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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Justice Department launches antitrust probe of Big Tech

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department says it is opening a sweeping antitrust investigation of big technology companies and whether their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers. It comes as a growing number of lawmakers have called for stricter regulation or even breaking up of the big tech companies, which have come under intense scrutiny following a series of scandals that compromised users' privacy.

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US economy dodges the threat of painful spending cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The budget agreement that congressional leaders and President Donald Trump forged late Monday spared the economy from a series of deep spending cuts that were set to take effect under a far-reaching budget law enacted in 2011. The agreement nullified those cuts and boosted spending by $320 billion over two years. Still, that additional spending isn't expected to deliver a significant jolt to the economy.

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Senators unveil compromise to reduce drug costs for seniors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senior senators — one Republican, one Democrat — are unveiling a rare compromise to reduce prescription drug costs for millions of Medicare recipients, while saving money for federal and state taxpayers. Staffers for Iowa Republican Charles Grassley and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden said Tuesday they're hoping for a committee vote this week. The bill for the first time would limit on drug copays for people on Medicare, capping the patient's out-of-pocket costs at $3,100 a year.

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Trump sues House panel, NY to protect state tax returns

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump is suing the House Ways and Means Committee and New York state officials to prevent his state tax returns from being turned over to the congressional committee. The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Washington, seeks an injection to block a new state law. The law, which went into effect earlier this month, would allow the Democratic-controlled House and Ways Means Committee to obtain the returns.

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Johnson's win elevates 'no-deal' Brexit risks to UK economy

LONDON (AP) — With Boris Johnson confirmed as the next leader of the Conservative Party and British prime minister, the outlook for the British economy has become murkier — and potentially more perilous. Johnson's victory has made it more likely that Britain could leave the European Union on Halloween without a withdrawal agreement, leading to tariffs and disruptions to trade.

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Coke shares hit all-time high as new drinks win customers

ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola shares rose to a record high after the company upped its full-year revenue expectations and said its new healthier drinks and iced coffees are winning customers. Shares of Coca-Cola Co. rose 5% to $53.82 in early trading Tuesday.

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Opposition rallies as Venezuela blackout eases in some areas

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's opposition sought to harness anger over a massive blackout that deepened hardship nationwide, but turnout at a Caracas demonstration was relatively modest as many Venezuelans despair of an imminent solution to their plight. Lights came back on in parts of the capital and other areas of Venezuela overnight following a nine-hour outage that the government blamed on an "electromagnetic attack" against the power grid. Government opponents say mismanagement and corruption are to blame.

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UPS adds pickup spots at retailers, seeks to fly more drones

NEW YORK (AP) — United Parcel Service is responding to the growth in online shopping and pressures for speedy delivery by seeking to expand its drone deliveries and adding thousands of new spots where customers can pick up packages. The Atlanta-based package delivery giant says it is adding 12,000 new package pickup locations inside CVS, The Michaels Co. and Advance Auto Parts stores. It is also setting up a subsidiary that to expand its drone-delivery operations.

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US home sales fall 1.7% with prices high and supply low

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales tumbled 1.7% in June. Rising prices and scarce inventory have locked out many Americans from ownership. The National Association of Realtors says that homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.27 million units. Sales have shriveled 2.2% over the past 12 months, despite positives such as a robust job market and falling mortgage rates.

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FDA warns top marijuana company for making CBD health claims

U.S. regulators have issued a warning to a leading marijuana company for making unproven health claims about CBD. The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday it has warned Curaleaf Inc., of Wakefield, Massachusetts, for illegally selling unapproved drugs. The company says it will work with the FDA to resolve the issues.

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Stocks close higher following solid earnings results

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks marched broadly higher on Wall Street Tuesday as several major companies reported solid second quarter results. Investors pushed stocks closer to the record highs they reached just over a week ago. Coca-Cola, Stanley Black & Decker and Hasbro all soared after beating Wall Street's profit forecasts. JPMorgan Chase and several other banks gained ground as bond yields rose. Utilities lagged.

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The S&P 500 index rose 20.44 points, or 0.7%, to 3,005.47. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 177.29 points, or 0.7%, to 27,349.19. The Nasdaq composite rose 47.27 points, or 0.6%, to 8,251.40. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 10.18 points, or 0.7%, to 1,554.96.