Apr 23, 5:36 PM EDT

Business Highlights


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Sears' biggest shareholder offers to buy Kenmore brand

NEW YORK (AP) - Sears' biggest shareholder has suggested the company sell its well-known Kenmore brand and some real estate holdings, offering itself as a potential buyer. The ailing company has sold off other major brands as it struggles to stay afloat, with Kenmore a notable remainder of the powerhouse retailer that survived two world wars and the Great Depression.

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US existing home sales rose 1.1 percent in March

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. sales of existing homes increased 1.1 percent on a monthly basis in March. This suggests that buyers are undeterred by the dwindling number of properties available on the market. The National Association of Realtors says that homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.60 million, up from 5.54 million in February. This sales rate is higher than the 2017 total, but March sales were down slightly over the past 12 months.

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US brands suffer collateral damage in Chinese corporate war

SHANGHAI (AP) - Five major consumer brands tell The Associated Press that after they refused exclusive partnerships with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, traffic to their products fell, hurting sales. Three are U.S. companies with billions in revenue. Alibaba says it offers perks for exclusivity but has never punished anyone.

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Trump likes coal, but that doesn't mean he's hostile to wind

BOSTON (AP) - President Donald Trump has courted coal miners, but his administration is also vowing to help develop offshore wind energy projects. Using federal offshore leases, wind power projects along the East Coast are pressing ahead with the goal of transforming the electric grid and providing energy to power millions of homes. They include projects off Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia and New York.

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Survey: Economists' outlook is sunny but not due to tax cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) - America's business economists are sketching a bright picture for the coming months, with a survey finding that more of their companies foresee rising sales and expect to continue hiring and raising pay. At the same time, nearly two-thirds of respondents in the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics say President Donald Trump's tax cuts, which were promoted as a way to spur hiring and investment, haven't affected their plans.

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Supreme Court wrestles with administrative law judge case

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is wrestling with a case brought by a former financial adviser known for his "Buckets of Money" strategy. Raymond Lucia is challenging the appointment of the administrative law judge who ruled against him. The case involves the Securities and Exchange Commission's administrative law judges, but it has the potential to have a broader impact because administrative law judges are employed throughout the federal government.

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Summer Movie Preview: Hollywood roars back into action

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Summer starts early this year in Hollywood with the potentially record-breaking release of "Avengers: Infinity War" Thursday, and the marquee Marvel superheroes couldn't come at a better time. The box office for the year is down nearly three percent, and the industry is looking to redeem itself after last summer, which, despite hits like "Wonder Woman," had its worst performance in over a decade.

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In Denver, trying to put a price on the value of a newspaper

DENVER (AP) - The Denver Post's cry for help in the form of an editorial pleading for new ownership resonated nationally. As Colorado's civic community tries to mount a journalistic rescue mission to a paper that's been deeply cut, what happens in Denver could be a signal to a battered newspaper industry, reeling from dwindling ad revenues, of what the future looks like.

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With lights from Toys R Us dimmed, sales plunge at Hasbro

NEW YORK (AP) - The repercussions from the demise of Toys R Us have begun to ripple outward beginning with Hasbro, which is reporting a loss and plunging revenue in its first quarter. Hasbro says it will rely more on online sales, although it has also been working on getting its toys into more stores.

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Strong ad sales boost Google parent Alphabet's 1Q earnings

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) - Google parent Alphabet has reported a jump in first-quarter net income on the back of further strong digital ad sales and an accounting adjustment. The Mountain View, California-based company's net income jumped 73 percent, beating expectations. Revenue rose 26 percent to $24.86 billion, also beating expectations.

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US stocks wobble and bond yields set four-year highs

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks finish mostly lower as technology companies slip and health care companies rise. Bond prices fall again and yields continue to climb. The 10-year Treasury yield has been trading at four-year highs. U.S. aluminum companies fall after the Treasury Department moved to ease sanctions against Russian producer Rusal. Other metals prices also slump.

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The S&P 500 index rose 0.15 points to 2,670.29. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 14.25 points, or 0.1 percent, to 24,448.69. The Nasdaq composite gave up 17.52 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,128.60. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks declined 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,562.12.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil reversed an early loss and rose 0.4 percent to $68.64 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 0.9 percent to $74.71 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 1.3 percent to $2.12 a gallon. Heating oil rose 0.8 percent to $2.14 a gallon. Natural gas stayed at $2.74 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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