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Trump, Dems in tentative deal on North American trade pact

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats have reached a tentative agreement with labour leaders and the White House over a rewrite of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal that has been a top priority for President Donald Trump. That’s according to a Democratic aide not authorized to discuss the talks and granted anonymity. Details still need to be finalized and the U.S. Trade Representative will need to submit the implementing legislation to Congress. No vote has been scheduled.

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Ex-Fed Chair Volcker dies, tamed inflation with recession

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker has died at age 92. As Federal Reserve chairman in the early 1980s he elevated interest rates to historic highs and triggered a recession as the price of quashing double-digit inflation. Volcker took charge of the Fed in August 1979 when the U.S. economy was sinking into the grip of runaway inflation. Working relentlessly to bring prices under control, Volcker raised the Fed’s benchmark interest rate from 11% to a record 20% by late 1980 to try to slow the economy’s growth and thereby shrink inflation.

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Amazon says Trump’s ‘improper pressure’ doomed Pentagon bid

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon says President Donald Trump’s “improper pressure” and behind-the-scenes attacks harmed its chances of winning a $10 billion Pentagon contract. The Pentagon awarded the cloud computing contract to Microsoft in October. Amazon argues in a lawsuit unsealed Monday that the decision should be revisited because of “substantial and pervasive errors” and Trump’s interference. Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos have been a frequent target of Trump. Bezos personally owns the Washington Post, which Trump has referred to as “fake news.” A Pentagon spokeswoman said Monday the decision to select Microsoft was made by career public servants and military officers and without external influence.

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Fed is likely to reinforce a message of continued low rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is expected to send a clear message when its latest policy meeting ends Wednesday: Interest rates will likely stay ultra-low for the foreseeable future. Behind that message is a view that has gained support at the Fed as the U.S. economic expansion has entered a record 11th year: That contrary to long-standing thinking, a robust job market won’t necessarily fuel high inflation. Fed policymakers appear to feel freer now to keep their benchmark short-term interest rate low.

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World trade without rules? US shuts down WTO appeals court

GENEVA (AP) — Global commerce is losing its umpire and leaving countries unable to resolve trade disputes at the World Trade Organization. They will be subject instead to what critics call “the law of the jungle.” The United States seems to like it that way. Two of three judges on the WTO’s Appellate Body are to step down Tuesday at the end of their terms and rendering what amounts to the Supreme Court of world trade unable to issue rulings. President Donald Trump has blocked replacements from taking up their jobs.

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State AGs look to head off T-Mobile-Sprint deal in court

NEW YORK (AP) — T-Mobile is about to face 14 state attorneys general in court in defence of its attempt to buy Sprint for $26.5 billion. T-Mobile has already notched approvals from key federal regulators. Starting Monday, it must also convince a federal judge that the state attempt to block the deal is misguided. A combined T-Mobile-Sprint company would become a fiercer competitor to the larger Verizon and AT&T. But the states argue that having one fewer mobile carrier would cost Americans billions of dollars in higher wireless phone bills. The trial in U.S. District Court in New York is expected to last several weeks.

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GM lending $40M to startup company buying closed Ohio plant

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — General Motors has agreed to loan $40 million to a newly formed company that wants to make electric pickup trucks at a massive Ohio assembly plant GM shut down earlier this year. Documents filed last week show the agreement also would allow GM to buy back the plant up until next May. Lordstown Motors wants to begin making electric trucks at the former GM plant by late 2020.

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Business economists see US slowing but avoiding recession

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business economists expect U.S. economic growth to slow this year and next, but they say the economy will avoid recession. If it does, that will extend a record-breaking expansion already in its 11th year. The latest survey by 53 forecasters with the National Association for Business Economics shows that they expect economic growth to slow from 2.9% last year to 2.3% in 2019 and 1.8% in 2020.

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Stocks close broadly lower on Wall Street; trade in focus

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed broadly lower on Wall Street Monday as losses in technology, health care and financial companies outweighed gains elsewhere in the market. The selling snapped a three-day winning streak for the S&P 500. Trading was mostly muted as investors looked ahead to a busy week of economic reports and an interest rate policy update from the Federal Reserve.

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The S&P 500 index lost 9.95 points, or 0.3%, to 3,135.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 105.46 points, or 0.4%, to 27,909.60. The Nasdaq dropped 34.70 points, or 0.4%, to 8,621.83. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gave up 4.22 points, or 0.3%, to 1,629.62.

The Associated Press