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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Record highs for US stocks; Dow crosses 21,000-point mark

Investors bet big on U.S. stocks Wednesday, giving the market its biggest single-day gain in nearly four months and pushing the major indexes to record highs. Banks were the biggest gainers amid heightened expectations that an improving economy will lead to higher interest rates. Energy stocks also notched big gains. Utilities and real estate stocks lagged. The dollar strengthened against the yen and euro and other major currencies. Bond prices fell, as did the price of crude oil and gold.

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Snap passes big test: IPO at $17 a share, above expectation

NEW YORK (AP) -- Snap Inc. passed its first major test on Wall Street on Wednesday, when the company behind the popular messaging app Snapchat priced its initial public offering of 200 million shares at $17 each. That's above the expected range of $14 to $16. Snap is expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the symbol "SNAP." Snap's IPO is one of the most anticipated for a technology company since Twitter's stock market debut in 2013.

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McDonald's lays out plan it hopes can reverse drop in visits

NEW YORK (AP) -- McDonald's laid out plans it hopes will reverse a 500 million drop in customer transactions since 2012. The company says one reason for the decline was doing away with its Dollar Menu, and that it will do more to offer compelling value. It will offer mobile order-and-pay and curbside pickup in the U.S. toward the end of the year, and noted it's looking at delivery in major markets like the U.S.

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IRS: Deadline near to get $1 billion unclaimed 2013 refunds

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The IRS says it has $1 billion in unclaimed refunds from 2013, and time is running out to claim them. Under federal law, there is no fine for failing to file a tax return — as long as you are owed a refund. But taxpayers have only three years to claim them. After that, they are forfeited to the U.S. Treasury.

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Twitter adds more safety tools, will curb abusive accounts

NEW YORK (AP) -- Twitter is announcing more new tools intended to curb abuse, part of an ongoing effort to protect its users from hate and harassment. It is the second time in three weeks the company has released new features aimed at rooting out abusive content, signaling that it's getting more serious about the issue after being criticized for not doing enough in the decade since its founding.

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Hershey expects to cut 15 percent of global workforce

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hershey says it expects to cut its global workforce by about 15 percent, with the reductions coming mostly from hourly employees outside the United States. The Pennsylvania-based maker of Reese's, Kit Kat and Twizzlers also cut its long-term sales growth forecast to between 2 percent and 4 percent, down from the previous 3 percent to 5 percent.

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Harley-Davidson may differ with Trump on trade solution

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson, which President Donald Trump has singled out as a company facing trade barriers, may disagree with his proposed solution to the problem. Trump said executives from Harley-Davidson told him they have trouble selling motorcycles overseas because of high taxes. Harley said in a letter to the U.S. trade negotiator in January that it opposes increasing duties on motorcycles coming from Europe because it could lead to retaliation.

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After argument with driver, Uber CEO promises to 'grow up'

Uber's CEO is known for battling with critics and local governments, but a video of an argument with one of his own drivers has him pledging to change his ways.

In the dashcam video obtained by Bloomberg News, CEO Travis Kalanick is seen discussing Uber's business model with driver Fawzi Kamel and lashing out over the issue of pricing. After the video went public, Kalanick issued an apology and said that he needs "leadership help and intends to get it" and added that he needs to "grow up."

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The Dow Jones industrial average gained 303.31 points, or 1.5 percent, to 21,115.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 32.32 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,395.96. The Nasdaq composite added 78.59 points, or 1.4 percent, to 5,904.03.

U.S. crude fell 18 cents to $53.83 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 15 cents to close at $56.36 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline shed 5 cents, or 3 percent, to close at $1.68 a gallon, while heating oil slid 2 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3 cents to close at $2.80 per 1,000 cubic feet.