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Business Highlights

The Associated Press


Trump says he will release tax reform package next week

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump says businesses and individuals will receive a "massive tax cut" under a tax reform package he plans to unveil next week. In an interview with The Associated Press, Trump says the plan will result in tax cuts for both individuals and businesses.


Global finance officials argue benefits of free trade

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The world's major economies are united in their belief that free trade delivers healthy economic growth. But they also agree that more needs to be done for those left behind, and the new Trump administration is letting it be known that it intends to make sure that America's trade deals are fair for U.S. workers.


United CEO won't add chairman title in 2018 as was planned

DALLAS (AP) -- United CEO Oscar Munoz won't automatically become chairman in 2018 as was planned. Munoz, who received compensation worth $18.7 million last year, has been criticized since a passenger was violently removed from a flight this month.


US Treasury rejects Exxon Mobil request to drill in Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration has denied a request from Exxon Mobil to waive U.S. sanctions against Russia and allow it to resume oil drilling around the Black Sea. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says in a brief statement that the administration "will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions."


Ivanka Trump's brand ramped up China trademark work in 2016

SHANGHAI (AP) -- Ivanka Trump's brand intensified its work in China as her father closed in on the Republican nomination for U.S. president. Her company applied for nearly twice as many trademarks in a five-month span as it had in the preceding eight years. Her brand says it's been working overtime to fend off trademark squatters. The Chinese government says it's given the first daughter no special treatment on her trademarks, which have raised questions about political favoritism.


Losses for finance, health care companies send stocks lower

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks slumped Friday as financial and health care companies moved lower. Industrial companies rose as stocks continued the up-and-down pattern they've been stuck in for the last month.


Future of revamped health care bill remains dubious in House

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump is downplaying the significance of pushing Republican health care legislation through the House next week. That's a retreat from more bullish statements he made recently, which got a skeptical reception at the Capitol. In brief comments to reporters at the White House, Trump says the GOP attempt to revive its drive to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law is "coming along well."


San Francisco power outage sparked by equipment failure

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A utility says a San Francisco power outage that stranded people in elevators and left tens of thousands of others in the dark was caused by the massive failure of a circuit breaker that sparked a fire at a power substation. Pacific Gas & Electric said Friday that power had been restored to less than a third of the 90,000 customers who lost power in the Financial District and other areas of the city. PG&E said it expected to restore power to remaining customers by late afternoon.


Bebe expects to close all it stores by the end of May

NEW YORK (AP) -- Bebe says it expects to close all its stores by the end of May. It's the latest trouble for clothing chains as shoppers move online. Other chains that have shuttered locations or retrenched include Abercrombie & Fitch, BCBG, The Limited and Wet Seal. Bebe said in a regulatory filing Friday that it has entered an agreement to sell all the merchandise in its stores and other equipment.


Fitch lowers Italy's credit rating to 1 notch above junk

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Italy's long-term debt, citing the country's huge debts, stagnant economy and divided politics. Fitch cut the country's rating from BBB+ to BBB, one step above junk-bond status.


FDA approves 2nd near-copy of Remicade for immune disorders

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators on Friday approved another alternative version of Remicade, an expensive injected drug widely used for rheumatoid arthritis and other immune system disorders.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Renflexis, developed by Samsung Bioepis Co. of South Korea. Its U.S. partner, Merck & Co. of Kenilworth, New Jersey, will market Renflexis.


The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 7.15 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,348.69. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 30.95 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,547.76. The Nasdaq composite fell 6.26 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,910.52.

Benchmark U.S. crude shed $1.09, or 2.1 percent, to $49.62 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell $1.03, or 1.9 percent, to $51.96 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 3 cents to $1.64 a gallon and heating oil fell 3 cents to $1.55 a gallon. Natural gas gave up 6 cents to $3.10 per 1,000 cubic feet.