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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Stocks plunge again as Huawei arrest renews China tensions

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks clawed most of their way back from a deep slide Thursday that at one point had wiped out the market's gains for the year. An early sell-off briefly knocked more than 700 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average as the arrest of a senior Chinese technology executive threatened to cause another flare-up in tensions between Washington and Beijing. The sell-off eased following a report saying the Fed is considering a wait-and-see approach to rate hikes.

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China demands Canada release executive of tech giant Huawei

BEIJING (AP) -- China on Thursday demanded that Canada release an executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei who was arrested in a case that compounds tensions with the U.S. and threatens to complicate trade talks. Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Ltd., faces possible extradition to the United States, according to Canadian authorities. The Globe and Mail newspaper, citing law enforcement sources, said she is suspected of trying to evade U.S. trade curbs on Iran.

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OPEC delays oil output decision pending Russia talks

VIENNA (AP) -- OPEC countries hoping to support the price of oil have put off their decision on how much to reduce oil production. They are waiting to negotiate with ally Russia on Friday on how much it will contribute to the cut. Some see Thursday's move as a sign that the group may not have the political unity to rein in supply and is suffering under political pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to not push prices up again.

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Companies pay investors record amounts to own their stocks

NEW YORK (AP) -- It pays more than ever to be an investor. U.S. companies have sent a record amount of cash to their shareholders this year as dividends, thanks in large part to surging profits and lower tax bills. The increased income is key for shareholders, offering some stability in what's been a stomach-churning year for stock prices.

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US household wealth jumps $2T, led by rising stock market

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A stock market rally, which has since reversed, propelled U.S. household net worth to a record high of $109 trillion in the July-September quarter. The Federal Reserve says the value of Americans' stock and mutual fund holdings soared $1.2 trillion. Greater household wealth can help the economy by lifting consumer spending. Yet wealth has been increasingly concentrated since the Great Recession, with just 10 percent of U.S. population owning 84 percent of stocks.

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France fears more riots; Museums, Eiffel Tower to close

PARIS (AP) -- Authorities across France are bracing for the possibility of more riots and violence at anti-government protests this weekend, holding emergency meetings and deploying tens of thousands of police and security forces. Museums, theaters and shops in Paris announced they would close Saturday as a precaution — including the city's famed Eiffel Tower. French police and city authorities met Thursday to strategize on how to handle the weekend protests. They plan to deploy 89,000 police.

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Drugmaker to sell cheaper generic rival to EpiPen injectors

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A generic drugmaker plans to start selling a slightly cheaper version of the EpiPen in the U.S. The penlike injectors are used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions. Brand-name EpiPens dominates the market but have been in short supply since spring because of production problems. The drugmaker said Thursday that sales will begin early next year.

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UK leader may let Parliament decide on Brexit backstop

LONDON (AP) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday she may give Parliament a greater role in implementing her controversial Brexit deal as she sought to rescue the agreement from a widely expected defeat. May's efforts to win support came as British newspapers reported that the House of Commons could reject her divorce deal with the European Union by more than 100 votes when they vote on it Tuesday.

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Sears' biggest holder bids $4.6B for rest of bankrupt chain

NEW YORK (AP) -- Sears' biggest shareholder offers to buy the rest of the bankrupt retailer for $4.6 billion. ESL Holdings and Eddie Lampert said Thursday that their nonbinding offer will keep about 50,000 workers employed.

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The S&P 500 index fell 4.11 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,695.95. The Dow dropped 79.40 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,947.67. The Nasdaq composite added 29.83 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,188.26. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks gave up 3.34 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,477.41.

Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 2.6 percent to settle at $51.49 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slid 2.4 percent to close at $60.06 per barrel. Wholesale gasoline lost 0.8 percent to $1.43 a gallon. Heating oil gave up 1.6 percent to $1.86 a gallon. Natural gas slid 3.2 percent to $4.33 per 1,000 cubic feet.