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Business Highlights

Posted September 12

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Apple unveils $999 iPhone X, loses 'home' button

Apple unveiled its latest — and, at $999, its most expensive — new version of the device, the iPhone X. It also announced a new iPhone 8 and a larger 8 Plus with upgrades to cameras, displays and speakers. Before getting to the new iPhones, the company unveiled a new Apple Watch model with cellular service and an updated version of its Apple TV streaming device.

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Senate GOP struggles with deficit in work on budget, taxes

Senate Republicans are concerned about how many billions of dollars President Donald Trump's tax code overhaul will add to the deficit as they work on a GOP budget plan that's a prerequisite to any far-reaching change in the nation's tax system. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP members of the Budget Committee are meeting with two top Trump administration officials to make progress on forging the budget plan.

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Gains for banks and retailers take stocks to record highs

U.S. stocks rose to record highs Tuesday as banks kept rising and retailers climbed after some encouraging job data. It was the second straight day for big gains in bank stocks as bond yields pushed higher, which allows banks to charge higher rates on loans. Retailers rose after the Labor Department said job openings and hiring both grew in July, and more people quit their jobs to take new ones. That left investors hopeful people will shop and spend more.

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Big holdup for borrowers claiming for-profit college fraud

The U.S. Education Department is delaying decisions on student loan forgiveness for tens of thousands of students who claim they were defrauded by for-profit colleges. According to court documents obtained by The Associated Press, the agency is sitting on more than 65,000 unapproved loan-forgiveness claims as it rewrites Obama-era rules that sought to better protect students.

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Florida airports are open but cancellations linger after Irma

Most commercial airports in Florida reopened Tuesday, but activity was limited and hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed as the state recovered from Hurricane Irma. American Airlines said the storm forced it to cancel more than 5,000 flights over several days, cutting into revenue and profit. Miami International Airport said that some airline and cargo flights had resumed, with the first departure being an American Airlines flight to Las Vegas around 7 a.m.

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Investigators fault driver in Tesla Autopilot crash

The first known fatal crash of a highway vehicle operating under automated control systems was partially the result of a driver's over reliance on the technology. That's the word from the National Transportation Safety Board on the 2016 collision involving a Tesla Model S sedan. The head of NTSB says Tesla's system "worked as designed, but it was designed to perform limited tasks in a limited range of environments." He says the driver used the system on a road that it wasn't designed to handle.

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In blow to Murdoch, UK refers Fox bid for Sky to regulator

The British government is referring Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.'s bid for satellite broadcaster Sky to its competition regulator, in a blow to Rupert Murdoch's takeover plans. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley told lawmakers Tuesday she intended to refer the takeover to the Competition and Markets Authority because of concerns that the deal might concentrate too much power in one company's hands. Twenty-First Century Fox said it was "disappointed" by the decision.

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American household income finally topped 1999 peak last year

After years of sluggish growth, typical U.S. household incomes finally topped pre-recession levels last year and have reached an all-time high. The Census Bureau says median U.S. household income, adjusted for inflation, rose 3.2 percent in 2016 from the previous year to $59,039.

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US updates self-driving car guidelines

The Trump administration is updating safety guidelines for self-driving cars in an attempt to clear barriers for automakers and tech companies who want to get test vehicles on the road. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the new voluntary guidelines Tuesday during a visit to an autonomous vehicle testing facility at the University of Michigan.

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Nissan decries incremental change, seeks dramatic jumps

Aiming to get an edge in an intensely competitive industry, Japanese automaker Nissan says it's attempting to foster a corporate culture that will produce manufacturing innovations in leaps and bounds instead of steady incremental improvement. Its discussion of that effort is partly a swipe at bigger competitor Toyota, which has favored the concept of "kaizen" or fine-tuning and bit-by-bit progress in auto manufacturing.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 8.37 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,496.48. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 61.49 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,118.86. The Nasdaq composite picked up 22.02 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,454.28. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies jumped 8.64 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,423.46.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 16 cents to $48.23 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, gained 43 cents to $54.27 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $1.66 a gallon. Heating oil remained at $1.74 a gallon. Natural gas climbed 5 cents to $3 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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