Business Highlights

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S&P 500 plunges in worst loss of year as trade war escalates

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks plunged to their worst loss of the year Monday, and investors around the world scrambled to sell on worries about how much President Donald Trump’s worsening trade war will damage the economy. Technology companies and banks bore the brunt of the selling. China let its currency drop to its lowest level against the dollar in more than a decade, a move Trump called “currency manipulation.”

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Newspaper chain GateHouse buying Gannett, USA Today owner

NEW YORK (AP) — Two of the country’s largest newspaper companies have agreed to combine in the latest media deal driven by the industry’s struggles with a decline of printed editions. GateHouse Media, a chain backed by an investment firm, is buying USA Today owner Gannett Co. for about $1.4 billion. The combined company would have more than 260 daily papers in the U.S. along with more than 300 weeklies.

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Lashing back, China lets yuan drop, halts US farm purchases

WASHINGTON (AP) — China decided Monday to meet President Donald Trump’s latest tariff threat with defiance, letting its currency drop to an 11-year low and halting purchases of U.S. farm products. The moves, which came four days after Trump threatened more taxes on Chinese imports, knocked stock markets worldwide into a tailspin.

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Sporadic outages at 8chan and a new host after mass shooting

BOSTON (AP) — An online message board with a history of use by violent extremists is suffering sporadic outages after its cybersecurity provider cut off support for what it called a “cesspool of hate” following mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. However, the new company hosting 8chan has been tolerant of hate speech.

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HSBC says its CEO to leave after just 18 months

LONDON (AP) — HSBC has announced the surprise departure of CEO John Flint after 18 months in the job, saying the bank needs new leadership. Flint spent almost 30 years at HSBC before being named CEO last year. A statement by HSBC chairman Mark Tucker said, “the board believes a change is needed to meet the challenges that we face and to capture the very significant opportunities before us.” The bank’s chief executive of global commercial banking, Noel Quinn, will serve temporarily as CEO.

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India’s Chennai rapid growth threatened by water shortages

CHENNAI, India (AP) — With dozens of billion-dollar companies and thousands of high-paying IT and manufacturing jobs, the Indian city of Chennai has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. But now it’s running out of water, threatening to halt all that growth. The shortfall is disrupting business at all levels, forcing the government to spend huge sums to desalinate sea water, bring water by train and deploy water trucks to households.

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Moon calls for ‘peace economy’ with N. Korea, slams Japan

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s president has described the country’s escalating trade war with Japan as a wake-up call to revamp its economy and has issued a nationalistic call for economic cooperation with North Korea. Moon Jae-in said cooperating with the North would allow the Koreas to erase Japan’s economic superiority. He made the comments in a meeting with senior aides to discuss Japan’s move to downgrade South Korea’s trade status and tighten controls on exports to South Korean manufacturers.

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Survey: US services sector slips to worst growth in 3 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — The pace of expansion for U.S. services companies fell to its slowest pace in nearly three years, as gauges of business activity and new orders weakened. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, says its non-manufacturing index fell to 53.7 from 55.1 in June. The July measure was the weakest since August 2016. Readings above 50 signal growth, so the index suggests that overall growth will continue but has downshifted.

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The S&P 500 dropped 87.31 points, or 3%, to 2,844.74. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 767.27, or 2.9%, to 25,717.74, and the Nasdaq composite fell 278.03, or 3.5%, to 7,726.04. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 46.25, or 3%, to 1,487.41.

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