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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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To some market vets, stocks are rallying like it's 1999

NEW YORK (AP) -- The furious rally for stocks this year, so quickly on the heels of last year's scary tumble, is reminding some investors of the market's rebound in late 1998. Few, if any, analysts on Wall Street are predicting a redux of 1999 and 2000, when the market inflated into the dot-com bubble. But the similarities are plentiful enough that investors are taking note, and some are pushing the idea that stocks can keep rising even with so many recession fears still hanging over the market.

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China's economic growth steady amid tariff fight with US

SHANGHAI (AP) -- China's economic growth held steady at 6.4% over a year ago in the latest quarter, raising hopes a slowdown might be bottoming out as efforts to spur growth might be gaining traction. A revival in Chinese growth and demand for imports could help to shore up weakening global economic activity. But the growth in the first quarter was the weakest since 2009.

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Sleek new SUVs dominate reveals at New York auto show

NEW YORK (AP) -- Auto shows may be waning in importance as companies find other ways to introduce new products, but the New York International Auto Show still has a healthy list of new vehicle debuts. In keeping with the dramatic shift from cars to sport utilities, most of the new models are SUVs. Subaru will roll out a new Outback, while Toyota has a new Highlander. Hyundai is offering a new subcompact SUV called the Venue. And Ford's Lincoln brand will unveil a new small SUV.

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US trade deficit narrows to $49.4 billion in February

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. trade deficit fell for the second straight month in February, and the politically sensitive deficit in the trade of goods with China narrowed. The Commerce Department says the gap between the goods and services that the United States sells and what it buys from the rest of the world dropped 3.4% to $49.4 billion in February, the lowest since June.

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EU threatens to tax $20 billion of US goods over Boeing aid

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union has drawn up a list of $20 billion worth of U.S. products it could tax in an escalating feud over plane industry subsidies. The European Commission said Wednesday it could tax the products, which range from aircraft parts to frozen fish, in retaliation for U.S. financial support to Boeing that it says hurt Europe's Airbus.

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Shop online? Ways to reduce damage to the environment

NEW YORK (AP) -- Toothpaste delivered in two days is convenient, but not so great for the environment. Outside of ditching online shopping altogether, there are some small tweaks you can make as a shopper that can lower the impact on the environment, such as slowing down shipping times and not filling up the cart with stuff you know you won't keep. Other tips: send items to a locker to pick up and return online orders to a physical store, if you can.

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Shared electric scooters surge, overtaking docked bikes

NEW YORK (AP) -- Electric scooters are overtaking station-based bicycles as the most popular form of shared micromobility. According to a new report, riders took 38.5 million trips on shared electric scooters in 2018, eclipsing the 36.5 million trips riders took on shared, docked bicycles. Scooter companies are facing challenges including vandalism, rider injuries and city regulations. Yet venture capitalists, ride-hailing companies and traditional auto manufacturers pour millions into the fledgling companies.

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Apple, Qualcomm settle bitter dispute over iPhone technology

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Apple and mobile chip maker Qualcomm have settled a bitter financial dispute centered on some of the technology that enables iPhones to connect to the internet. The surprise truce announced Tuesday came just as the former allies turned antagonists were facing off in a federal court trial that was supposed to unfold over the next month in San Diego. Apple had been seeking at least $1 billion while Qualcomm was seeking $7 billion for unpaid royalties for the use of its technology.

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Greek PM says he will revive bid for German WWII reparations

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece's prime minister says his government will formally revive a long-standing demand for Germany to pay vast reparations for the World War II Nazi occupation. Alexis Tsipras says that now Greece has exited its bailout programs, in which Germany was a key creditor, it can't be accused of trying to offset its massive debt with the reparation demands. A German government spokesman says the matter has been conclusively settled in legal and political terms.

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Health care companies lead US stocks lower; small-caps slump

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks finished a wobbly day of trading on Wall Street Wednesday with modest losses that erased most of the market's slight gains from a day earlier. A sharp sell-off in health care companies far outweighed gains in technology and other sectors. Smaller company stocks fell more than the rest of the market. Insurers helped drive the health care sector slide for the second straight day. Qualcomm led the gainers in the technology sector.