Business Highlights – ABC News

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Why Canada‘s exclusion from US-Mexico deal raises obstacle

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s drive to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement has taken an unexpected turn — one that complicates his effort to replace that deal with one more favorable to American workers: Canada, America’s longtime ally and No. 2 trading partner, was left out of a proposed deal Trump just reached with Mexico and is scrambling to keep its place in the regional free-trade bloc — and fend off the threat of U.S. taxes on its vehicles.


Trump says tech companies ‘better be careful’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Google and other tech companies are “treading on very, very troubled territory.” Trump had claimed in a pair of tweets earlier Tuesday that Google search results are “RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD.” Trump says companies including Google, Twitter and Facebook “better be careful” because “you can’t do that to people.”


Mnuchin praises Fed’s Powell as ‘phenomenal leader’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is calling Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell a “phenomenal leader.” His comments reflected a marked contrast to recent criticism President Donald Trump has leveled at the central bank for raising interest rates.


Rebuilding is a struggle after California wine country fires

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Many homeowners in Northern California wine country have discovered their insurance policies will not cover the cost of rebuilding following the most destructive set of blazes in state history. They were underinsured before the 2017 fires and now have to scramble for additional money to build a new home. That has delayed construction and left some questioning whether they would have been better off moving away.


Electric car makers moving into Tesla’s turf with new models

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Tesla’s rivals are wasting no time as they move aggressively into its turf. Mercedes-Benz and Audi will both show off production-ready vehicles aimed at Tesla’s Model X in the next few days. Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover offers the I-Pace electric SUV and Porsche is taking on Tesla’s Model S with the Taycan. The new models could chip away at Tesla’s role as the global leader in luxury electric vehicles at a time when it’s consumed by distractions.


US home prices jumped 6.3 percent from a year ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices climbed 6.3 percent in June from a year earlier, as affordability is becoming a greater obstacle for would-be buyers. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose at a slightly slower pace than the 6.5 percent annual gain in May from a year earlier, according to a report Tuesday. But home values are increasing at more than double the pace of average wage growth, weighing down property sales despite solid demand because of accelerating economic growth and solid hiring.


Bill Gates directs US education funding to local schools

SEATTLE (AP) — Marking another phase in his education agenda, Bill Gates is now taking a more targeted approach to help struggling U.S. schools. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is now funding groups working directly with clusters of public schools in some of the most impoverished regions of the U.S. Many of those third-party groups already had relationships with the world’s largest philanthropy, and some of the grants went straight to a school district and charter school organization.


US consumer confidence rises to 18-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans’ consumer confidence rose in August to the highest level in nearly 18 years as their assessment of current conditions improved further and their expectations about the future rebounded. The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index rose to 133.4 in August, up from a reading 127.9 in July.


US indexes struggle higher, led by technology companies

NEW YORK (AP) — Major U.S. stock indexes shook off a midday stumble and managed to end with tiny gains, led by technology companies and a handful of retailers. The gains were enough to mark more record highs for several of the indexes, though not the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Discount shoe store operator DSW soared after reporting a strong quarter, but energy companies and banks slipped. Bond prices fell, sending yields higher. That dented high-dividend stocks like utilities and phone companies.


The S&P 500 index rose 0.78 of a point to 2,897.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 14.38 points, or 0.1 percent, to 26,064.02. The Nasdaq composite gained 12.14 points, or 0.2 percent, to 8,030.04. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks inched up 0.02 of a point to 1,724.42.

Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 0.5 percent to $68.53 a barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 0.3 percent to $76 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 0.5 percent to $2.08 a gallon. Heating oil gave up 0.2 percent to $2.21 a gallon. Natural gas fell 0.8 percent to $2.85 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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