Business Highlights

By The Associated Press Markets Associated Press

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House backs $4T budget, faces challenges on Trump tax plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans powered a $4 trillion budget through the House on Thursday, but only by a razor-thin margin that underscored the difficulties ahead on delivering President Donald Trump's promise to cuts taxes. Republicans sidestepped divisions with the party with a 216-212 vote that permits them to begin work on a follow-up $1.5 trillion tax cut without fear of blocking tactics by Democrats. The landscape ahead is strewn with land mines, however, as GOP tax writers pick winners and losers.

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New screenings begin for passengers on US-bound flights

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — New security screenings have begun for all passengers onboard U.S.-bound flights, including airlines interviewing travelers about their trip and luggage. The new measures began on Thursday. In Dubai, long-haul carrier Emirates began questioning passengers about their luggage, liquids they were carrying and where they were coming from. Passengers also had to have their carry-on bags searched along with their electronics.

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European Central Bank to reduce stimulus — but slowly

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank will ease the pace of its bond-buying stimulus program, which has helped the eurozone recover from the financial crisis. The ECB said Thursday that it would reduce its bond purchases to 30 billion euros ($35 billion) per month from 60 billion euros currently, starting in January. The move is a cautious attempt to wean the economy of the support as growth improves but inflation remains below target.

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Banks and tech companies help stocks higher; drugmakers dive

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose Thursday as gains for technology companies and banks helped the market recover some of its losses from earlier in the week. However drugmakers and distributors tumbled. The European Central Bank said Thursday it will begin gradually reducing the bond purchases it's been making to strengthen the regional economy. Investors were glad the bank isn't being more aggressive. The euro weakened and European stock indexes jumped. Technology companies recovered some of the ground they lost a day ago, and banks and credit card companies jumped as bond yields continued to climb.

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Twitter toughens abuse rules — and now has to enforce them

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter is enacting new policies around hate, abuse and ads, but having rules is only half the battle — the easy half. The bigger problem is enforcement, and there the company has had some high-profile bungles recently. That includes its much-criticized suspension of actress Rose McGowan while she was speaking out against Harvey Weinstein and the company's ban, later reversed, of a controversial ad from a Republican Senate candidate.

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Waiting in the Bing: Microsoft's overlooked AI tool

Microsoft's Bing search engine has long been a punch line in the tech industry, an also-ran that never came close to challenging Google's dominant position. But Microsoft could still have the last laugh, since its service has helped lay the groundwork for its burgeoning artificial intelligence effort, which is keeping Microsoft competitive as it builds out its post-PC future.

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Trump names Treasury official to be acting IRS commissioner

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is naming a Treasury official to serve as acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. David Kautter will succeed an IRS commissioner who has drawn the ire of congressional Republicans. The White House says Kautter will be acting IRS commissioner effective Nov. 13, allowing IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to complete his five-year term. Some congressional Republicans accused Koskinen of abusing the public trust and lying to Congress.

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Twitter to ban ads from Russia's RT, Sputnik

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter says it will ban ads from RT and Sputnik, two state-sponsored Russian news outlets that the U.S. intelligence community has said tried to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The San Francisco company also plans to donate proceeds from RT and Sputnik ads to support outside research on Twitter use in civic engagement and elections.

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UPS predicts record holiday deliveries, defends price hike

DALLAS (AP) — UPS expects another record holiday season, with deliveries up 5 percent over last year, as online shopping continues to grow. The company said Thursday that it expects to deliver more than 750 million packages between Thanksgiving and Dec. 31. It expects to haul at least 30 million packages on 17 of the last 21 delivery days before Christmas.

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Azcarraga leaving as head of Mexico's biggest TV network

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's largest television network has announced that Emilio Azcarraga Jean will step down as Televisa's chief executive officer, but remain as chairman of the board. The move ends three generations of direct management control of the company by the Azcarraga family. Two longtime Televisa executives will take over as joint CEOs starting Jan. 1. The network was founded by Azcarraga's grandfather in the 1950s and his father ran it for decades.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 3.25 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,560.40. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 71.40 points, or 0.3 percent, to 23,400.86. The Nasdaq composite lost 7.12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,556.77. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 3.98 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,497.46.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 46 cents to $52.64 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 86 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $59.30 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $1.75 a gallon. Heating oil picked up 2 cents to $1.84 a gallon. Natural gas fell 3 cents to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.