Stocks end the week with a big rally…US appears set to grant Australia tariff exemption…No decision on EU, Japan exemption requests

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street celebrated the ninth anniversary of the start of the bull market with a Friday rally. Stocks and bond yields rose sharply after the government reported a big increase in hiring last month along with a slowing of wage growth. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 440 points, the S&P 500 rose 47 and the Nasdaq composite gained 132 points. The Nasdaq regained the last of its February losses and closed at an all-time high of 7,560.81.

SYDNEY (AP) — The U.S. appears set to grant Australia an exemption from its new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. President Donald Trump spoke by phone with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday. Afterward, Trump tweeted: “Working very quickly on a security agreement so we don’t have to impose steel or aluminum tariffs on our ally, the great nation of Australia!” Turnbull went a step further, telling reporters in South Australia that Trump “was able to confirm that he would not have to impose tariffs on Australian steel and aluminum.”

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s trade chief says she had a “frank” discussion today with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (LYT’-hy-zur) about the impending tariffs. She says the meeting in Brussels failed to secure the exemption she requested for EU steel, but more talks are planned for next week. Lighthizer met separately with Japan’s trade minister, who is also seeking an exemption.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Mexico has narrowed its travel warning for the Caribbean city of Playa del Carmen amid what it calls an unspecified “ongoing security threat.” The revised restrictions now say U.S. government employees must avoid five neighborhoods in and around a tourist center filled with hotels, bars and restaurants, but lift a blanket ban that had included several all-inclusive resorts.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing banning bump stocks, which allow guns to mimic fully automatic fire and were used in last year’s Las Vegas massacre. The Justice Department’s regulation, announced Saturday, would classify the device as a machine gun prohibited under federal law. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had previously approved the devices, saying they didn’t meet that definition.

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