Business Highlights

Updated at: 08/15/2017 10:54 PM
By The Associated Press

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Biz leaders quit Trump panel after Charlottesville comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday ripped into the four business leaders who resigned from his White House jobs panel — the latest sign that corporate America's romance with Trump is faltering — after his equivocal response to violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. "They're not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country," the president said at an impromptu news conference at Trump Tower in New York City.

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As the laid-off struggle, high-tech US plants offer jobs

NORWOOD, Ohio (AP) — As companies increasingly embrace automation, robotics and other advanced technology, many in the workforce don't have the education and new skills needed. Rust Belt blue-collar workers who helped deliver the presidency to Donald Trump liked his tough talk on bringing back jobs from overseas, but there are actually plenty of jobs open in U.S. manufacturing.

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Rhetoric over: 3-nation efforts to revise NAFTA begin

WASHINGTON (AP) — Economists and trade analysts see opportunities to improve NAFTA, which eliminated most barriers on trade among the United States, Canada and Mexico. If nothing else, the pact could be updated to reflect the growth of the digital economy.

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Report: Higher premiums if Trump halts 'Obamacare' subsidies

WASHINGTON (AP) — People buying individual health care policies would face sharply higher premiums, and some may be left with no insurance options if President Donald Trump makes good on his threat to stop "Obamacare" payments to insurers, congressional experts said Tuesday. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office also estimated that cutting off the payments would add $194 billion to federal deficits over a decade.

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US retail sales jumped 0.6 percent in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers went out shopping in a big way in July, pushing up retail sales by the largest amount in seven months. The Commerce Department says retail sales advanced 0.6 percent last month, the best showing since a gain of 0.9 percent last December.

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Trump seeks probe by his trade office of China's practices

BEDMINSTER, N.J. (AP) — President Donald Trump has asked his trade office to consider investigating China for the alleged theft of American technology and intellectual property. Trump returned to Washington during his vacation in New Jersey to sign an executive action on the probe. In remarks at the White House, he suggested that more steps would be taken against China on trade issues.

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US homebuilder sentiment climbs in August

U.S. homebuilders are feeling more optimistic about their sales prospects, reflecting a pickup in demand and positive expectations about further growth the rest of this year. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday rose to 68 this month. That's up four points from a reading of 64 in July and the highest level since May.

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South Carolina sues drug manufacturer over opioid crisis

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina has become the latest state to accuse a drug manufacturer of exacerbating its opioid drug crisis by using deceptive marketing, with the state's top prosecutor suing the maker of OxyContin. Attorney General Alan Wilson on Tuesday announced the state had sued Purdue Pharma, accusing the maker of OxyContin and other opioid drugs of violating South Carolina's Unfair Trade Practices Act.

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Elizabeth Duke to become next chairwoman of Wells Fargo

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Wells Fargo says Elizabeth Duke will become its chairwoman next year, making her the first woman to hold the position at a major Wall Street bank. The bank said in a statement Tuesday that Duke will replace Stephen Sanger on Jan. 1. Sanger took over as independent chairman late last year after John Stumpf, Wells Fargo's then CEO and chairman, abruptly resigned in the aftermath of the bank's sales practices scandal.

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Teamsters acquitted of threats, extortion of 'Top Chef' crew

BOSTON (AP) — Four Teamsters have been acquitted of threatening "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi and using strong-arm tactics to try to extort jobs from a nonunion company filming the reality TV show in the Boston area. A federal jury found the men not guilty Tuesday after 20 hours of deliberations. Lakshmi testified she was "terrified" when one of the men confronted her outside a restaurant in 2014.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 1.23 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,464.61. The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 5.28 points to 21,998.99. The Nasdaq composite fell 7.22 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,333.01. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks shed 11.07 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,383.24.

U.S. crude oil lost 4 cents to $47.55 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, added 7 cents to $50.80 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline remained at $1.58 a gallon. Heating oil lost 1 cent to $1.60 a gallon. Natural gas fell 2 cents to $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet.

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)