Business Highlights

By The Associated Press Markets Associated Press

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Sluggish but durable: 5 things about US economy's expansion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy acquired an exclusive label Friday: Recession-free for eight full years. Yet the third-longest economic winning streak in American history still doesn't get much love. Despite its longevity, this expansion has delivered subpar gains in growth, full-time hiring and pay increases since it emerged from the wreckage of the Great Recession.

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US economy expanded at stronger 2.6 percent rate in Q2

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy revved up this spring after a weak start to the year, fueled by strong consumer spending. But the growth spurt still fell short of the optimistic goals President Donald Trump hopes to achieve through tax cuts and regulatory relief.

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Higher prices, fewer options lurk after health bill collapse

Soaring prices and fewer choices may greet customers when they return to the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplaces this fall because insurers still don't know whether they will receive critical payments from the federal government. Some Republican proposals would have continued those payments, but the latest push fell apart early Friday. Without the subsidies, estimated at $7 billion a year, insurers would either charge much more for coverage, or decide not to offer coverage at all.

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Stocks sag following disappointing profit reports

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock markets around the world sagged on Friday after Amazon and several other big companies reported quarterly results that underwhelmed investors. Tobacco stocks were some of the worst performers after the U.S. government said it may consider limiting the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. Treasury yields dipped after the government said the U.S. economy accelerated in the spring but also revised down its growth for the first quarter.

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Wells Fargo in another scandal, this time in auto lending

NEW YORK (AP) — Scandal-plagued Wells Fargo is back in hot water for signing customers up for products they didn't need or want. This time it's auto insurance, and the bank says it may have cost about 20,000 people their cars. The San Francisco-based bank says it enrolled roughly 570,000 auto loan borrowers for what's known as collateral production insurance on their vehicles when they already had appropriate insurance. It will pay $80 million in refunds.

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FDA to target addictive levels of nicotine in cigarettes

For the first time, the federal government is proposing cutting the nicotine level in cigarettes so they aren't so addictive. U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb on Friday directed the agency's staff to develop new regulations on nicotine. Gottlieb also said the FDA is giving e-cigarette makers four more years to comply with a review of products already on the market.

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Mainstream Model 3 holds promise — and peril — for Tesla

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — For Tesla, everything is riding on the Model 3. The electric car company's newest vehicle is set to go to its first 30 customers Friday evening. Its $35,000 starting price — half the cost of Tesla's previous models — and 215-mile range could bring hundreds of thousands of customers into the automaker's fold. Or the Model 3 could dash Tesla's dreams. Among potential pitfalls, customers could lose faith if Tesla doesn't meet its aggressive production schedule.

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Wisconsin governor calls special session on Foxconn deal

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A wide array of Wisconsin environmental regulations would be waived in an effort to speed up construction of a $10 billion Foxconn electronics factory under a proposal Gov. Scott Walker unveiled Friday. The measure, which Walker called on the Republican-controlled Legislature to consider as early as Tuesday, would also borrow $252 million to finish rebuilding Interstate 94 which connects Milwaukee with Chicago and runs near where the massive display panel factory is expected to be built.

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Obama-era retirement savings program for workers gets the ax

NEW YORK (AP) — A government savings program designed to get more people to put away money for retirement is being killed the Treasury Department. The savings program, called myRA, was created by President Barack Obama about two years ago to give people a way to save who don't have access to a 401(k) or other retirement plan from their employer.

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Strong demand at American Airlines; lean times ahead?

DALLAS (AP) — Double-digit increases in fuel and labor costs caused second-quarter profit at American Airlines to fall 15 percent despite higher revenue. The world's biggest airline still beat Wall Street expectations, earning $803 million in the quarter, which marks the start of the key summer-vacation travel season. Like other airlines, American is enjoying demand that is strong enough to push up average fares and fees.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 3.32 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,472.10 and closed a week packed with corporate earnings reports almost exactly where it started. It set a record during the middle of it. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 33.76 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,830.31 and set another all-time high. The Nasdaq composite fell 7.51, or 0.1 percent, to 6,374.68.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 67 cents to settle at $49.71 per barrel and touched its highest level since May. Brent crude, the international standard, gained $1.03 to $53.53 a barrel Friday. Natural gas fell 3 cents to $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil rose 4 cents to $1.64 per gallon, and wholesale gasoline gained 3 cents to $1.68 per gallon.