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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Scam ads promoting fake tax breaks prosper on Facebook

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hundreds of ads have been running on Facebook for more than a year promising that governors across the country had signed off on big tax breaks for U.S. homeowners who wanted to install new solar energy panels. Problem is, the tax incentives didn't exist. Experts say these kinds of ads show how easily misinformation festers online and raises questions about whether big tech companies are really capable of policing their own ads.

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May: UK to seek further Brexit delay, try to break logjam

LONDON (AP) -- Prime Minister Theresa May says that she will seek to further delay Britain's exit from the European Union and seek to make an accord with the political opposition in a bid to break the Brexit impasse. May has made the announcement after the EU's chief negotiator warned that a chaotic and costly Brexit was likely in just 10 days unless Britain snapped out of the political crisis that has paralyzed the government and Parliament.

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Delta, AmEx renew credit card deal; Delta boosts outlook

NEW YORK (AP) -- American Express and Delta Air Lines are extending their credit card partnership through 2029, a significant extension of one of the larger financial partnerships between a major U.S. airline and a credit card company. Delta also raised its outlook for first-quarter profit, helping to lift its shares and the shares of other airlines.

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Lyft's stock slump signals beginning of bumpy ride

NEW YORK (AP) -- When Lyft made its hotly anticipated debut on the public market, its stock jumped 21% to $87.24 a share, up from its offering price of $72. Flash forward two days later and its stock has fallen below the IPO price and languished at around $68 in what has become the beginning of a bumpy ride for the ride-hailing company.

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High prices, interest rates push 1Q US auto sales down 2%

DETROIT (AP) -- Automobile sales in the U.S. fell 2% in the first quarter, another sign the nation's economy is starting to slow. Automakers sold just over 4 million vehicles from January through March, and industry analysts blame the decline on rising vehicle prices, competition from an abundant supply of late-model used vehicles and relatively high interest rates. Weak car sales, harsh winter weather and the partial government shutdown also had an impact.

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Walgreens lowers 2019 expectations after 2Q forecast miss

Walgreens slashed its 2019 forecast and missed second-quarter expectations with a performance that sent its shares plunging Tuesday and helped knock down the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Company leaders told analysts that challenges they had been expecting like reimbursement cuts and lower price increases for branded drugs hit Walgreens much sooner than they anticipated.

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World trade forecasts slashed again amid US-China standoff

GENEVA (AP) -- The World Trade Organization has cut its forecast for trade growth this year by more than a percentage point, to 2.6%, due to an economic slowdown and amid a trade conflict between the United States and China. The Geneva-based trade body expects an uptick in trade growth by volume to 3% next year.

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Senate committee to investigate FAA safety inspectors

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Senate committee is investigating whether some FAA safety inspectors were poorly trained or lacked proper credentials for their work. The committee chairman says the investigation is based on complaints from multiple whistleblowers. Some of the inspectors might have helped develop pilot-training requirements for the Boeing 737 Max, the plane that has been involved in 2 deadly crashes within 5 months.

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Pioneering legal pot states aim to ease rules on industry

SEATTLE (AP) -- When Washington and Colorado launched their pioneering recreational marijuana industries in the face of federal prohibition, they imposed strict rules in hopes of keeping the U.S. Justice Department at bay. Five years later, lawmakers are on the verge of easing the rules at the behest of businesses who say Washington and Colorado's industries risk falling behind. There are now 10 states that have legalized the adult use of marijuana, and many have taken a more permissive approach.

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Texas company cited in past by EPA

HOUSTON (AP) -- The company that owns a Texas chemical plant where fire broke out has had environmental violations in the past. In 2016, KMCO's corporate agents pleaded guilty to a federal criminal charge of violating the Clean Air Act.

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US stock indexes cap listless trading day with mixed finish

NEW YORK (AP) -- A day of listless trading on Wall Street ended with an uneven finish for stock indexes as the market lost some of its momentum after a three-day winning streak. After a brief early slide, U.S. stocks mostly wavered between small gains and losses through the rest of the day, as gains for some big technology companies were offset by losses in other sectors. The S&P 500 eked out a tiny gain, good enough to extend the benchmark index's winning streak into a fourth day. Small-company stocks fell.

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The S&P 500 index edged up 0.05 of a point, or less than 0.1%, to 2,867.24. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.29 points, or 0.3%, to 26,179.13. The Nasdaq composite index rose 19.78 points, or 0.3%, to 7,848.69. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gave up 2.74 points, or 0.2%, to 1,553.32.