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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press
July 16, 2019 03:51 PM

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Facebook's currency plan gets hostile reception in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Facebook executive is defending the social network giant's ambitious plan to create a digital currency and is pledging to work with regulators to achieve a system that protects the privacy of users' data. David Marcus, the Facebook executive leading the project, faced aggressive questioning Tuesday from skeptical senators. Marcus told them, "We know we need to take the time to get this right."

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Boeing jet trouble leads to cuts at Europe's busiest airline

LONDON (AP) — Europe's biggest airline by passengers, budget carrier Ryanair, will cut flights and close some of its bases beginning this winter because of the delay to deliveries of the Boeing 737 Max plane, which has been grounded globally after two fatal crashes. The airline warned Tuesday its growth in European summer traffic for 2020 will be lower than expected because of the slowed deliveries.

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6 minutes: Man haunted by family's final moments on 737 Max

WASHINGTON (AP) — A man who lost his wife, mother-in-law and three young children in the crash of a 737 Max says Boeing should scrap the plane and top executives should resign and face criminal charges. Paul Njoroge, who is due to testify before Congress on Wednesday, says that 737 Max planes should have been grounded after a crash off the coast of Indonesia in October. Instead, they kept flying until another crashed five months later near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, claiming the lives of his family and 152 others.

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Retail rivals crash Amazon's Prime Day party

NEW YORK (AP) — The gravitational pull of Amazon Prime Day is so strong on shoppers it's benefiting other retailers as well, according to an early analysis from a key data group. On Monday, the first day of its 48-hour sales event, large retailers, those that generated annual revenue of at least a billion dollars, enjoyed a 64% increase in online sales compared to an average Monday, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures 80 of the top 100 retailers on the web in the U.S.

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Powell says financial crisis accelerated economic changes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the 2008 financial crisis accelerated major changes in the U.S. and global economies, leading to slower growth, lower inflation and lower interest rates. Delivering remarks to a Paris economic conference, Powell says that since the depths of the Great Recession in early 2009, growth and inflation in the United States and other countries are averaging a full percentage point lower than before.

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Wells Fargo 2Q results beat Street estimates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer banking giant Wells Fargo reported better-than-expected earnings despite lower interest income in the second quarter, a potential concern for investors with a likely Fed interest rate cut likely on the horizon. Shares in Wells Fargo slid 3%.

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Johnson, Hunt raise Brexit stakes with Irish border views

LONDON (AP) — The two contenders to become Britain's next prime minister have raised the Brexit stakes by saying they will discard a contentious part of the European Union divorce deal agreed by outgoing leader Theresa May. The pound fell to a 27-month low of $1.2408 Tuesday after Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt appeared to make it more likely that the U.K. will leave the EU without an agreement on the terms to smooth the way.

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US industrial production unchanged in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production was flat in June, as a slump in utilities was offset by gains in output by factories and mining. The Federal Reserve says manufacturing production increased 0.4% last month, aided by a 3% surge at auto plants. Still, factory output has been weak over the past 12 months, posting a modest gain of just 0.4%. The manufacturing sector has faced challenges because of President Donald Trump's tariffs against China and the retaliatory taxes imposed by that country.

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Von der Leyen confirmed as new European Commission president

BRUSSELS (AP) — Ursula von der Leyen has been confirmed as the European Commission president, becoming the first woman to hold one of the most prestigious positions in the European Union and who will be one of the most prominent faces from the bloc on the world stage. The European Parliament has voted 383-327 with 22 abstentions to approve von der Leyen's nomination.

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Stock indexes end lower, breaking a 5-day winning streak

NEW YORK (AP) —Stocks ended lower, breaking a five-day winning streak for the S&P 500 index, as investors cautiously assessed the first big round of corporate earnings reports. Technology companies fared the worst, weighed down by Microsoft and Intel. Johnson & Johnson led health care stocks lower. Banks gave up early gains and turned mostly lower, although Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase rose. Industrial companies including railroad operator Union Pacific fared the best.

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The S&P 500 fell 10.26 points, or 0.3%, to 3,004.04. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 23.53 points, or 0.1% to 27,335.63. The Nasdaq composite fell 35.39 points, or 0.4% to 8,222.80. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 0.17 point to 1,562.

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By The Associated Press

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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