Business Highlights

AP News
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Posted: Dec 18, 2017 6:15 PM

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Group sees '18 tax cuts across all incomes, biggest for rich

WASHINGTON (AP) — A nonpartisan group says the Republican tax bill would cut taxes on average for all income groups next year, with bigger reductions for upper-income people. The analysts also say that by 2027, when most individual provisions expire, just over half would face tax increases. Those boosts would range from an average $90 for people making up to $28,000 yearly to $420 for those earning above $155,000.

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Twitter suspends white nationalists under new rules

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter suspended the accounts of several well-known white nationalists Monday as it began enforcing stricter policies on abusive content like hateful images or symbols, including those attached to user profiles. Monitors at the company will weigh hateful imagery in the same way they do graphic violence and adult content. The account for American Renaissance, a white nationalist online magazine run by Jared Taylor, was among those suspended.

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GOP senators: Sen. Corker did not add provision to tax bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are rallying to GOP Sen. Bob Corker's defense, rejecting a report that the Tennessee lawmaker stealthily tucked a provision into the massive tax package to benefit himself financially and then reversed course to back the bill. Democrats were unrelenting as they howled about the "Corker kickback" and argued that the tax benefit for real estate developers boosts the wealthy. In a letter Monday, the GOP chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said he, not Corker, wrote the provision.

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Malls beef up dining, entertainment options to boost traffic

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Many mall owners are spending billions to add more upscale restaurants and bars, premium movie theaters, bowling alleys and similar amenities as consumers increasingly opt to shop online. Some have turned space that previously housed department stores over to health clubs and grocery stores. Others are undergoing no less than a ground-up transformation to make room for office space, hotels and apartments.

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ESPN chief Skipper resigns, cites substance abuse problem

NEW YORK (AP) — Top ESPN executive John Skipper says he is resigning to take care of a substance abuse problem. Skipper has been ESPN president since 2012. He will be replaced temporarily by his predecessor, George Bodenheimer.

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New high roller at the table, Penn buys Pinnacle for $2.8B

NEW YORK (AP) — Pinnacle Entertainment is being snapped up by Penn National in a deal valued at $2.8 billion, and Boyd Gaming is taking over for of its properties. Big players in the gaming industry are looking for ways to diversify while cutting costs. Penn said Monday that the combined company will have 41 properties in North America, not including those acquired by Boyd.

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Hershey buying snack maker Amplify in $1.2 billion deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Chocolate maker The Hershey Co. is acquiring Amplify Snack Brands for $1.2 billion as it ventures into the healthy snack aisle. The boards of both companies have agreed on the deal in which Hershey will acquire all outstanding shares of Amplify for $12 per share in cash.

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Death of CSX CEO raises questions about reforms at railroad

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The weekend death of CSX CEO Hunter Harrison less than a year after he took the railroad's top job raises questions about the future of his reforms. But CSX officials say the 73-year-old Harrison did enough since taking over in March to change the direction of Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad, and executives he trained will carry out the plan.

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Deals and hopes for corporate tax cuts drive stocks higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks continue to climb as investors react to signs that the Republican tax plan is likely to pass Congress this week. Corporate deals also helped send stocks higher, including Campbell Soup's purchase of snack maker Snyder's-Lance and Hershey's buyout of Amplify Snack Brands. Akamai Technologies led technology companies higher after an activist investment firm disclosed a stake in the company.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 14.35 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,690.16. The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 140.46 points, or 0.6 percent, to 24,792.20. The Nasdaq composite traded above 7,000 for the first time but later slipped below that milestone. It rose 58.18 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,994.76. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks climbed 18.50 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,548.92.

Benchmark U.S. crude declined 14 cents to $57.16 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 18 cents to $63.41 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $1.67 a gallon. Heating oil picked up 2 cents to $1.93 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 13 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $2.75 per 1,000 cubic feet.