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S&P 500 hits all-time high as market extends recent gains

NEW YORK (AP) — The S&P 500 index closed at an all-time high Monday, extending a recent string of gains in what’s mostly been a solid month for the market. Investors have been balancing worries over the U.S.-China trade war against renewed optimism that negotiations will lead to a deal. Monday’s rally came at the beginning of a busy week of corporate earnings and economic reports and with investors expecting another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

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US travel industry to Chinese tourists: What trade war?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington, D.C., has dangled hotel discounts tied to the Chinese Lunar New Year. Arizona has promoted its outdoor attractions to draw visitors during another popular Chinese holiday. San Francisco has expanded its social media presence to market year-round travel to Chinese millennials. Across the country, the U.S. tourism industry is trying to counter one of the casualties of a trade war with China that’s still raging despite a temporary truce: A drop in the flow of affluent Chinese visitors.

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Draghi stepped in during euro’s darkest hour

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Mario Draghi is widely credited with rescuing one of the Europe Union’s most precious projects — its 20-year-old single currency — from disaster with a well-timed phrase and actions to back up his words. He bolstered the European Central Bank’s arsenal of crisis-fighting tools with unconventional policies that are credited with creating millions of jobs and easing a financial crisis. Yet his departure is accompanied by an unusually public dispute among ECB board members over the stimulus.

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AT&T makes changes in response to activist investor push

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T says it will review its portfolio for assets it can sell off, pay down debt related to its Time Warner acquisition and add two board members as part of a plan to boost results. The moves come after criticism from activist hedge fund manager Elliott Management. In September the firm disclosed a $3.2 billion investment in AT&T, roughly a 1% stake, and calling for changes at the company such as selling assets and paying down debt.

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France’s LVMH seeks to buy jeweler Tiffany for $14.5 bln

PARIS (AP) — French luxury group LVMH has offered to buy Tiffany & Co. for $14.5 billion in cash, sending shares in the New York jewelers soaring. The purchase would add another household name to LVMH’s plethora of upscale brands. Shares in Tiffany jumped about a third in premarket trading on Monday.

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CEO will tell Congress that Boeing made mistakes on Max jet

Boeing’s CEO says the aircraft company knows it made mistakes and “got some things wrong” with its 737 Max jet. Dennis Muilenburg will tell a Senate committee on Tuesday that Boeing is throwing everything into fixing the plane so it can fly again. Tuesday is the anniversary of the first of two deadly crashes involving Max jets. In all, 346 people died, and Boeing now faces several investigations and many lawsuits.

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Survey: US business hiring hits 7-year low as sales slow

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of hiring by U.S. companies has fallen to a seven-year low and fewer employers are raising pay, a business survey has found. Just one-fifth of the firms surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics said they have hired additional workers in the past three months as company profits and sales slow.

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Boris Johnson will try again for early election

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will try again to secure a December election, after lawmakers rejected his call for a Dec. 12 vote. After failing to secure the required two-thirds support for a motion to hold an early election, Johnson says the government would bring forward a bill to permit an early general election on the same day. Unlike Monday’s motion, a bill only needs a simple majority to pass.

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Smash sandwiches boost Restaurant Brands sales in US

Burger King reported its best comparable stores sales increase in the U.S. in four years thanks to brisk sales of Impossible Whopper. Restaurant Brands International Inc. also owns the Popeye’s chain of chicken restaurants, which had its own hit sandwich during the quarter. The strong performances were not enough to offset a disappointing quarter for another of the Toronto company’s restaurants, Tim Horton’s, which on Monday reported a 1.4% decline in comparable sales.

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Rising home prices, falling sales hurting small businesses

NEW YORK (AP) — Companies tied to the housing market are seeing a slowdown, one that’s forecast to continue into 2020. Reports on home sales and the remodeling industry show the spreading fallout from rising home prices. Sales of new and existing homes fell in September while the median price of an existing home rose 6% from a year ago. And Harvard researchers say remodeling activity has already slowed and will keep slowing into the third quarter of 2020. Sales of furniture and home furnishings are also down.

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The S&P 500 rose 16.87 points, or 0.6%, to 3,039.42. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 132.66 points, or 0.5%, to 27,090.72. The Nasdaq climbed 82.87 points, or 1%, to 8,325.99. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 13.22 points, or 0.9%, to 1,571.93.

The Associated Press