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Business Highlights

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UAW strike could cost GM about $1 billion – and counting

DETROIT (AP) — Pressure is mounting for the United Auto Workers and General Motors to reach a deal in their contract talks as workers remain off their jobs for a third week. The company is losing an estimated $1 billion and workers living on $250 per week in strike pay. That’s about one-fifth of what they usually make. As bargaining continues, the top union negotiator says they’re far apart on major issues including wages, job security, health care and a path for temporary workers to become full-time.

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US manufacturing activity sank to lowest level since 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory activity hit its lowest level since June 2009, as President Donald Trump’s trade wars take a toll on American manufacturing and the global economy. The Institute for Supply Management says that its manufacturing index shrank for the second straight month to 47.8% in September, down from 49.1% in August. The nearly trade spat with China and tariffs on various products may have been intended to help US manufacturers. But it appears to be having the opposite effect.

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Court: FCC can dump net neutrality, but can’t bar state laws

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal court has cleared the way for state and local governments to bar internet providers from favouring some services over others, even as the court affirmed the Federal Communications Commission’s right to dump national rules. Even so, legal experts say state and local efforts will be subject to challenges. Tuesday’s appeals court ruling is the latest development to shine a light on states’ lead on tech policy.

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Global trade to see weakest growth since Great Recession

GENEVA (AP) — Global trade is forecast to weaken this year to the slowest pace since the depths of the Great Recession due to the U.S.-China trade war. The World Trade Organization said Tuesday it expects volumes of traded goods to rise 1.2% this year, far below the 2.6% estimate it issued in April and the weakest growth rate for world trade since 2009. WTO noted that some economies are slowing anyway while such as Britain’s exit from the European Union are adding to the uncertainty for businesses.

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Ready student one? Universities launch degrees in esports

LONDON (AP) — A number of U.S. and British universities are starting degree programs in esports, in the latest sign of the industry boom in competitive multiplayer video gaming. The new degrees aren’t about playing games but rather offer business courses teaching marketing and management skills needed to work in the esports industry.

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UPS gets government approval to become a drone airline

DALLAS (AP) — UPS now has a license to call itself a drone airline, although widespread use of the devices for deliveries is still years away. UPS plans to use its new status conferred by federal regulators to make deliveries at campus-like layouts such as hospitals, colleges and offices. As technology and federal regulations around drones evolves, the company hopes to expand the use of drones including flying heavier loads.

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Schwab drops stock trading commissions as fee war escalates

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Schwab is dropping commissions for online trading of U.S. stocks and exchange-traded funds, the latest slash in an industry battle that’s drastically cut the cost of investing. Tuesday’s announcement sent shares of other brokerages plummeting.

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Drug stores trying to remove judge from US opioid litigation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A group of drug retailers and distributors is asking an Ohio federal appeals court to disqualify the judge overseeing national opioid litigation after the judge himself denied their requests. Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid and drug distributors told the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a filing Tuesday that Cleveland-based U.S. District Judge Dan Polster is not impartial. Polster says he has remained neutral. An email seeking comment was sent to the plaintiffs.

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US detains goods from 5 countries for suspected forced labour

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is detaining clothing, gold, diamonds and other items believed to have been produced with forced labour by companies based in Brazil, China and Malaysia as well as gold mined in eastern Congo and diamonds from a region in Zimbabwe. The move comes amid a wide-ranging trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which has led to new tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods.

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Stocks sink as US manufacturing shrinks again amid trade war

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks sank to their worst loss in five weeks on Tuesday after a surprisingly limp report on the nation’s manufacturing stirred worries about the economy’s strength. The report showed that manufacturing weakened in September for the second straight month as President Donald Trump’s trade war with China dragged on confidence and factory activity. Both stocks and bond yields erased early-morning gains to drop sharply lower.

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The S&P 500 slumped 36.49 points, or 1.2%, to 2,940.25. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 343.79, or 1.3%, to 26,573.04, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 90.65, or 1.1%, to 7,908.68. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 29.94 points, or 2%, to 1,493.43.

The Associated Press