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Business Highlights

Posted July 7

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Hiring surged last month in a sign of US economic vitality

Hiring surged in June in a surprising show of U.S. economic vitality eight years into the recovery from the Great Recession. Pay gains remain weak, though, a stark reminder of one of the economy's key shortcomings.

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Solid June jobs report gets tech and consumer stocks jumping

U.S. stocks rise, led by technology companies and consumer-focused companies like McDonald's and Amazon, after the government said hiring grew at a faster pace in June. The dollar climbs while gold and bond prices slip. Energy companies fall with the price of oil.

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Germany hosts 'difficult' G-20 talks on trade, climate

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says talks on global trade at the Group of 20 summit are proving very difficult and adds that it is clear there are differences on climate change. Merkel told leaders of the G-20 economic powers Friday they must be prepared to make compromises so they can produce a summit outcome everyone present can accept. As the leaders met, police and protesters clashed throughout the day elsewhere in Hamburg.

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Germans arrest suspect in Volkswagen case after US charges

German prosecutors say they have arrested a former employee of the Volkswagen unit Audi on charges in connection with the company's diesel scandal. The arrest comes a day after U.S. authorities charged former Audi executive Giovanni Pamio of leading a conspiracy to cheat on diesel emissions tests in the U.S.

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Federal Reserve tells Congress further rate hikes on the way

The Federal Reserve says expected ongoing economic strength will warrant further gradual increases in a key interest rate. That rate forecast was included in the Fed's semi-annual monetary report to Congress which Fed Chair Janet Yellen will deliver to Congress next week.

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Buffett's Berkshire to buy Texas power transmitter Oncor

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is buying the Texas power transmitter Oncor for $9 billion, one of his biggest acquisitions. Oncor serves about 10 million people Texans. Oncor's parent company, Energy Future Holdings Corp. entered bankruptcy in 2014 facing more than $40 billion in debt after energy prices plunged.

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Kushners face heated trial over suburban Jersey mall project

A lawsuit pitting the ambitions of Jared Kushner's family real estate company against residents of a small New Jersey town is set to go to trial next week. The Kushner company hopes to add hundreds of rental apartments in what it bills as an effort to save a struggling mall in Eatontown. But some residents think the expansion is terrible and allege town officials showed favoritism to the company by illegally rushing through approvals. One resident says "the whole feel of the town" is at risk.

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U.S. investigating faulty parts that may cause auto gas leaks

U.S. safety regulators are trying to track down gas tank flanges that can crack and cause fuel leaks, possibly causing a fire, on what could be millions of cars and trucks. The government began investigating the parts made by a German supplier after the company filed recall documents this week saying the flanges could be defective.

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Tesla to build giant battery in Australia amid energy crisis

Tesla says it will build the world's largest lithium-ion battery in southern Australia, part of a bid to solve an energy crisis that has led to ongoing blackouts across the region. Tesla will partner with French renewable energy company Neoen to build the 100-megawatt battery farm.

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Polarizing right-wing writer sues over canceled book

Polarizing right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos has filed a $10 million lawsuit against a New York publishing company over a canceled book deal. He says he has filed a suit claiming Simon & Schuster breached a contract and bowed to "false and misleading reports."

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 15.43 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,425.18. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 94.30 points, or 0.4 percent, to 21,414.34. It fell 158 points a day earlier. The Nasdaq composite rose 63.61 points, or 1 percent, to 6,153.08.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost $1.29, or 2.8 percent, to $44.23 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell $1.40, or 2.9 percent, to $46.71 per barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline fell 3 cents to $1.50 a gallon. Heating oil shed 3 cents to $1.45 a gallon. Natural gas dipped 2 cents to $2.86 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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