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Business Highlights

May 7, 2019

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Can US, China salvage their talks and end trade war?

WASHINGTON (AP) — A breakdown in trade talks between the United States and China is spooking financial markets and putting a chill on prospects for the global economy. Chinese officials are heading to Washington to salvage negotiations aimed at ending a bitter dispute between the world’s two biggest economies over Beijing’s aggressive push to challenge American technological dominance. But their arrival is unlikely to stop the U.S. from going ahead with plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

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Worsening US-China trade tensions rattle financial markets

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 470 points Tuesday as the U.S. and China moved closer to an escalation of their already costly trade war. Technology and industrial stocks, which do a lot of business with China and would stand to suffer greatly in a protracted trade war, led the way lower. Apple and United Technologies fell. The U.S. was set to raise tariffs on China Friday, a day after representatives from both nations are scheduled to resume trade talks in Washington.

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Refusal to hand over Trump’s tax returns sets up legal fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the Justice Department will provide a more detailed legal justification for why the Trump administration won’t be turning over President Donald Trump’s tax returns. While federal law allows certain lawmakers to demand the president’s tax returns, Mnuchin says the request by the House Ways and Means Committee chairman lacks a “legitimate legislative purpose.” House Democrats are expected to either file a lawsuit or subpoena the IRS for Trump’s tax returns.

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Meatsplainer: How new plant-based burgers compare to beef

NEW YORK (AP) — A new era of meat alternatives is here. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are among the companies fueling interest in going meatless. But they may be more similar to beef than you realize: Patties from the two companies can be nutritionally similar to ground beef. Still, many may be drawn to the idea of cutting back on red meat for environmental reasons.

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Google promises better privacy tools, smarter AI assistant

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicked off the company’s annual developer conference Tuesday with new privacy tools and updates to Google’s artificially intelligent voice assistant. The company will allow users of its digital maps to cloak their identities to prevent their locations from being recorded.

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Cash is still king: San Francisco bans credit-only stores

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco has joined Philadelphia and New Jersey in banning stores from allowing people to pay with only credit cards or smartphone apps. Cashless retailers say it’s safer and more efficient not to handle paper money. But critics say it discriminates against low-income people who may not have credit cards. The unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday was expected in the city with an enormous wealth gap.

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US consumer borrowing growth slowed in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer borrowing in March grew at the slowest pace in nine months as use of credit cards fell for the second time in the last four months. The Federal Reserve says borrowing increased by $10.3 billion in March.

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US job openings jump to nearly 7.5 million in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers advertised almost 7.5 million jobs at the end of March, a solid figure that signals hiring will likely remain strong in the months ahead. The Labor Department says job openings rose 4.8% from the previous month, while the number of people quitting their jobs slipped.

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Google spinoff, Lyft team up to offer self-driving car rides

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google’s self-driving car spinoff Waymo is teaming up with Lyft in Arizona to attempt to lure passengers away from ride-hailing market leader Uber. The alliance announced Tuesday will allow anyone with the Lyft app in the Phoenix area to summon one of Waymo’s self-driving cars. The robotic vehicles will still have a human behind the wheel to take control if something goes wrong, but their use in Lyft’s service could make people more comfortable about riding in self-driving cars.

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Debt collectors to use email, texts under new Trump rules

NEW YORK (AP) — Debt collectors are going to be able to start contacting borrowers via text and email under new regulations proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under the new rules, banks and other debt collectors will be able to call a delinquent borrower up to seven times per week, leaving voicemails. There’s no cap on the number of texts or emails a collector could send, but the rules would require an ability for a consumer to “opt-out” of texts and emails from bill collectors.

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The S&P 500 index slumped 48.42 points, or 1.7%, to 2,884.05. The Dow lost 473.39 points, or 1.8%, to 25,965.09. The Nasdaq composite fell 159.53 points, or 2%, to 7,963.76. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks gave up 32.66 points, or 2%, to $1,582.31.

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