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Business Highlights

By: The Associated Press, Associated Press
April 25, 2018 Updated: April 25, 2018 at 4:21 pm
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Facebook advertisers shrug off its privacy scandal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook's troubles with Russian election meddlers, "fake news" and misused data have dominated headlines globally and caused endless headaches for the social media site. But it's not affecting the site's bottom line, as advertisers continue to flock to Facebook in droves. There is some indication that ad spending actually increased after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook is the second largest digital publisher in the world, behind Google, and raked in $39.94 billion in 2017.

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Comcast challenges Murdoch with rival bid for UK-based Sky

LONDON (AP) — U.S. media giant Comcast on Wednesday offered 22 billion pounds ($30.7 billion) for Sky PLC, topping a bid from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox and setting up a bidding war for Britain's biggest satellite television company. Comcast said it would pay 12.75 pounds for each Sky share, 16 percent more than Fox's offer.

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Strong travel demand lifts Boeing in first quarter

DALLAS (AP) — Rising demand for travel gave Boeing a lift, pushing profit and revenue above Wall Street expectations. The aircraft manufacturer reports first-quarter earnings were $2.48 billion on revenue of $23.38 billion. The Chicago company is raising its profit prediction for the full year and sees long-term growth because only one in five people around the world have ever flown on a plane.

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Drugmaker Takeda agrees to buy Shire for $64 billion

LONDON (AP) — Japanese drugmaker Takeda has reached a tentative agreement to buy Ireland-based Shire Plc for 46 billion pounds ($64 billion). The deal, if completed, would be one of the biggest pharma deals to date. Shire, which has most of its operations in the U.S., focuses on rare diseases, a field that has become of increasing interest to pharmaceutical companies as patents on established drugs expire.

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Trump meets with Apple CEO at White House to talk trade

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the White House to discuss trade as he engages in negotiations worldwide. Trump tweeted before Wednesday's meeting that they would be "talking about many things, including how the U.S. has been treated unfairly for many years, by many countries, on trade." Trump has criticized Apple for not cooperating with law enforcement on breaching its phone encryption but lauded the company's planned investment in the U.S. after last year's tax cuts.

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Twitter is profitable again in 1Q, Wall Street not impressed

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter has remained largely outside of the crosshairs of Congress over the privacy issues that have tripped up Facebook, but faces its own, unique challenges. The company is wrestling with abuse on its own platform as well as a potential accounting for disinformation campaigns that led up to and followed the 2016 presidential election, though Twitter suspended the accounts of many well-known white nationalists in December. The company on Wednesday posted only its second profitable quarter.

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YouTube overhauls kids' app after complaints about content

YouTube is overhauling its kid-focused video app to give parents the option of letting humans, not computer algorithms, select what shows their children can watch. The updates that begin rolling out Thursday are a response to complaints that the YouTube Kids app has repeatedly failed to filter out disturbing content. Its automated screening system remains the default, but the updates will allow parents to switch it off and choose a more contained selection of programs.

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Ford promises more savings as 1Q earnings rise 9 percent

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford's net income rose 9 percent in the first quarter due largely to a lower income tax rate as it promised additional cost efficiencies in the coming years. The automaker says it made $1.74 billion, or 43 cents per share, compared with $1.59 billion, or 40 cents per share a year ago. Ford also says it has found another $11.5 billion in cost cuts and efficiencies, bringing the total to $25.5 billion expected by 2022.

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Indexes turn higher on Wall Street, erasing early losses

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rising in late afternoon trading, led by energy companies and retailers, as the market reverses some sharp early losses over worries about higher costs and interest rates. Exxon Mobil climbed after raising its dividend. A big gain in Boeing helped send the Dow Jones industrial average higher, putting the blue-chip index on track to break a 5-day losing streak.

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The S&P 500 index added 4.84 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,639.40. The Dow rose 59.70 points, or 0.2 percent, at 24,083.83. The Nasdaq composite dipped 3.61 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,003.74. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 2.81 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,550.47.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 0.5 percent to $68.05 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 0.2 percent to $74 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 0.2 percent to $2.09 a gallon. Heating oil rose 0.4 percent to $2.14 a gallon. Natural gas rose 0.2 percent to $2.79 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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