Global Glance: China, US reach agreement on beef, poultry and natural gas; US retail sales rebounded in April

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

China, US reach agreement on beef, poultry and natural gas

WASHINGTON (AP) — China will finally open its borders to U.S. beef while cooked Chinese poultry is closer to hitting the American market as part of a U.S.-China trade agreement. Trump administration officials hailed the deal as a significant step in their efforts to boost U.S. exports and narrow America’s trade gap with the world’s second-largest economy. The United States would also allow U.S. companies to ship liquefied natural gas to China as part of the bilateral agreement reached following President Donald Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April. The agreement covers a number of long-standing barriers in areas ranging from agriculture to energy to the operation of American financial firms in China. Read more

US retail sales rebounded in April after sluggish winter

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans stepped up their spending at auto dealers, hardware stores and e-commerce outlets as retail sales rebounded from two sluggish months. The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales increased 0.4 percent in April from March. Sales ticked up just 0.1 percent in March and fell in February. The increase suggests that consumers are poised to spur faster growth in the April-June quarter after the economy barely expanded in the first three months of the year. Read more

US Treasury chief to brief key allies on Trump policies

BARI, Italy (AP) — Top finance officials from seven advanced economies have gathered to hear more about U.S. President Donald Trump’s economic policies on taxation and trade as well as to look for ways to promote growth, combat terrorist financing and stop tax avoidance by major corporations. The meeting of the Group of 7 finance ministers in the southern Italian seaside town of Bari kicked off Friday with a discussion with economists on how to make growth benefit more people. Read more

Losses at JC Penney double; sales slide, as do shares

PLANO, Texas (AP) — Losses at J.C Penney doubled in the first quarter and sales at established stores fell again, capping a terrible week for retailers. Though the loss wasn’t as bad as many industry analysts had expected, the decline in revenue was and sales at stores open at least a year, a key industry metric, fell for the third consecutive quarter. Shares of other retailers, which took a huge hit Thursday after dismal reports from Macy’s and Nordstrom, began to decline again after stabilizing overnight. Read more

Wells Fargo plans to cut additional $2 billion in costs

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Wells Fargo is planning an additional $2 billion in annual cost cuts as it recovers from a sales scandal last year. Wells Fargo has already announced that it would cut $2 billion in annual expenses by the end of next year. Most of those savings will come from consolidated operations and the closure of 450 branches. Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry says another $2 billion in cuts will be made in 2019. Read more

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