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Business Highlights

Posted 5:27 p.m. Friday

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Doubts arise on whether corporate tax cut would boost growth

Trump insists that slashing the corporate tax rate would free up valuable cash. Companies would use the money to boost investment, increase employees' pay, accelerate hiring and speed economic growth. What's more, corporations that now keep trillions overseas to avoid U.S. taxes would bring the money home.

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Harvey sends US industrial production down most in 8 years

U.S. industrial output plunged 0.9 percent in August, the most in eight years, mostly because of Hurricane Harvey's damage to the oil refining, plastics, and chemicals industries. The Federal Reserve says that the storm, which slammed into the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana late last month, lowered industrial production by about 0.75 percent point.

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US retail sales dipped 0.2 pct. in August as auto sales fell

Consumers cut back on their shopping in August by the largest amount in six months as declining auto sales offset gains in other areas. Retail sales fell 0.2 percent last month after a 0.3 percent gain in July.

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Bitcoin ... the way to the future or path to financial ruin?

If you bought bitcoin a year ago you'd be richer for it but if you bought this month, it might spell disaster. The cryptocurrency has been around for almost 8 years and even though regulators have weighed in, it can still be a wild ride.

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'Pharma Bro' locked up with terrorism and mob suspects

Martin Shkreli has no internet, but that could be the least of his inconveniences in jail. Online rantings by the notorious "Pharma Bro" prompted a judge to put him in New York City's fortress-like Metropolitan Detention Center as he awaits sentencing on securities fraud charges. MDC also houses terrorism and mob suspects, and it has drawn complaints over the years ranging from sexual assaults to the lack of fresh air, sunlight and recreation.

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Environmentalists get win in US coal-climate change lawsuit

A court has cast doubt on a longstanding government argument that blocking federal coal leasing won't affect climate change because the coal could simply be mined elsewhere. Friday's ruling by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is the biggest win yet for environmentalists trying to block coal mining on climate-change grounds. The appeals court ruling tells a lower court to seek more analysis from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

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S&P 500 tops 2,500 mark as tech and bank stocks climb

U.S. stocks set records as banks and technology companies make further gains. Investors aren't troubled by weaker U.S. industrial production and retail sales as stocks finish their best week since the beginning of January. U.K. stocks fall to a four-month low after the Bank of England confirmed it is close to raising interest rates for the first time in 10 years.

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Equifax: Lesser impact from breach to UK residents

Equifax says the potential impact of its massive data breach on U.K. residents is less severe than in the U.S., where 143 million Americans had their data exposed. The credit company said its U.K. systems were not affected by the breach. However, there was a batch of fewer than 400,000 British consumers who had some information compromised. But the company said that information was more limited than what the hackers found for American consumers, and was unlikely to lead to identity theft.

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4 years later, cleanup nears end for big North Dakota spill

Four years later, cleanup completion is in sight for a 20,000-barrel oil spill in a North Dakota farmer's field. Excavation of the affected site is scheduled for completion by the end of the month, with the land ready for replanting next spring. The spill from a Tesoro pipeline was discovered by a Tioga farmer in September 2013. It has been called one of the largest onshore spills in U.S. history.

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Trump to work on building US business ties at UN assembly

A top U.S. national security official says President Donald Trump will work to build business ties between the U.S. and other nations during the United Nations General Assembly next week. National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster tells reporters the president will stress his "ironclad commitment to free, fair and reciprocal trade" as the "bedrock" of his economic talks.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 4.61 points, or 0.2 percent, to a record 2,500.23. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 64.86 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,268.34, its fourth record close in a row. The Nasdaq composite added 19.38 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,448.47. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 6.69 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,431.71.

U.S. crude oil finished unchanged at $49.89 a barrel in New York. It's at its highest price since the end of July. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, gained 15 cents to $55.62 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $1.66 a gallon. Heating oil added 2 cents to $1.80 a gallon. Natural gas fell 5 cents to $3.02 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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