Business Highlights

By: The Associated Press, Associated Press
February 21, 2017 Updated: February 21, 2017 at 4:34 pm
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Deal hunger sends food stocks higher; US indexes at records

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks again broke records Tuesday as investors came back from a long weekend hungry for deals. While Kraft Heinz and Unilever couldn't complete a proposed $143 billion mega-merger, food and household goods makers rose as investors bet that other deals are coming.

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Wal-Mart keeps working to make inroads against Amazon

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart says its fourth-quarter results show it's making headway in its efforts to better compete against online leader Amazon. It has bought smaller online companies, lowered prices, expanded its offerings and improved online services. The retailer saw its U.S. business accelerate in the fourth quarter, and e-commerce sales soared 29 percent.

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Sticker shock for olive oil buyers after bad Italian harvest

ROME (AP) — From specialty shops in Rome to supermarkets around the world, fans of Italian olive oil are in for some sticker shock this year, with prices due to jump by as much as 20 percent. The combination of bad weather and pests hit the harvest in Southern Europe, most of all in Italy, where production is halved from last fall.

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Yahoo salvages Verizon deal with $350 million discount

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The two biggest security breaches in internet history will cost Yahoo at least $350 million. That's how much Yahoo is reducing its previously announced $4.8 billion sale price to Verizon to cover some of the damage caused by two separate security lapses that exposed personal information stored in more than 1 billion user accounts. Investors had worried that Verizon would demand a discount of at least $1 billion or cancel the deal entirely.

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Milo Yiannopoulos apologizes for remarks, quits Breitbart

NEW YORK (AP) — Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned after coming under fire from other conservatives over comments on sexual relationships between boys and men. Speaking to reporters in New York on Tuesday, the writer and provocative public speaker apologized for his remarks. He says his experiences as a victim of sexual abuse as a teenager made him feel he could say outrageous things on the subject but that was a mistake.

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Macy's profit falls nearly 13 percent as sales drop

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's, the nation's largest department store chain, says its earnings for the quarter that includes the holiday period dropped nearly 13 percent. Sales also fell, and the results were dragged down by store closures and other costs. The profit results beat Wall Street expectations, but Macy's said it would post another year of sales declines for a key revenue measure.

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Wells Fargo fires 4 senior managers in sales scandal inquiry

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo's board of directors said it is firing four senior managers as part of its investigation into the bank's sales practices scandal. The board also voted to deny any 2016 bonuses to the executives and any unvested stock and stock options were forfeited. The San Francisco-based bank has been under fire since it was discovered that, in order to meet lofty sales goals, employees opened up to 2 million bank and credit card accounts without customer authorization.

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United, American begin selling cheaper economy-class fare

DALLAS (AP) — United Airlines and American Airlines are selling new, cheaper 'basic economy' fares on flights to and from a few big airports. The cut-rate fares come with restrictions, including that wheeled carry-on bags won't be allowed on the plane; you'll have to pay an extra fee to check it.

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Vail Resorts to buy Vermont's Stowe Mountain ski resort

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Colorado-based Vail Resorts says it's buying Vermont's Stowe Mountain ski resort for $50 million. Vail said Tuesday it has reached an agreement to acquire the Stowe resort from the Mount Mansfield Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of the American International Group.

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UPS tests drones for regular deliveries in rural areas

UPS says its latest flying test shows the potential for using drones to make deliveries in rural areas.

United Parcel Service said Tuesday that a drone launched from a specially outfitted truck, made a delivery and returned to the truck during a test this week in Florida.

UPS has tested drones for emergency deliveries such as medicine. In the latest test, the drone made one delivery while the driver made another in the truck.

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The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 118.95 points, or 0.6 percent, to 20,743. The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 14.22 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,365.38. The Nasdaq composite advanced 27.37 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,865.95.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 66 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $54.06 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 48 cents to $56.66 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, natural gas plunged 27 cents, or 9.5 percent, to $2.56 per 1,000 cubic feet, its lowest price in almost a year. Wholesale gasoline shed 2 cents to $1.49 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.64 a gallon.

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