Business Highlights

Posted on Friday, February 15th, 2019 By The Associated Press

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Amazon dumped New York, but cities still wooing the company

Amazon's breakup with New York was still fresh when other cities started sending their own valentines to the online giant. Officials in Newark, New Jersey, sent a giant heart that read, "NJ & Newark Still Love U, Amazon!" Word came that Chicago and suburban Maryland are also still interested in a relationship with Amazon. The love notes have come even though Amazon says it's not looking for another site now that it has canceled its project to build a big new headquarters in New York City.

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Trump's new trade decision: Impose tariffs on imported cars?

DETROIT (AP) — By Sunday, President Donald Trump's Commerce Department is expected to issue its opinion on whether auto imports endanger U.S. national security enough to justify imposing tariffs of 20 to 25 percent on imported autos and auto parts.

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AP analysis: Hundreds of companies excused from steel tariff

WASHINGTON (AP) — Commerce Department waivers from an import tax show how pliable President Donald Trump's protectionist policies can be. An Associated Press analysis shows the Commerce Department has granted hundreds of companies permission to import millions of tons of steel made in China, Japan and other countries without paying the hefty tariff Trump put in place to protect U.S. manufacturers and jobs. Trump has used tariffs as a club against countries he accuses of playing unfairly.

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Trump says he might extend deadline in US-China talks

BEIJING (AP) — President Donald Trump said that "there's a possibility" he would extend a March 2 deadline in trade talks with China if the two countries are closing in on a deal. Trump made the remarks after two days of high-level negotiations broke up in Beijing Friday, and the two countries announced plans to resume talks next week in Washington.

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Amazon's stormy week will blow over, but debris will stay

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — It's been a complicated few weeks for Amazon, what with its abrupt pullout from a massive New York City development and extortion claims related to intimate selfies taken by its founder, Jeff Bezos. Competitors may try to take advantage, but analysts say the dents are growing pains that are unlikely to damage Amazon's core business.

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US industrial output tumbled 0.6 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production fell 0.6 percent in January, a decline caused in large part by an 8.8 percent plunge in the making of motor vehicles and auto parts. The Federal Reserve says that that the manufacturing component of the index dropped 0.9 percent last month, reversing a 0.8 percent gain in December. Over the past 12 months, factory production has increased just 2.9 percent. Manufacturing of wood products, computers, electrical equipment, apparel and chemicals also fell in January.

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FAA decision opens door for Vietnamese airlines to fly to US

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials are clearing the way for Vietnamese airlines to fly to the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration says Vietnam's oversight of airlines complies with standards set by the UN's aviation agency. The decision also means Vietnamese airlines could enter deals with U.S. airlines to sell seats on each other's flights, a practice called code-sharing.

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US military aircraft to deliver more aid to Venezuela border

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Trump administration is sending another large shipment of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan border in Colombia, for the first time using U.S. military aircraft as it increases pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to give up power. Also on Friday, the Trump administration added Venezuela's oil boss and key intelligence officers to a long list of Maduro loyalists under U.S. financial sanctions.

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Airlines to give customers 'nonbinary' choice under gender

DALLAS (AP) — Major airlines plan to expand gender options to include more than male and female. The airlines will let customers say their gender is 'unspecified' or 'undisclosed.' The move by airlines including American, United and Delta follows a recommendation from airline trade groups for accommodating new descriptions of gender that can appear on a traveler's form of ID.

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Stocks post strong finish as optimism over trade talks grows

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged more than 400 points Friday as renewed optimism over trade talks between the U.S. and China put investors in a buying mood. The rally marked a turnaround from a day earlier, when disappointing holiday sales data led to a modest sell-off. Friday's gains helped push the benchmark S&P 500 index to its third-consecutive weekly gain. Financial, health care, technology and industrial stocks accounted for much of the broad wave of buying.

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The S&P 500 index gained 29.87 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,775.60. The Dow climbed 443.86 points, or 1.7 percent, to 25,883.25. The Nasdaq composite rose 45.46 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,472.41. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 24.14 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,569.25.

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