Jan 18, 5:37 PM EST

Business Highlights


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Amazon narrows list to 20 for its second headquarters

NEW YORK (AP) - Amazon has narrowed its search for a second headquarters city to 20 locations, concentrated mostly in the East and the Midwest. Toronto made the list as well Tuesday, keeping the company's international options open. Other contenders include: Boston; New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Los Angeles, the only West Coast city to make the cut.

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Congress nears showdown votes on averting federal shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) - A divided Congress is barreling toward an election-year showdown that is dangling the mounting prospect of a weekend government shutdown. The House is nearing a vote on a measure that would keep agencies open, but the bill faces growing chances of rejection by the Senate. It was unclear what the next steps would be if the legislation failed, but lawmakers have only until midnight Friday to approve temporary spending or watch agencies shut their doors.

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Emirates throws Airbus A380 a lifeline with $16 billion deal

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - The Middle East's largest airline, Emirates, is purchasing 20 A380 aircraft with the option for 16 more in a deal worth $16 billion. With Thursday's deal, the airline is throwing a lifeline to the European-made double-decker jumbo jets. Airbus had said earlier that if it didn't close the deal with Emirates, it would end production of the jet.

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Morgan Stanley's profits fall 59 percent due to tax bill

NEW YORK (AP) - Morgan Stanley's earnings fell 59 percent in the fourth quarter as the investment bank had to book $990 million in charges related to the new tax law.

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American Express posts $1.2 billion loss due to new tax law

NEW YORK (AP) - Credit card company American Express posted a $1.2 billion loss in its latest quarter after booking large one-time charges related to the new tax law. The company also announced it would suspend its share buy-back program for six months to rebuild its capital following the charge.

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Hospital groups creating company to make cheap generic drugs

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Several major not-for-profit hospital groups are trying their own solution to drug shortages and high medicine prices: creating a company to make cheaper generic drugs. The plan, announced Thursday, follows years of shortages of generic injected medicines that are the workhorses of hospitals, along with some huge price increases for once-cheap generic drugs.

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Tax law gives unexpected break to farmers who sell to co-ops

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Key senators and farm groups are trying to fix a provision slipped into the federal tax overhaul that gave an unexpected tax break to farmers who sell their crops to cooperatives instead of private buyers. Observers say it's not clear yet whether a fix can pass, given the partisan divide on Capitol Hill. The provision was added in the final days of debate over the tax bill.

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Red Lobster's plan: Kitchen upgrades, small-plate dishes

NEW YORK (AP) - What's on the menu for Red Lobster's future? Delivery, online ordering and snack-friendly dishes, such as fries topped with clam chowder. The chain, which turns 50 this year, hopes the moves will hook diners at a time when many are shunning casual sit-down restaurants for cheaper, faster places. CEO Kim Lopdrup says the company has also updated its kitchens and plans to expand.

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Exports, consumers drive China's 6.9 percent growth in 2017

HONG KONG (AP) - China's economy gained steam in 2017, expanding at a 6.9 percent annual pace in its first year-on-year increase since 2010. Buoyant consumer spending and robust exports helped drive the faster expansion, helping the China's economy defy expectations of weaker growth in the latter half of the year due to Beijing's curbs on bank lending. The data released Thursday beat economists' forecasts for the world's second largest economy.

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HuffPost shutting down contributor section

NEW YORK (AP) - There's no more easy entree to writing a contributor's story on HuffPost. The site says it is shutting down its 13-year-old contributors section. Top editor Lydia Polgreen says what was once a radically democratizing idea has contributed to a flood of information, much of it false.

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US indexes are weighed down by industrials, energy stocks

NEW YORK (AP) - Losses for Boeing, General Electric and other big industrials companies weighed on U.S. stocks Thursday, pulling the market below the record highs it set the day before. Energy stocks contributed to the modest decline following slide in crude oil prices. Technology companies accounted for the biggest gains. Bond yields climbed to their highest level since March as demand for bonds waned.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 4.53 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,798.03. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 97.84 points, or 0.4 percent, to 26,017.81. The Nasdaq slid 2.23 points, or 0.03 percent, to 7,296.05. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 9.93 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,576.73.

Benchmark crude slipped 2 cents to settle at $63.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slid 7 cents to close at $69.31 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline added 3 cents to $1.88 a gallon. Heating oil dropped a penny to $2.06 a gallon. Natural gas fell 4 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.19 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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