Business Highlights

Published November 10, 2017
Associated Press

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Tax split between House, Senate poses a big challenge

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House and Senate tax overhaul plans are broadly similar, but crucial differences are creating headaches for Republican leaders. They're determined to keep myriad interest groups and factions of the GOP satisfied. And then there's the ambitious timetable of finishing in time to get legislation to President Donald Trump by Christmas.

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GOP test: Expiring tax cuts would mean little bang for buck

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most economists say temporary tax cuts would swell the national debt while doing little for economic growth. And without faster economic growth, few individuals would stand to benefit from the pay raises and job gains being promised by President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders.

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Talking tough on trade, Trump pushes 'America first' in Asia

DANANG, Vietnam (AP) — President Donald Trump is delivering a roaring "America first" message before a summit of Asian leaders keen on regional trade pacts. And he's denouncing China for unfair trade practices just a day after he had heaped praise on President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Trump tells CEOs on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference that he's "not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore."

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The gaping US trade gap: A sign of weakness? Not necessarily

WASHINGTON (AP) — Economists say President Donald Trump's obsession over America's trade deficits is misplaced. A big trade gap by itself doesn't make the U.S. an economic weakling. In fact, a swollen trade gap — which shows how much the value of imports exceeds the value of exports — can reflect economic might: When times are good, after all, consumers feel more prosperous and confident enough to spend freely — on imported goods as well as on home-grown goods.

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Alaska lawmaker sees financial boon in refuge drilling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski says her legislation to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling would generate $2 billion in royalties over the next decade — with half the money going to her home state. But environmental groups and other critics call those projections wildly optimistic. A fiscal watchdog says drilling is likely to generate about $100 million for U.S. taxpayers — one-tenth the amount Murkowski and the Congressional Budget Office predict.

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Accord on revised Pacific Rim trade pact stalled

DANANG, Vietnam (AP) — Talks on a Pacific Rim trade pact abandoned by President Donald Trump appear to have stalled. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that leaders of the 11 countries still in the Trans-Pacific Partnership had to postpone a meeting meant to endorse a basic agreement. Abe made the comments after meeting with his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, who stayed away from the TPP leaders' gathering at a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

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Climate activists stage protest at German coal-fired plant

BONN, Germany (AP) — Environmental activists protested at a German coal-fired power plant on Friday — the same day that Italy became the latest country to announce a deadline for ending its use of the heavily polluting fossil fuel. Protesters projected images of Pacific islanders threatened by climate change onto the cooling tower of the lignite-fuelled power station in Neurath, in western Germany, along with the words "coal destroys our future."

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Equifax apologizes again, lays out costs going forward

NEW YORK (AP) — A day after posting sizeable profit declines due to a massive data breach, Equifax says it expects to incur related costs of between $60 million and $75 million in the current quarter. Opening a conference call Friday, interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. apologized again for the breach, and said executives will not be receiving bonuses.

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China to ease curbs on foreign business in finance, autos

BEIJING (AP) — China has taken what it calls a major step toward opening its financial industry with a promise to ease limits on foreign ownership of banks and securities firms following a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump that was dominated by trade issues. The announcement by a Cabinet official appeared to respond to mounting U.S. and European complaints that Beijing hampers foreign activity in a variety of industries in violation of free-trade commitments.

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UK panel rules Uber drivers have rights on wages, time off

LONDON (AP) — A British panel has ruled that Uber drivers are workers with labor rights like paid time off, in a decision with broad implications for the so-called gig economy. The ride-hailing service immediately announced plans to appeal. Employment lawyers expect the case will be heard by the Supreme Court next year.

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US stocks on two-day losing streak as health stocks fall

NEW YORK (AP) — US stocks fall for second day as medical device makers take sharp losses. Energy companies give up some of their recent gains, but media companies and retailers rise. Stocks fall for the second day in a row, a first in a month, and end an eight-week winning streak.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 2.32 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,582.30. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 39.73 points, or 0.2 percent, to 23,422.21. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.89 of a point to 6,570.94. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks inched up 0.26 of a point to 1,475.27.

U.S. crude oil lost 43 cents to $56.74 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gave up 41 cents to $63.52 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline gave up 1 cent to $1.81 a gallon. Heating oil lost 1 cent to $1.93 a gallon. Natural gas rose 1 cent to $3.21 per 1,000 cubic feet.