Business Highlights

By The Associated Press Markets Associated Press

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Harvey slams region's economy, with damages in the billions

DALLAS (AP) — Flood damage from Hurricane Harvey is likely to reach into the tens of billions and the storm is expected to cause the region's economy to shrink, at least in the near term. The storm has forced Gulf Coast refineries to shut down, leading to higher gasoline prices. Houston's two airports will remain shuttered for days. Harvey will also affect other industries from banking to insurance.

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Donating to Harvey relief efforts: How, when, what to give

NEW YORK (AP) — Charities are stepping up their donation requests in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Not sure where or what to give? Check GuideStar's website to ensure your charity is legit, and consider giving money, rather than material goods, which can pile up unused and clog up relief agencies' resources.

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Now at Whole Foods: Cheaper milk, 'farm fresh' Amazon Echo

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon kicked off its first day as the owner of Whole Foods by slashing prices, adding its logo on signs and setting up a stand of "farm fresh" Amazon Echo voice assistant devices by store entrances. It's just the first taste of the moves the e-commerce giant will make at the organic grocer after it completed the $13.7 billion deal on Monday. The deal could also spur changes in the wider grocery industry.

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Expedia confirms CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's job offer from Uber

DETROIT (AP) — Expedia is confirming that CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has been offered the top job at ride-hailing company Uber. Barry Diller, board chairman of the travel booking site, says in a note to employees Monday that he believes Khosrowshahi intends to take the new post.

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Lawyer says Trump Tower in Russia considered during campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — A lawyer for the Trump Organization is acknowledging that he considered a proposal to create a Trump Tower in Moscow in 2015. The attorney, Michael Cohen, says the plan was abandoned last year "for a variety of business reasons." Cohen confirmed the details of the deal Monday in records he turned over to congressional investigators looking into potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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Gilead to pay $11.9B for cancer treatment developer Kite

NEW YORK (AP) — Gilead Sciences will pay $11.9 billion in cash to buy Kite Pharma and plant a stake in an emerging area of cancer treatments that train a patient's immune cells to attack tumors. Kite's portfolio of potential treatments includes one for the blood cancer lymphoma that could receive U.S. regulatory approval later this year.

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Stocks are mixed as storm affects insurers, energy companies

NEW YORK (AP) — US stocks finish little changed as health care companies rise and energy and insurance companies mostly fall as the price of oil drops and investors anticipate damage from Tropical Storm Harvey. Gilead Sciences agrees to buy cancer drug developer Kite Pharma for $11.9 billion. Most stocks finish lower on one of the quietest trading days of the year.

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Suit: Aetna violated law with envelope revealing HIV status

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pennsylvania man is suing health insurer Aetna, saying his sister learned he was taking HIV medication after the company mailed him an envelope with a large, clear window that showed information on where to purchase the drugs. The lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia is seeking class-action status. Last week, the Hartford, Connecticut-based company said it was reviewing processes to ensure such a mistake never happens again.

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Fragrance chain Perfumania files for bankruptcy protection

BELLPORT, N.Y. (AP) — Fragrance seller Perfumania has filed for bankruptcy protection, and plans to close 65 of its 230 stores as it focuses more on selling online. The mall-based retailer plans to offer investors $2 per share as it converts to a private company. The stock surged more than 40 percent Monday to close at $1.87.

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California seeks to boost electric-car rebate program

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California could spend up to $3 billion under a bill that would widely expand its consumer rebate program for zero-emission vehicles. The Legislature is pushing forward a bill that could lift rebates from $2,500 to $10,000 or more for a compact electric car. Current rebates have done little to boost sales.

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NYC hikes price of pack of cigarettes to $13, highest in US

NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed legislation raising the minimum price for a pack of cigarettes to $13 in New York City. Health Department officials say the hike from $10.50 will make the city the most expensive place to buy cigarettes in the country. The price increase is part of a package of anti-smoking bills signed Monday, but opponents of the price hike say it will push even more smokers to the black market.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 1.19 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,444.24. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 5.27 points to 21,808.40. The Nasdaq composite rose 17.37 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,283.02.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.30, or 2.7 percent, to $46.57 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 52 cents, or 1 percent, to $51.89 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline futures rose 5 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $1.71 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.64 a gallon. Natural gas added 3 cents to $2.93 per 1,000 cubic feet.