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Sunny days for the economy can’t last forever

1. It’s getting late: The recovery from the Great Recession is already one of the longest economic expansions in American history. And recently the economic cycle has gone from humming along to booming. Unemployment is down to a 17-year low, small business sentiment is roaring, and economic growth hit the 3% mark twice last year. But economic expansions don’t last forever. A recession comes along eventually and ruins the party. Wall Street is already pondering the demise of this recovery,…

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Chicago Stock Exchange: SEC blocks takeover by Chinese investors

The top regulator for U.S. financial markets is barring a Chinese-led group of investors from buying the Chicago Stock Exchange. In a notice late Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission highlighted various concerns, including whether the deal would allow it to supervise the exchange properly. The SEC said that during its review, it was unable to obtain all the information it needed from the Chinese-led group of investors, including details about how some of the entities involved in the deal…

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HNA: The massive Chinese company reversing its global spending spree

HNA Group started out as Hainan Airlines, a regional carrier, more than 20 years ago. It has grown into a vast web of businesses. A mysterious Chinese company that borrowed billions to snap up high-profile businesses around the world is now scrambling to sell assets after biting off more than it could chew. HNA Group, which started out as a regional airline in southern China more than 20 years ago, has been on shopping spree in recent years, buying big…

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Tariff winners and losers: U.S. Steel spikes, Ford retreats

Wall Street is already handing out verdicts on who will win and who will lose if President Trump follows the Commerce Department’s recommendations to impose heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. American steel stocks spiked on Friday immediately after the Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross proposed actions aimed at reviving the beleaguered steel industry. Nucor (NUE), the largest U.S. steel maker, climbed 4%, while U.S. Steel (X) and AK Steel (AKS) soared more than 10% apiece. Ross recommended an across-the-board…

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Citigroup CEO scores a 48% raise to $23 million

Citigroup boss Michael Corbat just got a huge raise. Corbat scored $23 million in total pay last year, the bank said on Friday. That’s a cool 48% above what he made in 2016. The pay hike underlines Citi’s (C) success in bouncing back from its near-death experience during the 2008 financial crisis. Citi’s board of directors said it considered the bank’s “strong operating performance,” Corbat’s “exceptional leadership” and “market levels of pay for the CEO role at peer institutions.” Corbat’s…

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Banks in Argentina to close for 4 days amid strike

Headaches and long lines are growing at banks across Argentina in the sweltering summer heat. Bank employees in South America’s second-largest nation are poised for a two-day, nationwide strike starting Monday. Paired with the weekend — banks don’t open on Saturdays — it means Argentina will go four days without access to bank branches. Workers and their powerful union leaders are demanding higher pay to weather Argentina’s stubbornly high inflation, and they’re protesting what they say is a meager proposal…

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Inflation is back. Don’t panic

Quest’s Profitable Moment For the past five years, the search has been on for any signs of inflation. Month after month, in the United States, the UK and the Eurozone, inflation appeared becalmed if not dormant. More recently in the US, of course, core inflation numbers have risen toward the Fed’s 2% target, prompting the five interest rate hikes that began in December 2015. The US federal funds rate now stands at 1.5%, with the prospect of up to four…

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China has boosted its huge stash of U.S. government debt

America’s biggest foreign creditor is opening its wallet wider. China’s holdings of U.S. government debt swelled to $1.18 trillion by the end of 2017, up $127 billion from a year earlier, according to Treasury Department data published Thursday. That’s an annual increase of 13%, the biggest since 2010. China remains the top foreign holder of U.S. Treasury debt, a position it’s held for most of the past decade. The second biggest is Japan, with just over $1.06 trillion. But it…

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Russia bank heist: Thieves used SWIFT network to steal millions

Thieves used the international payment system SWIFT to steal $6 million from a Russian bank last year. The attack on the unnamed bank, which Russia’s central bank described as successful, is the latest in a series of thefts that have exploited SWIFT. “The SWIFT payment system was used exclusively as a channel to withdraw the stolen funds,” the central bank said in a statement. “The bank — and the SWIFT operator’s workplace in particular — were the primary targets of…

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Volkswagen group sales soar to new record in January

One month, 898,700 cars sold. Volkswagen Group said Friday that it has set a new sales record for January, with global deliveries increasing 10% over the same period in 2017. “That is the best start to the year in the history of the Volkswagen Group,” sales chief Fred Kappler said in a statement. “There was significant growth in all regions.” It’s the latest business triumph for the German group, which includes Porsche, Audi and Skoda. It continues to post sales…

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