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Damage from US hurricanes to blur Friday’s Sept. jobs report

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government’s September jobs report will provide a blurrier-than-usual snapshot of the economy. With Harvey and Irma having inflicted destruction on Florida, Texas and other parts of the Southeast, thousands of businesses had to shut their doors and left many people temporarily out of work. But a hiring rebound is expected for October or November.

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NKorean workers prep seafood going to US stores, restaurants

HUNCHUN, China (AP) — If you buy salmon from Walmart or ALDI, you may inadvertently have subsidized the North Korean government as it builds its nuclear weapons program, an AP investigation has found. That’s because North Korean workers outsourced to China prepare seafood that goes to stores in the U.S., Canada and the European Union, and the North Korean government takes up to 70 percent of their salaries. The companies said support for the North Korean government and forced labor were unacceptable.

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GOP tax cut: Small biz boon or loophole for rich and Trump?

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and his Republican partners in a nearly $6 trillion tax-cutting plan insist it would benefit middle-class Americans and not the wealthy. But a key provision would slash tax rates for a special kind of business set up by owners of profitable firms, including Trump and his family. The Republican tax overhaul would cut rates for businesses whose profits are taxed at the owners’ personal income rate.

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Wavering stocks inch a bit further into record heights

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market inched a bit further into record territory Wednesday after teeter-tottering through the day. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose by just a sliver, but it was enough to extend its longest winning streak in months.

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White House to seek $29B disaster aid package

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press has learned that the Trump administration is finalizing a $29 billion disaster aid package. It is set to combine $16 billion to shore up the government-backed flood insurance program and almost $13 billion for hurricane victims. The government-guaranteed flood insurance program is on track to run out of money to pay claims during the week of Oct. 23. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is continuing to spend money for relief operations at a high rate.

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Survey: US services sector improved at best pace in 12 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. services companies in September expanded at the strongest rate in dozen years as a measure for new orders climbed sharply. The Institute for Supply Management says its services index rose last month to 59.8 from 55.3 in August. The September reading was the highest since August 2005. Any reading above 50 signals growth. The services sector has expanded for 93 straight months.

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Yellen: Fed committed to easing regulations on smaller banks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the Fed is committed to making sure that the regulations it imposes on the nation’s community banks are not unduly burdensome. She notes a proposed rule issued last week to simplify requirements governing how much capital these banks must hold.

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Google unveils new phones, speakers to counter Amazon, Apple

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google on Wednesday unveiled new phones, smart speakers and other devices infused with artificial intelligence in its bid to claim the high ground against rivals Amazon and Apple. Its new Pixel phones feature larger, brighter screens and lose the headphone jack; Google also unveiled wireless headphones that can translate spoken language in real time. Google added two new smart speakers, one similar to Apple’s upcoming HomePod, the other a clone of Amazon’s Echo Dot.

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For Adidas and rivals, sponsorships are good business

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Multi-million dollar sponsorship deals of the kind between Adidas and the University of Louisville — in focus after a scandal over alleged bribes paid to high school athletes — are not just an effort to burnish the image of sports gear makers. They can be a cost-efficient way to boost sales against tough competition, marketing experts say.

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Prosecutor returns donation from lawyer in closed Trump case

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City prosecutor says he has returned a $32,000 campaign contribution from a lawyer who represented the Trump Organization in a fraud investigation that was ultimately dropped. The probe stemmed from a civil lawsuit filed by Trump SoHo condominium buyers, who accused the company of lying about sales figures. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said Wednesday the donation didn’t influence his thinking on the case but he doesn’t want it “to be a millstone around anybody’s neck.”

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The S&P 500 climbed 3.16 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,537.74. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19.97 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,661.64, and the Nasdaq composite picked up 2.91, or less than 0.1 percent, to 6,534.63. All three indexes added to records set a day earlier. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks slipped 4.20, or 0.3 percent, to 1,507.76.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 44 cents to settle at $49.98 per barrel, while Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, fell 20 cents to $55.80 per barrel. Natural gas rose 5 cents to settle at $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.77 a gallon and wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $1.58 per gallon.

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