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Amazon sales outlook falls short after record holiday quarter

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc on Thursday forecast first-quarter sales below Wall Street estimates as new regulations in India created uncertainty around one of its key growth markets, even as the online retailer reported record holiday sales and profit. Shares of the company fell more than 5 percent to $1,623.90 after the bell, sliding as company officials discussed expenses on a conference call with analysts. Amazon posted a 63 percent jump in net income to $3 billion for the fourth quarter, ahead of analysts’ estimates. Sales rose 20 percent, and a record number of shoppers signed up for the company’s loyalty club Prime in the fourth quarter. Revenue…

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Trump re-election campaign began 2019 with $19 million in cash

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump began the year with $19.2 million in campaign cash, a war chest that gives him a head start on Democrats lining up for the chance to run against the Republican in the 2020 White House race. U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters about border security in the Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 3, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria Trump raised $21 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, his campaign said on Thursday. Unlike any other president in the modern era, Trump filed for re-election on the day he took office in January 2017, instead of…

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Facebook likely to face two more state probes on privacy issues: Bloomberg

FILE PHOTO - A woman looks at the Facebook logo on an iPad in this photo illustration taken June 3, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/Illustration(Reuters) - Facebook Inc could be subjected to at least two more state probes in the United States on the alleged mishandling of user data, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The report, which cited people familiar with the matter, said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his Illinois counterpart Kwame Raoul have joined forces with Connecticut to focus on investigating existing allegations. The state probes are coalescing into two main groups, the report said. The states of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts are also probing…

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Trump says he will meet with China’s Xi to try to seal trade deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping soon to try to seal a comprehensive trade deal as the top U.S. trade negotiator reported “substantial progress” in two days of high-level talks. Trump, speaking at the White House during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, said he was optimistic that the world’s two largest economies could reach “the biggest deal ever made.” No specific plans for a meeting with Xi were announced, but U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead a U.S. negotiating team going to Beijing in early February. U.S.…

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Venezuela’s Guaido says police agents visited his home

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido, said on Thursday that agents from a feared special police unit had called at his home, a sign of increasing pressure on the opposition leader trying to replace socialist President Nicolas Maduro. The police had asked for his wife, who was at home with their 20-month old daughter while he was out at an event, said Guaido. “I will hold you responsible for any threat to my baby,” Guaido said at the end of a public event in Caracas. Guaido, the 35-year-old leader of the National Assembly, then left for home, asking diplomats to accompany him. The United…

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U.S. warns Venezuela’s Maduro about intimidation, ‘looting’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Thursday warned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of consequences for what it called “egregious” acts of intimidation, and said Russia and other countries should cease “last-minute looting” of oil and gold. Supporters of President Nicolas Maduro attend a rally in support of the state oil company PDVSA in Caracas, Venezuela January 31, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.Juan Guaido, Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president, said on Thursday that agents from a feared special police unit had visited his home. “Such acts of intimidation are seen as very serious, very egregious by the United States,” a senior U.S. administration official told reporters on a…

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U.S. refiners cut processing as Venezuela sanctions lift crude costs

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Some U.S. refiners have begun reducing crude processing as crude oil costs have risen following U.S sanctions on Venezuela and as gasoline margins crashed to their lowest in nearly a decade, market sources said on Thursday. Venezuela ships about 500,000 barrels of crude oil to the United States daily, which refiners use to produce gasoline and diesel. But sanctions announced on Monday by Washington, aimed at driving President Nicolas Maduro out of power after his contested re-election last year, are expected to cut off or dramatically reduce those shipments. Many U.S. refineries, particularly those in the Gulf Coast, are designed to run heavier…

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Venezuela’s Maduro loosens private sector, currency red tape-sources

CARACAS (Reuters) - As Venezuela grapples with U.S. sanctions on its vital oil industry, socialist President Nicolas Maduro has made plans to lift some price and foreign exchange controls in a bid to revive the country’s battered economy, sources said. FILE PHOTO: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro sits between National Constituent Assembly (ANC) President Diosdado Cabello (L) and National Electoral Council (CNE) President Tibisay Lucena during a ceremony to mark the opening of the judicial year at the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), in Caracas, Venezuela, January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File PhotoSince 2014, Maduro’s government has directly imported and distributed raw material for industries like food processing…

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Trump considering Herman Cain for Fed board seat, official says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is considering former pizza chain executive and presidential candidate Herman Cain for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, a senior administration official said on Thursday. Cain met with Trump at the White House on Wednesday, the official said. A decision on the nomination, which would need Senate approval, is not final. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Through an assistant, Cain declined to comment. The news was first reported by Bloomberg. There are currently two vacancies on the seven-member Fed board. Board members have a vote on setting interest rates every time U.S.…

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Senate rebukes Trump, advances measure on Syria troops

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a rebuke of President Donald Trump, the Republican-led U.S. Senate advanced largely symbolic legislation on Thursday opposing plans for any abrupt withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan. FILE PHOTO: Syrian schoolchildren walk as U.S. troops patrol near Turkish border in Hasakah, Syria Nov. 4, 2018. REUTERS/Rodi Said/File PhotoThe Senate voted 68-23 in favor of a non-binding amendment, drafted by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying it was the sense of the Senate that Islamic militant groups in both countries continue to pose a “serious threat” to the United States. The procedural vote to cut off debate meant that the amendment would be…

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