Business Highlights

By The Associated Press Markets Associated Press

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AT&T deal delay? Reports say gov't wants TV properties sold

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T says it's uncertain when its $85 billion deal for Time Warner will close, making investors worry that regulators may try to block it or require significant changes. Reports from The New York Times, CNN and other outlets, citing unidentified people, said the Justice Department wants to require the companies to sell Turner Broadcasting, which houses CNN, TBS and TNT; or to sell satellite TV provider DirecTV, which AT&T bought in 2015. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement, "I have never offered to sell CNN and have no intention of doing so."

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No one is immune from hacks, says former Yahoo CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer tells lawmakers that the threat from state-sponsored hackers has changed the playing field so dramatically that even the best-defended companies can fall victim. Mayer is joining former and current Equifax CEOs in testifying before a Senate committee examining recent data breaches that affected millions of people. In Yahoo's case, stolen information for billions of users included names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates and security questions and answers.

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Tencent buys 12 percent stake in Snap

NEW YORK (AP) — The Chinese internet company Tencent has acquired a 12 percent stake in Snap, with the social media company struggling to boost user growth. Tencent runs the WeChat messaging app, as well as online payment platforms and games. Earlier this year, it bought a 5 percent stake in Tesla Inc. Snap Inc. is the parent company of Snapchat, a camera app that lets people send short videos and images.

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As Trump arrives, China reports narrower surplus with US

BEIJING (AP) — As President Donald Trump arrives in Beijing with trade high on his agenda, China is reporting that its politically volatile trade surplus with the United States narrowed in October. Trump has complained about the size of the U.S. trade deficit with China and was due to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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US, Chinese companies sign contracts during Trump visit

BEIJING (AP) — U.S. and Chinese companies have signed business deals the two sides say are valued at $9 billion during a visit by President Donald Trump in a tradition aimed at blunting criticism of Beijing's trade practices. Few details of the 19 agreements signed at a ceremony attended by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross were immediately released.

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Panera founder to step down as CEO; company buys Au Bon Pain

NEW YORK (AP) — Panera Bread said founder Ron Shaich is stepping down as CEO and the company will buy Au Bon Pain — bringing together two chains Shaich helped build. The companies did not disclose on Wednesday how much Panera was paying for Au Bon Pain. Shaich will be replaced as CEO Jan. 1 by Blaine Hurst, who oversees Panera's restaurants. Shaich will stay on as Panera's chairman, and will continue to work on the chain's strategy and future acquisitions.

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Ryan: Election losses pressure GOP to deliver on taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan says the Republican drubbing in Tuesday night's elections "just puts more pressure on making sure we follow through" on the party's drive to overhaul the tax code. Ryan's comments come as the House Ways and Means Committee is in its third day of debate on the nearly $6 trillion legislation, with the panel wading through dozens of amendments.

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Trump business opens online store for Trump merchandise

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump's company is opening an online store to sell branded apparel, golf gear and gifts to capitalize on the Trump family name. The online Trump Store features hats, bags, shirts and other items similar to ones at Trump's golf resorts and hotels, but it also includes new products.

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US tightens travel rules to Cuba, blacklists many businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is imposing travel and commerce restrictions on Cuba that will make it harder for Americans to visit the island nation. The new rules unveiled Wednesday put in place President Donald Trump's partial rollback of the Obama administration's diplomatic opening with Cuba. Americans wanting to visit Cuba will have to go as part of organized tour groups run by U.S. companies. Trips booked before Trump announced his Cuba policy in June are exempt.

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Defense policy bill would allot Pentagon $700B

WASHINGTON (AP) — An annual defense policy bill agreed upon by House and Senate negotiators will authorize $700 billion for the Pentagon for the current fiscal year. Summaries of the legislation were released Wednesday by the House and Senate Armed Services committees. The bill allots just over $634 billion for core Pentagon operations and nearly $66 billion for wartime missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

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House, Senate negotiators agree on $700 billion for Pentagon

WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate negotiators have agreed on an annual defense policy bill that authorizes $700 billion for the Pentagon in the 2018 fiscal year. That's an ample increase over what President Donald Trump sought and pays for more troops, aircraft and ships than he requested. Details of the legislation are scheduled to be made public later Wednesday, but congressional staff members say the bill allots just over $634 billion for core Pentagon operations and nearly $66 billion for wartime missions.

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Stocks tick upward as video game makers jump, but banks skid

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes finish slightly higher as video game makers jump while banks and energy companies slip. Household goods companies also rise. Time Warner Cable sinks after AT&T says it's not certain when its $85 billion purchase of TWC will close and reports say regulators might require the companies to sell important assets.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 3.74 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,594.38. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 6.13 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 23,563.36. The Nasdaq composite rose 21.34 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,789.12. All three closed at record highs. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 2.64 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,481.73.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 39 cents to $56.81 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dipped 20 cents to $63.49 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.82 a gallon. Heating oil stayed at $1.92 a gallon. Natural gas picked up 2 cents to $3.18 per 1,000 cubic feet.