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Business Highlights

February 20, 2020 GMT

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Morgan Stanley to buy E-Trade for $13 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Morgan Stanley is buying E-Trade Financial for $13 billion in stock. The deal announced Thursday combines an investment bank for millionaires and big businesses with an online brokerage that encouraged waves of regular investors to get into the market with ads featuring its talking spokesbaby. It is one of the biggest deals on Wall Street since the 2008 financial crisis. It also marks the latest chapter in Morgan Stanley’s transformation from a scrappy investment bank to a more well-rounded financial firm now more reliant on its asset and wealth management businesses.

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Struggling Victoria’s Secret sold as women demand comfort

NEW YORK (AP) — Victoria’s Secret, which once defined sexy with its leggy supermodels in their lacy bras and oversized angel wings, has a new owner. Now, the big question is whether the once sought after but now struggling brand can be reinvented for a new generation of women demanding more comfortable styles. The company’s owner, L Brands, said Thursday that the private-equity firm Sycamore Brands will buy 55% of Victoria’s Secret for about $525 million. The Columbus, Ohio, company will keep the remaining 45% stake. The selling price signifies a marked decline for a brand with hundreds of stores that booked about $7 billion in revenue last year.

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WH report says economy accelerated under Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new White House report says the U.S. economy is growing faster than expected, even though the annual gains of 3% that President Donald Trump promised to voters have yet to be achieved. The annual economic report of the president released Thursday says the economy added more jobs, experienced a lower unemployment rate and grew faster than projected. It’s part of a broader effort to refute evidence that Trump simply inherited a healthy economy from the Obama administration that had been expanding since the middle of 2009.

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Computer scientist who pioneered ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ has died

NEW YORK (AP) — The Silicon Valley pioneer who created the now-ubiquitous computer concepts such as “cut,” “copy” and “paste” has died. Larry Tesler was 74. He made using computers easier for generations as a proponent of what he called “modeless editing.” That meant a user wouldn’t have to use a keyboard to switch between modes to write and edit, for example. At Xerox, he pioneered concepts such as moving text through cut and paste and inserting text by clicking on a section and just typing. He continued that at Apple and later worked for Amazon, Yahoo and the genetics-testing service 23andMe.

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CBS streaming service to grow with Viacom, Paramount videos

NEW YORK (AP) — ViacomCBS is planning a new streaming service that will combine the existing CBS All Access service with Paramount movies and shows from Viacom channels such as MTV and BET. The move had been expected since CBS and Viacom combined in August to better compete in the increasingly competitive streaming environment. CBS was one of the first media companies to launch its own streaming service with its $6-a-month CBS All Access. Since then, Disney launched Disney Plus, while NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia have services coming. The new ViacomCBS service will replace CBS All Access. It will launch this year for an undisclosed price.

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Google updates terms in plain language after EU scrutiny

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is updating its terms of service to make them easier to understand. The practices are largely the same as they were before, but Google says it’s now trying to use plain language. As Britain leaves the European Union, Google also announced that U.K. customers will now legally be part of its main U.S. operations rather than a separate European center based in Ireland. The company says the move won’t change how U.K. customers’ data is protected or stored. U.K. officials have said they will still abide by the EU privacy rules for now.

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Kia recalls SUVs, vans; electrical problem can cause fires

DETROIT (AP) — Kia is joining its affiliate Hyundai in recalling thousands of vehicles in the U.S. because water can get into a brake computer, cause an electrical short and possibly a fire. The Kia recall covers nearly 229,000 Sedona minivans from the 2006 through 2010 model years. Also covered are Sorento SUVs from 2007 through 2009. Kia is telling owners to park their vehicles outside and away from structures and other vehicles until the problem can be fixed. The company says in government documents that moisture can get into the antilock brake control computer and cause an electrical short and possible fires.

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S&P 500 spins lower in choppy trading as caution returns

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks spun lower in a dizzying day of trading Thursday as worries about the viral outbreak that started in China knocked the S&P 500 off its record high. The market started the day higher following another round of stronger-than-expected reports on the U.S. economy, but it slumped suddenly in the late morning only to pare its losses later. Market watchers didn’t see one clear trigger for the movements, which were reminiscent of the market’s sudden shifts during the height of the U.S.-China trade war. Several companies warned of the hit to profits they’re expecting due to the virus.

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The S&P 500 index fell 12.92 points, or 0.4%, to 3,373.23. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 128.05 points, or 0.4%, to 29,219.98. The Nasdaq composite lost 66.21, or 0.7%, to 9,750.96. The Russell 2000 of smaller-company stocks added 3.50 points, or 0.2%, to 1,696.07.

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