Business Highlights

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$3.9B buyout of Tribune by Sinclair ends in acrimony

NEW YORK (AP) — Tribune is withdrawing from its $3.9 billion buyout by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, ending a bid to create a massive media juggernaut that could have rivaled the reach of Fox News. Tribune Media Co., which is on the hook for a $135 million breakup fee, said Thursday that it is suing Sinclair for breach of contract and at least $1 billion in damages.

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Merger cancellation pushes Rite Aid into uncertain future

NEW YORK (AP) — Rite Aid shares have plunged as the company headed into an uncertain future after calling off its merger with the grocer Albertsons. Analysts and retail insiders questioned the drugstore chain's chances for remaining viable after it ended a planned takeover by Albertsons before Rite Aid shareholders could vote on it.

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Samsung's new phone shows how hardware innovation has slowed

NEW YORK (AP) — Samsung's new smartphone illustrates the limits of innovation at time when hardware advances have slowed. The Galaxy Note 9 will be faster and last longer without a recharge, but won't offer earth-shattering new features. The new phone will get some automatic photo editing and a stylus that can serve as a remote control. The new phones, announced Thursday, will come out Aug. 24.

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Uber faces new roadblock in New York on its way to IPO

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber will now have to navigate around a new regulatory pothole in New York on an already bumpy road to its initial public offering of stock next year. New York is imposing a one-year moratorium on new ride-hailing licenses in Uber's largest U.S. market, raising the specter that other cities may adopt similar crackdowns as they try to ease traffic congestion. If that were to happen, it would be more difficult for Uber to reverse its uninterrupted history of losses leading up to its IPO.

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Member of Congress, member of corporate board? It's allowed

WASHINGTON (AP) — The indictment of GOP Rep. Chris Collins on insider trading charges is drawing new attention to the freedom members of Congress have to serve on corporate boards or to buy and sell stock in industries they're responsible for overseeing. Collins has denied any wrongdoing stemming from his involvement with a biotechnology company. He was a member of the company's board of directors. The arrangement isn't a violation of the law, but one that can create the potential for a conflict of interest.

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Court orders ban on harmful pesticide, says EPA violated law

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that the Trump administration endangered public health by keeping the top-selling pesticide chlorpyrifos (clor-PEER-i-fos) on the market, despite extensive scientific evidence that even tiny levels of exposure could harm babies' brains. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to remove chlorpyrifos from sale in the United States within 60 days.

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Organic dairy farmers vow to compete in changing industry

FAIRFIELD, Iowa (AP) — Small family operated organic dairy farms with cows freely grazing on verdant pastures are going out of business while large confined animal operations with thousands of animals lined up in assembly-line fashion are expanding. Many traditional small-scale organic farmers are fighting to stay in business by appealing to consumers to look closely at the organic milk they buy to make sure it comes from a farm that meets the idyllic expectations portrayed on the cartons.

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Tesla stock drops back near pre-Musk tweet level

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tesla shares have dropped back to near the level they were trading at before CEO Elon Musk tweeted Tuesday that he may take the company private. Shares were down 6 percent to $347.26 in midday trading Thursday. The SEC has reportedly opened an inquiry into the wording and method of Musk's disclosure about the deal. Musk acknowledged he was serious in an email to employees, and Tesla directors have said they're evaluating it.

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Retail gains and bank losses leave US stocks little changed

NEW YORK (AP) — Major U.S. indexes stood stock-still for the third consecutive day Thursday as gains for retailers were canceled out by losses for banks and other companies.

Energy companies again headed lower after a sharp drop in oil prices the day before. Amazon and media company Viacom led consumer-focused companies higher. The Nasdaq composite inched higher and notched its eighth gain in a row.

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The S&P 500 index fell in the final minutes of trading and lost 4.12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,853.58. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 74.52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,509.23. The Nasdaq composite added 3.46 points to 7,891.78. The Russell 2000, an index of smaller companies, added 4.01 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,690.89.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil dipped 0.2 percent to $66.81 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, lost 0.3 percent to $72.07 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 1 percent to $2 a gallon. Heating oil slid 0.2 percent to $2.11 a gallon. Natural gas rose 0.2 percent to $2.96 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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