Business Highlights

___T-Mobile’s $26.5B Sprint deal OK’d despite competition fearsWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators have approved T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of rival Sprint, despite fears of higher prices and job cuts, in a deal that would leave just three major cellphone companies in the country. Friday’s approval from the Justice Department and five state attorneys general comes after Sprint and T-Mobile agreed to conditions that would set up satellite-TV provider Dish as a smaller rival. Critics say Dish is not a replacement for Sprint. The deal still faces legal challenges.___US economy slowed to 2.1% growth rate in second quarterWASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy slowed sharply in the second quarter even as consumers stepped up their spending. The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product grew at a 2.1% annual rate in the April-June quarter, down from a 3.1% gain in the first quarter.___US presses WTO to stop lenient trade treatment of ChinaWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is pressuring the World Trade Organization to stop letting China and other economies receive lenient treatment under global trade rules by calling themselves “developing” countries. Trump on Friday directed the U.S. Trade representative to “use all available means” to get the WTO to prevent countries from claiming developing country status if their economic strength doesn’t justify lax treatment.___Warren warns of economic trouble ahead. Is she right?WASHINGTON (AP) — Elizabeth Warren became a household name thanks to her warning of what became a global financial crisis, but now the Democratic presidential hopeful is staking her credentials on another forecast of fiscal trauma ahead. However, even economists who like her prescription are skeptical about her diagnosis. Her prediction could help her win voters by tapping into anxieties about economic stability despite broad gains. But Warren’s opponents could seize on her warning to undermine her credibility.___Missing Trump’s 3% goal, US economy grew more slowly in 2018WASHINGTON (AP) — The government says the U.S. economy grew more slowly in 2018 than it previously estimated, downgrading its estimate from 3% to 2.5%. President Donald Trump had frequently boasted of the 3% growth figure as evidence that his policies invigorated the economy.___Twitter reports strong user growthSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter is reporting surprisingly strong user numbers and revenue as it works to make the platform more user friendly and eliminate robotic and fake accounts on its platform. On that front, the company said instances of suspicious behaviour and spam dropped by 18% during the second quarter when it posted financial results for the second quarter Friday.___Juul exec: Never intended electronic cigarette for teensWASHINGTON (AP) — The co-founder of vaping giant Juul told Congress that his company never intended its electronic cigarettes to be used by underage teens. House lawmakers are investigating the e-cigarette maker amid a recent explosion of vaping among American youth. Thursday’s hearing marks the first time the privately held company has been called before Congress.___Alex and Ani jewelry accuses Bank of America of gender biasCRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — Jewelry maker Alex and Ani has filed a $1.2 billion lawsuit alleging that “gender bias and greed” by Bank of America have led to a financial “death spiral” at the Rhode Island-based company. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in New York. Bank spokesman Bill Halldin tells The Providence Journal that “Bank of America has a demonstrated record of support for diverse businesses that is well noted and widely recognized.”___The S&P 500 index rose 22.19 points, or 0.7%, to 3,025.86. The Dow Jones Industrial average gained 51.47, or 0.2%, to 27,192.45, and the Nasdaq composite jumped 91.67 points, or 1.1%, to 8,330.21. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rose 17.52 points, or 1.1%, to 1,578.97.The Associated Press

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