVs didn't kill off the wagon after all

An analysis of the latest wagons from the experts at Edmunds. The traditional station wagon has been under siege for years by endless waves of crossover SUVs, but a renaissance is underway. For 2018, new wagons from Buick and Volvo join existing models from BMW, Subaru, Volkswagen and others, giving SUV skeptics plenty of family-friendly alternatives.

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Honda to roll out all-new Accord with no V6 option

DETROIT (AP) — Honda says its Accord midsize car will be offered only with four-cylinder or gas-electric hybrid engines when an all-new version comes out later this year. The company says the smaller engines are sufficient for what its customers want.

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SoftBank buys robotics leader Boston Dynamics from Alphabet

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese internet, solar and technology company SoftBank Group Corp. is buying robotics pioneer Boston Dynamics from Alphabet Inc., Google's parent. Terms of the deal, announced Friday, including when it might close, were not disclosed. Tokyo-based SoftBank, which offers the chatty childlike Pepper companion robot, said the purchase underlines how robotics is a key part of its business.

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Apple CEO to MIT grads: Tech without values is worthless

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Apple CEO Tim Cook has urged graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology not to forget humanity and compassion in scientific pursuits. In his commencement address Friday, Cook told MIT graduates and their families that technology without basic human values is worthless.

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Big Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer aims for ACA return

A big Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer is aiming to return to the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges next year in several states, including big markets like Texas and Illinois. Health Care Service Corp. says it also intends to sell coverage in Oklahoma, where it is the only insurer on the exchange, as well as New Mexico and Montana. Coverage options are growing thin in many parts of the country on the exchanges.

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Dow, Russell 2000 hit new highs; uneven finish for US stocks

Wall Street turned in an uneven finish as investors unloaded their technology company shares in favor of energy and financial stocks. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite, which has outpaced gains by other U.S. stock indexes this year, fell the most. The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed slightly lower. Even with the sell-off in technology stocks, the Dow Jones industrial average and the Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks closed higher, each setting new highs.

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SoftBank buys robotics leader Boston Dynamics from Alphabet

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese internet, solar and technology company SoftBank is buying robotics pioneer Boston Dynamics from Alphabet, Google's parent. SoftBank, which offers the chatty childlike Pepper companion robot, said the purchase underlines how robotics is a key part of its business. Boston Dynamics' robots include Big Dog and Spot, which are complex machines that walk and trot on four legs.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.02 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,431.77. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 89.44 points, or 0.4 percent, to 21,271.97. The Nasdaq declined 113.85 points, or 1.8 percent, to 6,207.92.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 19 cents to close at $45.83 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 29 cents to settle at $48.15 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose a penny to $1.50 per gallon. Heating oil inched up 1 cent to $1.43 per gallon. Natural gas added 1 cent to $3.04 per 1,000 cubic feet.