Business News

Jul 26, 5:33 PM EDT

Business Highlights


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Fed leaves rates alone but moves closer to selling off bonds

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve is keeping its key interest rate unchanged at a time when inflation remains persistently low. But it signaled that it's edging closer to gradually shrinking its bond holdings, a step that would likely boost long-term borrowing rates including mortgages.

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Facebook's ads just keep creeping into new apps

NEW YORK (AP) - Facebook has squeezed just about as many ads into its main platform as it can. Any more and users might start to complain. Now, ads are moving on to Messenger, and WhatsApp may not be too far behind. Welcome to the Facebook ad creep.

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Trump choice for Fed could prove to be key friend for banks

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's choice of a key player in his drive to scale back financial rules would likely push to relax regulations on community banks, ease restrictions on some speculative trading and soften annual tests of big banks' health.

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What's next: Senate GOP considers "skinny" health care bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican senators are looking at a "skinny" version of health care reform as they struggle to repeal key parts of former President Barack Obama's health law. Their definition of skinny, however, is evolving and could change many times before they pass a bill - if they pass a bill. The goal is to pass a bill - any bill - so they can trigger negotiations with House Republicans on a final bill.

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FDA panel: Not enough data to OK "abuse-deterrent" opioid

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Food and Drug Administration advisers have recommended against approving a new opioid painkiller intended to deter abuse with a unique feature. It releases a sticky, deep-blue dye if someone tries to get high by crushing, chewing or snorting pills. Panelists voted overwhelmingly Wednesday against approving Intellipharmaceutics International's generic version of extended-release Oxycontin, a key drug in the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic.

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Ford's 2Q profit better than expected despite CEO turmoil

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - Ford Motor Co. had a better-than-expected second quarter despite lower sales and upheaval in its executive ranks. Net income rose 4 percent to $2 billion, thanks to a change in the company's tax rate and a strong performance from its credit arm.

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Now hiring at Amazon: Thousands of people in 1 day

NEW YORK (AP) - Amazon plans to make tens of thousands of job offers in just one day as it holds a giant job fair next week at nearly a dozen warehouses across the U.S. Those offered jobs on the spot will pack or sort boxes and help ship them to customers. They are part of Amazon's previously announced plans to add 100,000 full-time workers by mid-2018.

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US stocks edge higher; bond yields fall following Fed

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. stock indexes inched further into record territory Wednesday after AT&T, Boeing and others joined the parade of big companies reporting stronger profits than analysts expected. Stocks that pay big dividends were particularly strong after the Federal Reserve decided to take a pause in its slow-moving campaign to raise interest rates, a move that sent Treasury yields lower.

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Whole Foods sales struggle shows Amazon buying a fixer-upper

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Whole Foods is reporting another key sales decline as it prepares to be acquired by online giant Amazon. The grocery chain says sales fell 1.9 percent at established locations for the three months ended July 2. That sales figure has been declining as Whole Foods faces competition from traditional grocers, big box retailers and others that have expanded their organic offerings.

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Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to create 3,000 jobs. The announcement comes at a critical juncture for a Trump administration that pledged to generate manufacturing jobs but has struggled to deliver results as quickly as the president promised.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up by 0.70 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,477.83. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 97.58 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,711.01. The Nasdaq composite rose 10.57 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,422.75.

Benchmark U.S. crude climbed 86 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $48.75 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 77 cents to $50.97 per barrel. Natural gas fell 2 cents to $2.92 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $1.62 a gallon, and heating oil rose 3 cents to $1.60 a gallon.

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