Business Highlights

By The Associated Press Markets Associated Press

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Trump overrules GOP with deal on spending, debt, Harvey aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has overruled leaders of his own party, siding with Democrats on a deal to fund the government and increase the nation's debt limit for three month — all part of an agreement to rush disaster aid to Harvey victims. Trump touted the outcome and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement praising it. But Republicans were privately dismayed.

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Facebook: Accounts from Russia bought ads during US campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook says it has identified nearly 500 fake accounts, probably run from Russia, that it says spent about $100,000 on thousands of ads that amplified politically divisive issues during the 2016 US presidential campaign. Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos says in a statement Wednesday the company discovered the accounts during a review of ad buys. He says the 3,000 ads promoted political messages on a range of issues from gun rights to race issues.

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Trump's harsh message to immigrants could drag on economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the wake of Trump's decision to phase out an Obama-era immigration program, economists and business leaders worry that the White House is sending a harsh message to immigrants that could drag down economic growth. They say eliminating the program might even cost jobs in the long run.

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Selling with the enemy? Kohl's to open in-store Amazon shops

NEW YORK (AP) — Kohl's says it will open up Amazon shops within 10 of its stores, making it the latest department store operator to make a deal with the e-commerce giant. Shoppers will be able to buy Amazon devices, such as the Fire tablet and Amazon Echo. They can also schedule someone to come to their home to install products.

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GOP, Dem senators calmly discuss bolstering Obama health law

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats are serenely discussing how to curb premium increases for individual insurance policies. A Senate health committee hearing Wednesday was a departure from years of fierce partisanship over the failed GOP effort to revoke President Barack Obama's health care law. Lawmakers from both parties embraced the idea of continuing billions in federal subsidies to insurers. That flouts President Donald Trump's oft-repeated threats to halt those payments.

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Energy companies lead modest rebound for US stock market

Energy companies led U.S. stocks to modest gains Wednesday as the market recouped some of its hefty losses from the day before. Big retailers and health care companies also helped lift the market, which was coming off its worst day in almost three weeks. Utilities and phone companies were the biggest laggards. Some travel booking companies and airlines also fell.

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House overwhelmingly passes $7.9 billion Harvey aid bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed $7.9 billion in Harvey disaster relief as warring Republicans and Democrats united behind help for victims of that storm even as while a powerful new hurricane bore down on Florida. The 419-3 vote sent the aid package — likely the first of several — to the Senate in hopes of sending the bill to President Donald Trump before dwindling disaster reserves run out at the end of this week.

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Past disasters show a long recovery for small businesses

NEW YORK (AP) — After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, an antique store needed more than six years to fully recover. A Long Island restaurateur couldn't reopen one of his locations for a year and a half after Superstorm Sandy. For small businesses, the recovery from hurricanes can take years — if they can recover at all. Business owners in Houston have only started assessing how to move forward. Many may face the same hurdles as small business owners who have been through other big storms.

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Analysis: Postal woes demand jump in stamp price to 60 cents

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service would need to boost prices for mailing letters and packages by nearly 20 percent if it hopes to have enough cash on hand to avoid bankruptcy. That means the price of a first-class stamp could jump from 49 cents to nearly 60 cents, the biggest one-time increase in its history. The post office is seeking to raise stamp rates beyond the rate of inflation. Bulk-mail rates also could be affected, straining budgets for many states that distribute election ballots by mail.

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Want to try before you buy? These online retailers let you

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is set to launch a service that lets customers order clothes, try them on at home and pay only for what they keep. But Amazon is actually late to the party. Several online startups have offered try-before-you-buy options for items including jewelry, clothing, glasses and more. It makes shoppers less nervous about buying online, the companies say, and also gives people a chance to touch and try on a necklace or shirt before splurging.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 7.69 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,465.54. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 54.33 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,807.64. The Nasdaq composite advanced 17.74 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,393.31. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks edged up 2.54 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,402.20.

U.S. crude oil picked up 50 cents, or 1 percent, to $49.16 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, added 82 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $54.20 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 3 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $1.67 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.76 a gallon. Natural gas climbed 3 cents to $3 per 1,000 cubic feet.