Business Highlights

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Stocks end rocky month lower as Trump widens trade war

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed out a turbulent month on Wall Street with another round of sharp losses Friday after President Trump announced plans to expand a trade war to Mexico. The move shocked investors who already worried that a global trade war could crimp economic and corporate growth. The broad sell-off sliced more than 350 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Friday’s selling punctuated a monthlong slide for the market, which ended May with its first monthly loss of 2019.

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Mexico pushes dialogue on Trump tariff threats

MEXICO CITY (AP) — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says Mexico won’t panic over U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat of coercive tariffs. Economists say the measures could have dramatic consequences for both nations and potentially spur a full-blown trade war. Trump set a June 10 deadline for Mexico to do more to slow immigration through its territory or else all of its exports stand to be hit with 5% duties. And he threatened to possibly increase the tariffs incrementally, up to 25%.

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US companies are in line of fire of tariffs aimed at Mexico

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s surprise threat Friday to impose escalating tariffs on Mexican imports jolted industry leaders throughout the U.S. economy, sparked sharp opposition even from usual Trump allies and set the stage for American consumers to face higher prices. Trump vowed to slap a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports on June 10, just over a week away, and raise those tariffs to 25% by October, unless Mexico stops the flow of Central American migrants into the U.S.

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Huawei retaliation? China draws up list of ‘unreliables’

BEIJING (AP) — China is issuing an ominous but vague warning, saying it is drawing up a list of “unreliable” parties in what could signal retaliation for U.S. sanctions on Huawei. The Chinese tech giant has been further hobbled by restrictions on participating in global technology standards-setting groups.

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China factory activity falls contracts in May amid dispute

BEIJING (AP) — China’s factory activity fell into contraction territory in May amid an ongoing trade dispute with the U.S. that has seen higher tariffs slapped on Chinese exports. The National Bureau of Statistics and an industry group, the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing, said Friday that the composite purchasing managers’ index of China dropped to 49.4 in May, down from 50.1 in April. Any reading below 50 shows that manufacturing activity is contracting.

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Renault board to vote next week on merger with Fiat Chrysler

PARIS (AP) — French automaker Renault says its board will meet on Tuesday to vote on a possible merger with Fiat Chrysler. Fiat Chrysler has proposed to merge with Renault to create the world’s third-biggest automaker, worth almost $40 billion, and combine forces in the race to make electric and autonomous vehicles.

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Trump to award Medal of Freedom to conservative economist

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is set to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist Arthur Laffer. Laffer is known as the father of supply side economics, which gained popularity under President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. The 78-year-old Laffer has been supportive of the president and co-wrote a book titled “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy.” The medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor.

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Oregon, awash in marijuana, takes steps to curb production

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are trying to curb pot production by giving the Oregon Liquor Control Commission more leeway to deny new pot-growing licenses based on supply and demand. The bill flew through the House late Thursday on a 39-18 vote and was passed by the Senate earlier. It is aimed not just at reducing the huge surplus but at preventing diversion of unsold legal marijuana into the black market and forestalling a crackdown by federal prosecutors.

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Year-round sales of gasoline mixed with 15% ethanol OK’d

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Trump administration is following through on a plan to allow year-round sales of gasoline mixed with 15% ethanol. The Environmental Protection Agency announced the change Friday, ending a summertime ban imposed out of concerns for increased smog from the higher ethanol blend. The change also fulfills a pledge that President Donald Trump made to U.S. corn farmers to allow the higher ethanol sales year-round.

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Union warns Disney World fire department is understaffed

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Firefighters for Walt Disney World’s private government say they’re understaffed, and they say that poses a safety risk. Leaders of a union representing the firefighters say the problem is increasing as the 25,000-acre Florida theme park resort grows even bigger.. The administrator of Disney’s government accuses the union of trying to negotiate its collective bargaining agreement in the media and says staffing levels are appropriate.

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The S&P 500 index fell 36.80 points, or 1.3%, to 2,752.06. It’s the first time the S&P 500 has dropped for four straight weeks since autumn 2014. The Dow dropped 354.84 points, or 1.4%, to 24,815.04. The Nasdaq slid 114.57 points, or 1.5%, to 7,453.15. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 20.04 points, or 1.4%, to 1,465.49.

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