AP NEWS

Business Highlights

December 3, 2019 GMT

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Forever war: US and China struggle to defuse trade conflict

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses and investors have been nervously monitoring U.S.-China trade talks for months, hoping the world’s two biggest economies can de-escalate their trade war and restore some predictability to global commerce. President Donald Trump delivered another setback to the optimists, saying he was willing to wait until after the 2020 elections to close a deal with Beijing.

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France to retaliate if US doubles Champagne, cheese prices

PARIS (AP) — France is bristling at a U.S. threat to slap steep tariffs on French cheeses, Champagne and other products. French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday in a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump that the measure would amount to an attack on all of Europe. Macron and his finance minister both warned of a European riposte.

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Google co-founders step down as execs of parent Alphabet

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are stepping down from their roles within the parent company, Alphabet. Google CEO Sundar Pichai will stay in his role and also become CEO of Alphabet. Page had been serving as CEO of Alphabet, while Brin was president of Alphabet. Pichai has been leading Google for more than four years. Brin and Page have been noticeably absent from company events in recent months. Both founders promised they plan to stay active as board members and shareholders.

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Workers fired from Google plan federal labor complaint

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Four people recently fired by Google are planning to file a federal labor complaint, claiming the company unfairly retaliated against them for organizing workers around social causes. Google disputes that they fired the employees for organizing activity, but rather for seeking and sharing documents outside the scope of their jobs. The upcoming filing with the National Labor Relations Board comes as employee activists complain that Google is closing off its open, collaborative work culture.

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Trump says China deal could wait until after 2020 election

LONDON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday downplayed the likelihood of reaching a U.S.-China trade deal before next year’s elections — and then shrugged off the tailspin that his remarks caused in the stock market. Speaking in London, where he is attending a NATO summit, Trump said he had “no deadline″ to end the 16-month trade war between the world’s two largest economies, which has caused economic damage for both sides.

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Lawyer: Elon Musk’s ‘pedo guy’ tweet forced diver to sue

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A lawyer says Elon Musk’s defamatory tweets branding a British diver a pedophile ruined what should have been a proud moment following a high-profile rescue. The attorney told jurors Tuesday that Musk’s tweet calling the diver “pedo guy” overshadowed his role in rescuing a dozen boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand. An attorney for the billionaire Tesla CEO calls the tweets a joke and says the diver belittled Musk’s efforts to contribute to last year’s rescue.

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AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s misstatements at NATO summit

WASHINGTON (AP) — An AP Fact Check finds some misstatements by President Donald Trump at the NATO summit in London. For one, Trump said the U.S. never won disputes at the World Trade Organization before his presidency. Actually, the U.S. has always had a high success rate there. One trade analyst found that the U.S. had won 91% of the time. Trump also dismissed the idea that he wants to negotiate access to Britain’s government-run health system in trade talks. He called that a mysterious “rumor.” But months ago, he said that the British health system would be on the table in trade talks.

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Gun background checks are on pace to break record in 2019

Background checks on gun purchases in the U.S. are climbing toward a record high this year. The firearms industry says people are rushing to buy weapons in reaction to the Democratic presidential candidates’ calls for tighter restrictions. By the end of November, more than 25.4 million background checks — generally seen as a strong indicator of gun sales — had been conducted by the FBI.

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US stocks fall for 3rd straight day over more trade worries

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed broadly lower and bond prices rose sharply on Wall Street after President Donald Trump cast doubt over the potential for a trade deal with China this year. Technology companies, banks and industrial stocks accounted for much of the sell-off Tuesday, which extended the S&P 500’s losing streak to a third day. Utilities and real estate stocks rose. Trump said he has “no deadline” for a trade deal and doesn’t mind waiting until after the 2020 election to make one.

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The S&P 500 index fell 20.67 points, or 0.7%, to 3,093.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 280.23 points, or 1%, to 27,502.81. The Nasdaq dropped 47.34 points, or 0.6%, to 8,520.64. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gave up 4.95 points, or 0.3%, to 1,602.63.