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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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As global economic picture dims, solutions seem out of reach

WASHINGTON (AP) — Factories are slumping, many businesses are paralyzed, global growth is sputtering and the world's two mightiest economies are in the grip of a dangerous trade war. Barely a year after most of the world's major countries were enjoying an unusual period of shared prosperity, the global economy may be at risk of returning to the rut it tumbled into after the financial crisis of 2007-2009.

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China warns US tariffs will 'escalate trade friction'

BEIJING (AP) — China has appealed to Washington to 'meet each other halfway' and settle a tariff war. A government spokesman warned planned U.S. tariff hikes will 'escalate trade friction.' The Trump administration has postponed some tariff increases previously planned for Sept. 1 on Chinese imports but others are due to go ahead.

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Powell may signal future rate cuts, but would they matter?

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Jerome Powell delivers the keynote speech Friday to an annual gathering of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Federal Reserve chairman may signal to the world what the Fed will do — or can do — to help the economy and restore confidence. The question, though, is: Would a rate cut — or even multiple rate cuts — really matter?

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Report shows US deficit to exceed $1 trillion next year

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the federal deficit expected to swell to more than $1 trillion in the next fiscal year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the federal debt is on an unsustainable course. The CBO issued its latest projection on Wednesday, taking into account for the first time this summer's big budget deal reached by President Donald Trump and Congress. CBO director Phillip Swagel says lawmakers will have to increase taxes or cut spending or both to get the country on a sustainable footing.

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Return of the king: Salmon rebounds after California drought

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Coast fishermen and seafood lovers are toasting the return of wild king salmon. Commercial fishermen in California say this salmon fishing season is one of the best in years. It's a sharp reversal for chinook, or king, salmon, a species that helps sustain many Pacific Coast fishing communities. The past few years have seen extremely low catches, which resulted from poor ocean conditions and California's historic drought.

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Long-term mortgage rates near historic lows: 30-year 3.55%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates are near historically low levels, with the average on the benchmark 30-year loan falling this week to its lowest level since November 2016. The low borrowing rates have been a boon to prospective homebuyers, even as financial markets around the world have swooned amid anxiety over the global economy. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.55% this week from 3.60% last week.

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Fans choose sides in the 'Chicken Sandwich War' of our time

NEW YORK (AP) — A nation already polarized finds itself divided once again, but this time politics isn't at the heart of it: The blame lies squarely on a fried piece of poultry. People are choosing sides and beefing over chicken, thanks to Popeyes' release of its crispy chicken sandwich and the social media debate that has ensued.

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Apple wants people to know how to clean its new credit card

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple believes some of its zealous customers will treasure its new titanium credit card so much that they will spend time polishing its white finish. That's why Apple has posted instructions on how to clean the card properly and warned about what kinds of materials might leave blemishes that are difficult to remove. The reverence that Apple seemed to be according its new credit card triggered widespread derision on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet.

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Overstock CEO resigns after 'Deep State' comments roil stock

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The CEO of Overstock.com has resigned, saying he'd become "far too controversial" to helm the e-commerce company. Patrick Byrne's resignation Thursday came after the company issued a bizarre statement last week in which the former CEO referred to the "Deep State," called federal agents "Men in Black" and confirmed a journalist's stories detailing his relationship with Maria Butina, a gun-rights activist who was sentenced to prison for being an unregistered agent of Russia.

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US stock indexes end mixed ahead of Fed chairman speech

NEW YORK (AP) — A wobbly day on Wall Street left stock indexes mostly lower Thursday as investors turned cautious ahead of a widely anticipated speech by the Federal Reserve chairman. Losses in health care, technology and energy companies, among other sectors, outweighed gains in banks, consumer goods makers and elsewhere. Questions from two Fed bank presidents about the need for rate cuts appeared to dim investors' expectations ahead of the speech by Fed Reserve Chairman Powell on Friday.

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The S&P 500 fell 1.48 points, or 0.1%, to 2,922.95. The Dow gained 49.51 points, or 0.2%, to 26,252.24. The Nasdaq dropped 28.82 points, or 0.4%, to 7,991.39. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks lost 3.85 points, or 0.3%, to 1,506.