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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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EU fines Google a record $5 billion over mobile practices

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union has fined Google a record $5 billion for forcing cellphone makers that use the company's Android mobile operating system to install Google apps. The EU says that has reduced choice for consumers. Wednesday's ruling caps three years of investigation and means Google will have to change its ways. The company has appealed the decision.

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Auto industry cries foul as Trump moves toward car tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Having started a trade war with China and enraged U.S. allies with steel tariffs, President Donald Trump is primed for his next fight. He is targeting a product at the heart of the American experience: cars. His latest plan is to slap tariffs on imported autos and auto parts — a move he says would aid American workers but that could inflate car prices, make U.S. manufacturers less competitive and draw retaliation from other nations.

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Frustrated US lawmakers threaten action on Trump's tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress is losing patience with the Trump administration's reliance on tariffs to win trade disputes. A key Republican senator has threatened legislation to curb President Donald Trump's trade actions and others joined him on Wednesday in promising a complementary bill. Meanwhile, lawmakers are using congressional hearings to put the spotlight on the economic fallout for local farmers and businesses. The prospects for any votes on trade legislation before the August recess are dim.

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Fed says trade war downturn could pose challenges

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says that the central bank has tools it could employ to cushion the adverse effects a trade war might have on the economy. But he says the effort coud be complicated if higher tariffs made inflation worse.

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AmEx 2Q profits rise, but there are worry spots on lending

NEW YORK (AP) -- American Express said its second-quarter profit rose 21 percent from a year ago, as the credit card giant saw more customers spending on its namesake cards and a much lower tax rate. But it had to set aside more money to cover potential bad loans, and saw its delinquency rate rise noticeably. It's a potential sign that some of American Express' customers — typically the most creditworthy in the industry — are struggling to pay their bills.

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Regulators seek end to stricter oversight of Zions Bancorp

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A panel of federal regulators is proposing lifting the strict government oversight imposed on Zions Bancorp, a big regional bank that received a taxpayer-funded bailout during the 2008 financial crisis. The unanimous decision by the Financial Stability Oversight Council announced Wednesday is the latest example of a push, under the Trump administration, to relieve regulatory restrictions that were put into place after the financial meltdown in hopes of averting another crisis.

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Tesla Model 3 buyers lose patience and maybe tax credits

DETROIT (AP) -- For many on the list to buy Tesla's lower-priced electric car, the wait for Tesla to produce enough to satisfy demand isn't a major problem. But the prospect of losing a U.S. federal tax credit is. While CEO Elon Musk's company uses a tent to create more factory space and crank out more Model 3s, many on the waiting list worry about the looming phaseout of the $7,500 credit on Tesla vehicles. If it goes away, the car could cost too much, forcing them to cancel orders.

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US coal ash pollution rules eased after industry balks

DENVER (AP) -- The Trump administration is easing rules for handling toxic coal ash from more than 400 coal-fired power plants across the U.S. after utilities objected to regulations adopted under former President Barack Obama. Environmental Protection Agency acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the changes will save utilities roughly $30 million annually. Most of the savings come from extending by 18 months the deadline for utilities to close ash dumps that don't meet water protection standards.

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US stocks edge higher as airlines, railroads and banks jump

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks finish with modest gains as transportation companies including railroads and airlines rose following strong earnings reports. Banks also climbed. CSX, United Continental and W.W. Grainger all jumped. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway rose sharply after it loosened its rules on stock repurchases. Household goods and technology companies slipped.

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The S&P 500 index rose 6.07 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,815.62. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 79.40 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,199.29. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.67 points to 7,854.44. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 4.61 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,691.87.

Benchmark U.S. crude recovered from an early loss and rose 1 percent to $68.76 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 1 percent to settle at $72.90 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline climbed 0.9 percent to $2.04 a gallon. Heating oil gained 1 percent to $2.09 a gallon. Natural gas fell 0.7 percent to $2.72 per 1,000 cubic feet.