Business News

Aug 21, 5:09 PM EDT

Business Highlights


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China's Great Wall considers bid for Fiat Chrysler Jeep unit

BEIJING (AP) - Spokespeople for Chinese SUV maker Great Wall Motors say it is considering making a bid to buy Fiat Chrysler's Jeep unit, in a possible ambitious new step onto the global stage for China's fast-growing auto brands. Great Wall has yet to formally declare its interest in Jeep but a possible acquisition would be in line with its chairman's goal of becoming the top specialty SUV producer by 2020.

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Total expands in North Sea with purchase of Maersk Oil

LONDON (AP) - French oil company Total has agreed to buy the oil & gas division of Danish conglomerate AP Moller-Maersk for $7.45 billion. The deal Monday will see it become the No. 2 operator in the North Sea, where challenging deep-water drilling is required. Total said its purchase of Maersk Oil will shore up its position in the offshore waters of northwest Europe, which is the seventh-largest oil-and-gas producing region in the world.

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Sempra Energy bids $9.45B for Oncor, topping Buffett offer

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Sempra Energy says it's buying Texas power transmitter Oncor for $9.45B in cash, wresting it away from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2018.

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US stock indexes hold steady after back-to-back down weeks

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. stock indexes were little changed Monday, holding relatively steady following back-to-back losses for the Standard & Poor's 500 index over the last two weeks. The S&P 500 is close to its lowest level in six weeks, but this week may be a calmer one for stocks with few market-moving events approaching on the calendar. The week's highlight will likely arrive as the weekend approaches, when central bankers from around the world gather in Wyoming.

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Jury awards $417M in lawsuit linking talcum powder to cancer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Los Angeles jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in lawsuit that the talc in its iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman Liz Martinez confirmed the verdict Monday. California resident Eva Echeverria alleged the company failed to adequately warn consumers about talcum powder's potential cancer risks. Johnson & Johnson says it will appeal the decision.

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Get Started: FBI warns of spreading W-2 email theft scheme

The IRS is warning of a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms - scams that can put staffers' Social Security numbers in the hands of thieves. The government says 200 businesses, schools and organizations were victimized by these scams during this year's tax filing season. Cyberthieves send emails that appear to come from executives inside the organizations. The emails ask payroll or human resources staffers to send a list of workers and their W-2s.

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Why AI visionary Andrew Ng teaches humans to teach computers

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) - One of the world's most renowned researchers in artificial intelligence is facing a dilemma: there aren't enough experts trained to train the machines. So when he isn't pushing into the frontier of AI himself, Andrew Ng is building new ways to help teach the next generation of AI specialists to teach the machines.

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Google to serve next version of Android as 'Oreo'

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - An upcoming update to Google's Android software finally has a delectable name. The next version will be known as Oreo, extending Google's tradition of identifying each new generation of the world's leading mobile operating system with a sweet treat.

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Trump won places drowning in despair. Can he save them?

ABERDEEN, Wash. (AP) - To some in Washington state's Grays Harbor County, America looks a lot less great than it used to be. Addiction and death have gripped this rural community. Thousands here answered Donald Trump's campaign call to the nation's forgotten corners. The county swung Republican in a presidential election for the first time in 90 years. Many are confident Trump will fulfill vows to help this county and others like it. But some of their neighbors fear conditions will fall even further if he can't.

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UK promises to prosecute online hate crimes vigorously

LONDON (AP) - British prosecutors are promising to prosecute hate crimes as vigorously online as in person. The new guidelines issued Monday suggests a tougher line on cyber hate attacks on the basis of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity. Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, says hate crime "has a corrosive effect on our society and that is why it is a priority area."

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.82 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,428.37. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 29.24, or 0.1 percent, to 21,703.75. The Nasdaq composite slipped 3.40 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,213.13.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.14 to settle at $47.37 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost $1.06 to $51.66 a barrel. Natural gas rose 7 cents $2.96 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil fell 5 cents to $1.57 per gallon and wholesale gasoline lost 4 cents to $1.58 per gallon.

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