Business Highlights

Updated at: 05/29/2017 3:27 PM
By The Associated Press

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G7 leaders pressure tech firms on removing terror propaganda

TAORMINA, Sicily (AP) — Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies are putting pressure on internet companies and social media sites to do more to stop the spread of "hateful ideology," appealing to their sense of social responsibility to more swiftly identify and remove terror propaganda. The measure, signed by the seven leaders including President Donald Trump, was a sign of solidarity with Britain following the attack on Manchester that killed 22 outside a pop music concert.

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Trump criticizes German trade surplus, again

TAORMINA, Sicily (AP) — President Trump's criticism of Germany's trade surplus with the United States is getting attention again as leaders of seven wealthy democracies gather for difficult talks on trade and climate change. Germany's Der Spiegel started things off by reporting that Trump said Germans were "bad, very bad" on trade during conversations with EU leaders in Brussels ahead of the Group of Seven summit in Taormina, Sicily.

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Trump views on climate 'evolving' amid push from Europeans

TAORMINA, Italy (AP) — A top White House official says President Donald Trump's views on climate change are "evolving" following his discussions with European leaders who are pushing him to stay in the Paris climate accord. Economic adviser Gary Cohn says Trump feels "much more knowledgeable" about the matter following his meetings Friday with leaders at the Group of 7 meeting in Sicily.

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White House adviser differs with coal-loving president

WASHINGTON (AP) — The president's chief economic adviser is casting doubt on the future of U.S. coal, saying it "doesn't really make that much sense anymore as a feedstock." The comment by Gary Cohn directly contradicts President Donald Trump's repeated promises to revive the struggling coal industry. Cohn says that by exporting more natural gas and investing in wind and solar energy, the U.S. "can be a manufacturing powerhouse and still be environmentally friendly."

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Off-lease used cars are flooding market, pushing prices down

DETROIT (AP) — In 2014, Infiniti leased more than 28,000 Q50 luxury sedans for as little as $329 per month in a growing U. S. market. The leases accounted for more than three-quarters of Q50 sales. Now they're coming back to haunt the automaker. Like other companies that juiced sales with sweet leases, Infiniti faces a flood of nice off-lease used cars. Already it's lowering used car prices and raising the cost of leases.

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US growth in Jan.-March upgraded to still-slow 1.2 pct. rate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of the economy — grew in the January-March quarter at a 1.2 percent annual rate, the government estimated Friday. That was better than an initial estimate of a 0.7 percent rate but well below President Donald Trump's growth targets, which most economists consider unrealistic.

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States struggle with oversight of online charter schools

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — As enrollment in online charter schools explodes, states are struggling to keep up and to put in place regulations ensuring students get a real education and cyber schools get the right amount of funding. The future of virtual schools is part of the larger school-choice debate, seeing renewed attention since the installation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. She is an online charter investor and advocate who sees them as a valuable option for students. While some perform well, the sector has been plagued by accounts of low standards, mismanagement, and inflated participation counts at schools that are reimbursed based on the number of enrolled students.

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More records, barely, as stocks rise for 7th day

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks finish a bit higher and mark new records with their seventh gain in a row. Consumer-focused companies rise while health care companies slip. The price of oil is recovers following its latest plunge.

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Jay Z's Tidal streaming service loses its 3rd CEO in 2 years

NEW YORK (AP) — Jay Z's Tidal streaming service has lost its third CEO in two years. Tidal said Friday that Jeffrey Toig has left the company, which was launched in 2015 and is co-owned by Beyonce, Madonna, Rihanna, Kanye West and others. The streaming service said in a statement that it will announce a new CEO "in the coming weeks."

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Company faces backlash for pulling Hannity ads

NEW YORK (AP) — The financial services firm USAA is facing a backlash for pulling advertising from Sean Hannity's Fox News Channel show. The company caters to U.S. military members and veterans. The company says its policy is not to advertise on opinionated shows, but it recently also aired commercials on MSNBC programs starring Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell.

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Colorado oil tank blast kills worker, spurs safety questions

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's governor says state and federal agencies are investigating an oil tank explosion that killed a worker and burned three others. Gov. John Hickenlooper said Friday that the state will take action as needed to ensure it doesn't happen again. Thursday's fire has raised new questions about safety in one of Colorado's largest industries — oil and gas extraction.

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The S&P 500 index added 0.75 points to 2,415.82. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 2.67 points to 21,080.28. The Nasdaq composite rose 4.94 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,210.19.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 90 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $49.80 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, added 69 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $52.15 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline added 3 cents to $1.64 a gallon. Heating oil gained 1 cent to $1.56 a gallon. Natural gas rose 5 cents to $3.24 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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