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Business Highlights

By: The Associated Press, Associated Press
June 27, 2017 Updated: June 27, 2017 at 4:40 pm
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New cyberattack wallops Europe; spreads more slowly in US

PARIS (AP) — A new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software appears to be causing mass disruption across the world, hitting Europe — and Ukraine — especially hard. Company and government officials reported serious intrusions at the Ukrainian power grid, banks and government offices. The number of companies and agencies affected was piling up fast, with the attack also confirmed in the U.S., where drugmaker Merck said its systems have been compromised.

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EU hits Google with $2.7B fine for abusing weaker rivals

European regulators fined Google a record 2.42 billion euros ($2.72 billion) for abusing its dominance of the online search market. The case could be just the opening salvo in Europe's attempt to curb the company's clout on that continent. The decision announced Tuesday by the European Commission punished Google for unfairly favoring its own online shopping recommendations in its search results. The commission is also conducting at least two other probes into the company's business practices.

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Some shoppers fret when companies take over favorite brands

NEW YORK (AP) — Some shoppers are fretting about big companies they don't like taking over their favorite brands. The latest: Amazon's move to purchase Whole Foods has spurred worries about a decline in quality and ethical standards, or that the store will become like other supermarkets. And Walmart's purchase of ModCloth and Bonobos had fans voicing their displeasure on social media. The challenge for big companies in this situation is to expand the businesses without alienating their followers.

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Facing defections, Senate GOP leaders delay health care vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a bruising setback, Senate Republican leaders are delaying a vote on their prized health care bill until after the July 4 recess, forced to retreat by a GOP rebellion that left them lacking enough votes to even begin debating the legislation. The bill, which would roll back much of President Barack Obama's health care law, has been one of Republicans' top priorities for years, and the delay is a major embarrassment to President Donald Trump and McConnell.

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Yellen: Banking reforms should avert future financial crisis

LONDON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that she believes banking regulators have made enough improvements that the world will not experience another financial crisis "in our lifetimes." Yellen said the banking reforms put in place in recent years have made the financial system much safer with regulators doing a better job of watching for the type of systemic risks that struck the global economy in 2008.

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EPA chief met with Dow CEO before deciding on pesticide ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — Records show the Trump administration's top environmental official met privately with the chief executive of Dow Chemical shortly before reversing his agency's push to ban a widely-used pesticide after health studies showed it can harm children's brains. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt's schedule shows he meet with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris for about a half hour on March 9 during a conference held a Houston hotel.

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Technology companies fall sharply, leading US indexes lower

Technology stocks led a broad slide in U.S. stocks Tuesday after a day of mostly choppy trading. Phone and utilities companies were also among the big decliners after a sell-off in bonds sent yields sharply higher. Banks bucked the broader market decline amid heightened expectations of rising interest rates.

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Pandora CEO Tim Westergren departs

NEW YORK (AP) — Pandora, under intensifying pressure from Spotify and Apple Music, says that CEO Tim Westergren has stepped down. Pandora has revamped its online radio service and launched a new on-demand service to better compete with Spotify, which has far more paying subscribers.

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FDA takes steps to boost generic competition, limit prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is making moves to boost the number of generic prescription drugs on sale. The goal is to make medicines more affordable and prevent price gouging. The FDA will now give priority reviews to new generic drugs until there at least three on the market. It's also published on Tuesday its first list of brand-name drugs that no longer have a patent's protection but don't yet have generic competition.

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Merck says new type of cholesterol drug worked in big study

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Merck & Co. says a new type of cholesterol drug reduced heart attacks, deaths and other complications of heart disease in a huge, late-stage study. The results announced Tuesday were a surprise. Three rival drugmakers have each seen promising drugs of the same type fail after many years and millions of dollars spent on testing.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 19.69 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,419.38. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 98.89 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,310.66. The Nasdaq composite lost 100.53 points, or 1.6 percent, to 6,146.62.

Oil and gas futures notched gains Tuesday.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 86 cents, or 2 percent, to settle at $44.24 per barrel in New York. Brent, the international standard, added 82 cents, or 1.8 percent, to close at $46.65 per barrel in London. In other commodities trading, wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $1.46 per gallon. Heating oil also added 3 cents to $1.41 per gallon. Natural gas gained a penny to $3.04 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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