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Trade impasse: Trump pledges $16B to farmers; markets slump

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump rolled out another $16 billion in aid for farmers hurt by his trade policies, and financial markets shook Thursday on the growing realization that the U.S. and China are far from settling a bitter, year-long trade dispute. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that the first of three payments is likely to be made in July or August and suggested that the U.S. and China were unlikely to have settled their differences by then. The latest bailout comes atop $11 billion in aid Trump provided farmers last year.


China has more weapons in US tariff war – but do they work?

BEIJING (AP) — China has an array of options for retaliating for Washington’s latest tariff hike in the two countries’ escalating trade battle. Beijing could limit exports of rare earths or disrupt operations of American companies in China. But those steps all carry economic and political costs. And there is no guarantee they would work.


US stocks skid on worries of prolonged trade standoff

NEW YORK (AP) — Heightened worries that the U.S. and China are headed for a long standoff in their costly trade dispute put investors in a selling mood Thursday. Stocks ended sharply lower on Wall Street in a broad sell-off that handed the benchmark S&P 500 index its third straight weekly loss and had the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 400 points until late afternoon. Traders sought safety in the bond market, pulling the yield on the 10-year Treasury to its the lowest level in more than a year.


Facebook: Fake account removal doubles in 6 months to 3B

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook says it removed more than 3 billion fake accounts from October to March. That’s twice as many as the previous six months. But more fake accounts are still slipping through the cracks. Even as Facebook’s detection tools get better, so do the efforts by the creators of these fake accounts.


Bank CEO pleads not guilty in bid to get Trump post

NEW YORK (AP) — A banker charged in New York with issuing loans to win a role in President Donald Trump’s administration has pleaded not guilty. Stephen Calk entered the plea during an appearance in Manhattan federal court Thursday. Prosecutors say he was CEO of Chicago’s The Federal Savings Bank when he approved $16 million in loans to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. They say he wanted a senior administration post in return.


FAA meets with international regulators over Boeing 737 Max

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — U.S. aviation regulators are meeting with counterparts from more than 30 countries to discuss how they’ll determine when the troubled Boeing 737 Max can resume flying. The plane has been grounded since the second of 2 crashes that together killed 346 people. Among those attending the meeting in Texas are aviation officials from Indonesia and Ethiopia, where the crashes occurred.


Dressbarn expects to have all its stores shut in early 2020

NEW YORK (AP) — Dressbarn says it expects to have all its 650 stores closed in the first half of 2020. The women’s clothing chain had announced it was shutting all its stores earlier this week but did not give a timeline for the closures. On Thursday, Dressbarn’s parent company Ascena Retail Group said in a regulatory filing that the closures would be completed in the first half of next year. The company also says that it couldn’t yet determine how much the closures would cost.


Senate passes bill meant to combat robocalls

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Senate has passed a bill that aims to combat the illegal robocalls torturing Americans. Though the measure wouldn’t eliminate all unwanted calls, it would give regulators more tools to go after scammers. It would also push phone companies to adopt new technology to combat fake phone numbers popping up on caller ID.


NASA’s first-of-kind tests look to manage drone in cities

RENO, Nev. (AP) — NASA has launched the final stage of a four-year effort to develop a national traffic management system for drones, testing them in cities for the first time beyond the operator’s line of sight. Multiple drones took to the air at the same time above downtown Reno this week in a series of simulations testing emerging technology that someday will be used to manage hundreds of thousands of small unmanned commercial aircraft.


Number of US homes on the market rose in 1Q as sales slowed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homebuyers in some of the biggest U.S. cities are seeing a pickup in the number of homes for sale, especially in the most affordable segment of the market. The inventory of homes in the bottom third of the market by price rose 3.5% in the first quarter, the most in at least six years. Still, the rise in home listings in many metropolitan areas is mainly due to properties sitting on the market longer at prices fewer people can afford.


The S&P 500 index fell 34.03 points, or 1.2%, to 2,822.24. The Dow lost 286.14 points, or 1.1%, to 25,490.47. The Nasdaq composite dropped 122.56 points, or 1.6%, to 7,628.28. The Russell 200 index of small company stocks gave up 30.25 points, or 2%, to 1,501.38.

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