Business Highlights

By The Associated Press Markets Associated Press

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Equifax CEO steps down in the wake of damaging data breach

NEW YORK (AP) — Equifax CEO Richard Smith is stepping down as the credit reporting agency attempts to clean up the mess left by a damaging data breach that exposed highly sensitive information about 143 million Americans. The company described Smith's departure as a retirement. It comes after Equifax disclosed that hackers exploited a software flaw that the company didn't fix to steal Social Security numbers, birthdates and other personal data that provide the keys to identify theft.

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Ivanka Trump's business ties shrouded in secrecy in China

SHANGHAI (AP) — The Chinese supply chains of Ivanka Trump's brand are more opaque than ever. That raises questions about who her company is doing business with in a country where it's hard not to bump up against the government. Among the few publicly identified companies that have previously shipped Ivanka Trump goods to the U.S., the AP found one owned by the Chinese government and another selected for special export subsidies — a possible violation by China of global fair trade rules.

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US Senators grill SEC chair on disclosure of data breach

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. senators from both parties on Tuesday grilled the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission — the agency responsible for policing Wall Street — on its handling of a 2016 data breach that was disclosed only last week. The hack breached the SEC's system for handling corporate filings intended for investors, known as EDGAR.

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Adidas exec, 4 coaches charged in college bribery scheme

NEW YORK (AP) — In one of the biggest crackdowns on the corrupting role of money in college basketball, 10 men — including a top Adidas executive and four assistant coaches — were charged Tuesday with using hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to influence star athletes' choice of schools, shoe sponsors, agents, financial advisers, even tailors.

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Yellen: Fed is perplexed by chronically low inflation

CLEVELAND (AP) — Chair Janet Yellen conceded that the Fed is puzzled by the persistence of unusually low inflation and that it might have to adjust the timing of its interest rate policies accordingly. Most analysts expect the Fed to raise rates in December, for a third time this year, in a reflection of economic gains. But the Fed has said its rate hikes will depend on incoming data.

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Stocks edge higher as tech rebounds and cruise lines rise

NEW YORK (AP) — US stocks move higher as small companies continue to rise and technology companies recover some of their losses from a day earlier. Cruise line operator Carnival is rising after a strong third-quarter report, as is open-source software company Red Hat. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the Fed may need to change its interest rate plans in response to low inflation.

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Republican leaders: Senate won't vote on Obamacare repeal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing assured defeat, Republican leaders decided Tuesday not to even hold a vote on the GOP's latest attempt to repeal the Obama health care law, surrendering on their last-gasp effort to deliver on the party's banner campaign promise.

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Trump vows to 'fix the mess' as US targets North Korea banks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is using new sanctions authority to punish eight North Korean banks and 26 bank workers living abroad. The sanctions rely on an executive order President Donald Trump signed last week to target North Korea's access to the international banking system. Trump says North Korea must no longer be allowed to "threaten the entire world with unthinkable loss of life."

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Trump vows to cut taxes 'tremendously' for middle class

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is vowing to deliver on a major tax cut for middle-class Americans as the White House and congressional leaders prepare to release details on a tax overhaul proposal that would slash the corporate rate and simplify the nation's tax code. The grand plan to rewrite the nation's tax code would be the first major overhaul in three decades. It also would deliver on a Trump campaign pledge.

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Macron: Europe is too slow, blind to dangers of nationalism

PARIS (AP) — Calling Europe slow, weak and ineffective, French President Emmanuel Macron says the EU should embrace a joint budget, shared military force and harmonized taxes to stay globally relevant. With Brexit looming, Macron warned the rest of Europe against the dangers of anti-immigrant nationalism and fragmentation, saying that goes against the principles of a shared Europe born from the tragedy of world wars.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 0.18 of a point to 2,496.84. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 11.77 points, almost 0.1 percent, to 22,284.32. The Nasdaq composite gained 9.57 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,380.16. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 4.91 points, or 0.3 percent, to a record 1,456.86.

Benchmark U.S. crude slid 34 cents to $51.88 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, gave up 58 cents to $58.44 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 2 cents to $1.70 a gallon. Heating oil retreated 1 cent to $1.85 a gallon. Natural gas remained at $2.92 per 1,000 cubic feet.