Business Highlights

By The Associated Press Markets Associated Press

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Qatar Airways seeks stake in American in 'puzzling' move

DALLAS (AP) — State-owned Qatar Airways is attempting to buy 10 percent of American Airlines, a surprising move that would trigger an antitrust review by the U.S. government and carry political and trade-policy implications. American said in a regulatory filing Thursday that the bid was unsolicited, but that there have been conversations between the CEOs of both airlines.

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A new platform for Whole Foods? How deal could upend grocery

NEW YORK (AP) — Seeing Whole Foods products first in your Amazon searches? Breezing through the grocer's stores with an app that scans affordable produce? Amazon wants to dominate groceries, and Whole Foods wants to broaden its appeal. Their proposed union has the potential to boost the ambitions of both companies.

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Senate GOP unveils 'Obamacare' overhaul, but not all aboard

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans launched their plan for shriveling Barack Obama's health care law Thursday, edging a step closer to their dream of repeal. Their bill would slice and reshape Medicaid for the poor, relax rules on insurers and end tax increases on higher earners that have helped finance expanded coverage for millions.

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Retailers want to work out your wallet — and your body

NEW YORK (AP) — Seminars with Deepak Chopra at ABC Carpet & Home, a tarot card swap at Urban Outfitters, yoga class at Bloomingdale's — they're all part of an effort by major retailers to boost dismal sales and get consumers into the store for an experience instead of just buying another pair of shoes online. Department stores are seizing on the fitness and wellness craze through pop-up and stand-alone stores to create a total body experience that's more than just a workout for your wallet.

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Auto club predicts record travel over July 4th weekend

DALLAS (AP) — Americans are expected to put down the TV remote and hit the road in record numbers for the July 4th weekend. Auto club AAA said Thursday that it expects 44.2 million people will travel at least 50 miles (80 kilometers) from home, a 2.9 percent increase over last year's record for the holiday. The vast majority will go by car. Airline travel over the holiday is expected to rise for the eighth straight year.

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Facebook wants to nudge you into 'meaningful' online groups

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook has almost 2 billion users and now wants to be a more 'meaningful' force in their lives. Rather than just focusing on connecting friends, it is now looking to shepherding users into online groups that bring together people with common passions, problems and ambitions. The shift in the social network's mission comes as it continues to grapple with dark content on its platform.

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Fed: Biggest US banks strong enough to withstand recession

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says all of the 34 largest U.S. banks are fortified enough to withstand a severe U.S. and global recession and continue lending. The first round of the central bank's annual "stress tests" shows that as a group, the big banks are strong as they've benefited from a steadily recovering economy.

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Foxconn founder: US expansion might top $10 billion

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The chairman of Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn says it may spend more than $10 billion to set up manufacturing in the United States, and will announce investment plans by early August for at least three states. Terry Gou gave no new details Thursday about where Foxconn will locate a U.S. display panel factory he earlier said would cost up to $7 billion to build.

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Ex-detainees: Detention center's practices border on slavery

DENVER (AP) — A group of former detainees at a privately run immigration detention center in Colorado say its practices for making detainees clean and do other work border on slavery. The former detainees have won the right to sue the operator of the Denver-area detention center on behalf of an estimated 60,000 people held there over a decade. They say the GEO Group exploits detainees to keep the facility running with just one full-time janitor. The company says it's following government policies.

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US stock indexes hold steady as oil's dismal week eases

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes held steady Thursday after the price of oil stabilized. Energy stocks fell again, but not by nearly as much as they did earlier in the week, after crude rose for the first time in four days. Big gains for health care stocks also helped to nearly offset losses for financial and other companies.

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Coal company sues HBO's John Oliver for defamation

NEW YORK (AP) — Coal company Murray Energy is suing HBO and its Sunday-night host, John Oliver, for what it says was a "false and malicious broadcast" last Sunday evening. Oliver's 24-minute "Last Week Tonight" coal segment on Sunday criticized the Trump administration's effort to revive the industry and ribbed Murray Energy's CEO.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged down by 1.11 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,434.50. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 12.74, or 0.1 percent, to 21,397.29. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.73 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 6,236.69.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 21 cents to settle at $42.74 per barrel, and Brent crude, the international standard, added 40 cents to $45.22 per barrel. Natural gas was close to flat at $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.37 per gallon and wholesale gasoline added 2 cents to $1.43 per gallon.