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Business Highlights

The Associated Press


Caterpillar offices raided in probe related to Swiss unit

CHICAGO (AP) -- Federal law enforcement officials raided three central Illinois facilities of Caterpillar on Thursday as part of an investigation that the company said may be related to business with its Swiss subsidiary CSARL. Federal agents were seen wheeling large boxes into the Peoria, Illinois, headquarters of Caterpillar, one of the world's largest makers of construction and other heavy equipment. Facilities in East Peoria and Morton, Illinois, also were searched under a federal warrant, U.S. Attorney's office spokeswoman Sharon Paul said.


Costco raises membership fees, misses earnings forecasts

ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) -- Costco Wholesale Corp. announced Thursday that it's raising its membership fees, as the warehouse club operator released quarterly results that fell short of Wall Street's expectations. Starting June 1, annual membership fees for individual, business and business add-on members in the U.S. and Canada will rise $5 to $60. Executive memberships in the U.S. and Canada will increase from $110 to $120. Overall, the fee increases will affect around 35 million members.


Snapchat parent rockets higher in Wall Street debut

NEW YORK (AP) -- The company behind Snapchat closes on a high note in its Wall Street debut, proof, at least for a day, that there's investor demand for young but still unproven tech companies. Shares of Snap Inc. jumped $7.58, or 44 percent, to close at $24.48 on Thursday.


US stock indexes pull back from record highs; oil falls

Banks and other financial companies led a slide in U.S. stocks, erasing some of the gains from a day earlier, when the indexes soared to their latest record highs. Materials and industrials companies also fell sharply. Energy stocks declined along with the price of crude oil. Utilities and phone company stocks bucked the broader market slide.


Drivers rebel against Uber's price-cutting quest for growth

DETROIT (AP) -- The face-off between Uber's CEO and a driver illustrated a conflict between the ride-hailing company, with its effort to grow by cutting prices to beat competitors, and drivers who have seen their pay reduced. Experts say the argument, the latest in a series of highly publicized troubles for the company, could lead to more defections among Uber drivers.


Lawyers sue Chinese authorities for not getting rid of smog

BEIJING (AP) -- A group of Chinese lawyers is suing the governments of Beijing and its surrounding areas for not doing enough to get rid of the smog. They are asking for compensation and for the authorities to apologize for adversely affecting their lives.


Trump slump? Signs of drop in international tourism to US

NEW YORK (AP) -- The U.S. Travel Association says the Trump administration's policies appear to be hurting the demand for travel to the United States. Others expressing concern about a "Trump slump" in tourism include the tourism agency NYC & Company, which just revised its 2017 forecast to predict a drop of 300,000 international visitors to New York City compared to 2016. The Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau also says it lost out on an international meeting that decided to go elsewhere.


Fed board member Powell says March rate hike possible

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A top Federal Reserve official has added his voice to a growing group of Fed officials who are indicating that it might be appropriate to raise interest rates this month. Fed board member Jerome Powell said in a CNBC interview Thursday that "I think the case for a rate increase in March has come together and I do think it is on the table for discussion."


Subway: Tests show only "trace" soy in chicken

Subway says lab tests it commissioned show its chicken had only trace amounts of soy.

That comes after a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. show reported that tests showed only about half the DNA from Subway chicken samples was from chicken. The rest was mostly from soy. After calling the report "false and misleading," Subway followed up by saying it sent chicken to two labs and the results from both found soy protein to be less than 1 percent of the samples.


The Dow Jones industrial average lost 112.58 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,002.97. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 14.04 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,381.92. The Nasdaq composite slid 42.81 points, or 0.7 percent, to 5,861.22.

The price of U.S. crude fell $1.22, or 2.3 percent, to close at $52.61 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost $1.28, or 2.3 percent, to close at $55.08 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline shed 3 cents, or 2.1 percent, to close at $1.64 a gallon. Heating oil slid 5 cents, or 2.8 percent, to close at $1.58 a gallon. Natural gas rose 1 cent to close at $2.80 per 1,000 cubic feet.