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Apr 25, 5:52 PM EDT

Business Highlights


Wells Fargo faces shareholders, protesters at annual meeting

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Wells Fargo's top management faced a series of protesters and apologized to investors, but board members kept their jobs. It was the first big shareholder meeting since a scandal over sales practices erupted. Top executives have issued apologies and a series of protesters have vented their anger at executives.

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Big unwind begins: Republicans target crisis financial rules

WASHINGTON (AP) - Emboldened by a business-friendly president, Republicans in Congress are moving to unwind the stricter regulations that took effect after the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession. A House committee takes up legislation Wednesday that would defang the tighter rules.

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GOP drops US-Mexico wall demands as spending talks advance

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional negotiators are inching toward a potential agreement on a catchall spending bill that would deny President Donald Trump's request for immediate funding to construct a wall along the Mexico border. The emerging measure would increase the defense budget and eliminate the threat of a government shutdown on Trump's 100th day in office this Saturday.

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GOP budget hawks open to Trump tax plan despite deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans who slammed the growing national debt under Democrat Barack Obama said Tuesday they are open to President Donald Trump's tax plan, even though it could add trillions of dollars to the deficit over the next decade. Trump is scheduled to unveil the broad outlines of a tax overhaul Wednesday that includes a massive cut in the corporate income tax, reducing the top rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. The plan will also include child-care benefits, a cause promoted by Trump's daughter, Ivanka.

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Uber takes to the skies with next ride-hailing project

NEW YORK (AP) - Uber is taking to the skies with its next project - "flying cars" - even as all eyes are on its problems on the ground. On Tuesday, the embattled ride-hailing company announced plans for an on-demand network of electric aircraft that can take off and land vertically, like a helicopter. It wants to test a network for such vehicles by 2020. Uber has been reeling from executive departures and accusations of sexual harassment at its workplace.

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FCA, Google begin offering rides in self-driving cars

DETROIT (AP) - Fiat Chrysler and Google for the first time will offer rides to the public in the self-driving vehicles they are building under an expanding partnership. Waymo, Google's self-driving car project, said Tuesday it's adding 500 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans to its self-driving vehicle fleet. It will allow hundreds of people in the Phoenix area to take rides in the vehicles so it can get feedback on the experience.

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Insurer Centene commits to shaky ACA exchanges for 2018

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Health insurer Centene says enrollment from the Affordable Care Act's troubled insurance exchanges has swelled, and it's ready to return next year, even as competitors waver and President Donald Trump warns of the law's demise. The Medicaid coverage specialist said Tuesday that it covered nearly 1.2 million people through the exchanges at the end of the first quarter, up 74 percent from 683,000 in last year's quarter, and it wouldn't rule out more growth.

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Healthy profits push stocks higher yet; Nasdaq crosses 6,000

NEW YORK (AP) - Profits are climbing for companies, and so are their stock prices. More big businesses joined the earnings parade Tuesday, saying their profits were even larger in the first three months of the year than analysts were expecting, including Caterpillar and McDonald's. The encouraging reports pushed U.S. indexes to their second straight day of big gains, placing them either close to or firmly in record territory.

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McDonald's US sales climb, customer traffic still a focus

NEW YORK (AP) - McDonald's says new Big Macs helped give sales a bump, but that it's still working on attracting more customers. The results were better than Wall Street expected, and its stock hit an all-time high. The company says it expects the coming rollout of mobile order-and-pay in the U.S. as well as expanded delivery to help drive sales and traffic.

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Chipotle says sales rise, discloses payment system problem

NEW YORK (AP) - Chipotle reported better-than-expected sales for its first quarter, as the chain works to recover from a series of food scares. It says sales rose 17.8 percent at established locations. But it also disclosed a possible data security issue on the network that supports its payment system in restaurants.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 14.46 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,388.61. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 232.23 points, or 1.1 percent, to 20,996.12. The Nasdaq composite rose 41.67, or 0.7 percent, to 6,025.49.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 33 cents to $49.56 per barrel. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, rose 50 cents to $52.10 per barrel. Natural gas fell 2 cents to $3.04 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil inched up a fraction of a penny to $1.55 per gallon and wholesale gasoline was close to flat at $1.62 per gallon.

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