How Trump trumpets conspiracy theories

Ted Cruz: Donald Trump is a 'pathological liar'

Donald Trump did it again on Tuesday, stating something from a highly questionable source as if it’s fact.

In the past, his claims have come from fringe right-wing web sites and false social media memes. This time it is coming from the National Enquirer.

He credulously cited an Enquirer story about a link between Senator Ted Cruz’s father and JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

No other news outlets have corroborated the alleged link. Cruz called it “nuts” on Tuesday. Hours later, after losing the Indiana primary, Cruz dropped out of the race, leaving Trump as the presumptive GOP nominee.

The reciting of unproven conspiracy theories has been a tactic of the Trump campaign since last summer. Trump has spoken of Muslims cheering the 9/11 attacks, a protester’s imagined links to ISIS, and inflated numbers of Syrian refugees coming to America.

While other politicians have also been known to cite dubious statistics and tell exaggerated stories, the frequency of Trump’s comments have kept fact-checkers uniquely busy, dating all the way back to the days that Trump promoted the “birther” conspiracy theory about President Obama.

New York Times reporter and CNN analyst Maggie Haberman tweeted on Tuesday that Trump “has often trafficked in conspiracy theories.”

This newest controversy was ginned up in early April by a

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Kraft Heinz pops on strong first-quarter report

Shares of Kraft Heinz closed up about 4 percent Thursday, a day after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results.

The firm that makes Heinz Ketchup and Kraft Cheese posted adjusted earnings per share of 73 cents on revenue of $6.57 billion. Analysts polled by Reuters expected the company to report earnings of 62 cents on revenue of $6.47 billion.

Kraft Heinz said cost of products sold declined about 8 percent to $4.19 billion in the first quarter ended April 3, partly because of lower dairy and coffee prices.

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Farmville-maker Zynga skyrockets on strong bookings

Zynga shares rallied as much as 13 percent Thursday after first- quarter revenues topped analysts’ expectations. Earnings broke even on an adjusted basis for its latest quarter, compared to forecasts of a 1 cent per share loss.

The stock closed up almost 11 percent Thursday.

Bookings were the bright spot for the online game maker. First-quarter bookings, the money spent on games by consumers, reached $182 million, up 8 percent from a year ago. Zynga also saw increased ad sales, although its customer base did decline.

When it came to guidance, Zynga gave mixed projections, with revenues below the average analyst estimate. Zynga also said it is on track to launch 10 games this year.

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Weight Watchers stock gains after earnings, membership uptick

Shares of Weight Watchers gained as much as 14 percent in early trading Thursday after the company reported lower-than-expected quarterly losses and the first membership uptick in four years.

The stock closed up about 3 percent after losing some of its earlier gains.

Membership grew for the first time since 2012, up 4.8 percent from the previous year, the company said Wednesday. The number of Weight Watchers members reached 3.1 million, with 11.2 percent growth in North America. Offset by membership declines in Europe, global subscribers were up 7.6 percent. Total attendance at meetings also jumped 18 percent year-over-year.

Weight Watchers also raised its full-year earnings guidance to between 80 cents and $1.05.

“Our first quarter loss was smaller than we expected, and for the first time since 2012 we grew our total subscribers year-over-year, clearly demonstrating that our business is turning around,” Jim Chambers, Weight Watchers’ president and CEO, said in a statement Wednesday.

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Chinese e-commerce stocks rise after BABA earns

MSCI will release on May 12 the list of securities that will be added or deleted to the emerging market index, which is tracked by about $1.5 trillion in assets under management.

According to historical analysis using Kensho, the Hang Seng Enterprises index that tracks mainland firms listed in Hong Kong gained 3.68 percent in the 20 trading days ahead of inclusion of the Chinese stocks in the MSCI Emerging Market Index in 1996.

Shares of and Baidu rose more than 14 percent in the month before MSCI’s November addition of the stocks to its emerging market index, according to Kensho, while Alibaba gained 0.2 percent.

Read MoreA tale of two companies: Matching up Alibaba vs. Amazon

Performance of Chinese e-commerce firms sheds some light on China’s progress in transitioning from a manufacturing-based economy to a consumer-based economy.

Recent data on the country’s services sector has showed moderate growth. Overnight, the Caixin/Markit China services PMI showed a decline to 51.8 in April from 52.2 in March. The official non-manufacturing PMI reported over the weekend fell to 53.5 from 53.8.

Alibaba reported revenue of 24.2 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) for the quarter ended March 31, rising 39 percent from the year-ago period and topping expectations of 23.22 billion yuan. Gross merchandise volume (GMV), or the total value of goods transacted on the firm’s platforms on China retail marketplaces, rose 24 percent to 742 billion

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After-hours buzz: GoPro, Square, Herbalife, & more

GoPro shares were up as much as 7 percent before giving back the gains on the back of mixed quarterly results. GoPro posted a quarterly loss of 63 cents a share on revenues of $183.5 million. Analyst had expected a loss of 60 cents a share on $169 million in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters. For the same quarter last year, the company posted earnings of 24 cents per share on sales of $363.1 million.

Shares of Yelp jumped more than 8 percent after the company posted a strong beat on earnings. For the first fiscal quarter of 2016, Yelp saw earnings of 8 cents a share, ex-items, on revenue of $159 million. Analysts had expected the company to post a loss of 16 cents a share on revenue of $156 million.

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Why ‘President Trump’ worries the dealmakers

Mergers and acquisitions pros are worried that Donald Trump may not be so great for the world of dealmaking.

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A key tenet of Trump‘s presidential campaign is his criticism of government officials for poor dealmaking, particularly when it comes to trade deals and military treaties.

However, the corporate world’s dealmakers believe a President Trump might hurt their own chances in the big money world of MA.

A recent survey of investment bankers, development professionals and private equity leaders showed that 62 percent believe the presumptive GOP nominee will be bad for the global deal climate, according to Intralinks, an MA content collaboration company that said it collected results from 1,500 respondents. He’s viewed less favorably for the deal climate than his chief Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

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“People don’t like uncertainty and change. There’s a lot of rhetoric going around…it’s just that uncertainty that’s spooking deal makers outside the U.S.,” Matt Porzio, vice president of MA strategy at Intralinks, said in an interview. “It’s been a good run and they want to see things stay as stable as they can be.”

Indeed, 2015 was a record-breaking year for deals, with the global total just topping $5 trillion, according to data services firm Dealogic. However,

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Let Loblaw in on medical marijuana: Galen Weston

TORONTO – The head of Canada’s largest pharmacy chain says there is a critical role for drugstores to play in dispensing medical marijuana.

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Galen G. Weston, president and executive chairman of Loblaw (TSX:L), says he believes patients will benefit more if marijuana is delivered through a pharmacist as opposed to receiving it through the mail, as some do now.

Weston says that’s because pharmacists are already trained to deal with managing controlled substances.

He says Loblaw is open to dispensing medical marijuana in all forms, at all their Shoppers Drug Mart and grocery locations, if they get the go-ahead from the federal government.

Under Health Canada’s rules, patients are only able to buy marijuana from licensed producers and are not permitted to grow their own.

Ottawa is looking at making changes to these regulations after a B.C. court recently struck down the law as unconstitutional.

The Liberal government has also committed to regulating and legalizing recreational marijuana, although no timeline has been given on that initiative.

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TSX, Wall St. take breather from volatile week

TORONTO – The Toronto stock market was virtually unchanged after a rally in oil prices prompted by supply concerns over the massive wildfire in the Fort McMurray, Alta., subsided.

The SP/TSX composite index gained 0.01 of a point to 13,632.01. The flat reading provided some relief following what has been a volatile week for the commodity-heavy index, which lost almost 320 points over the previous three sessions.

The TSX had been solidly positive earlier in the day as oil prices rose more than three per cent. But that momentum faded as the June contract for benchmark North American crude retreated to a more modest gain of 54 cents to US$44.32 a barrel.

Elsewhere in commodities, June natural gas fell seven cents to US$2.08 per mmBtu, while June gold lost $2.10 to US$1,272.30 a troy ounce and July copper shed three cents to US$2.15 a pound.

The Canadian dollar added 0.01 of a U.S. cent to 77.71 cents US after two days of heavy losses against the greenback that saw the currency shed more than two cents.

New York markets were also flat, with the Dow Jones industrials gaining 9.45 points at 17,660.71, while the broader SP 500 was off 0.49 points at 2,050.63 and the Nasdaq lost 8.55 points to 4,717.09.

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Economic fallout of wildfire could echo

OTTAWA – The oil-production shutdowns caused by the huge Alberta wildfire pack plenty of potential for broader consequences across the entire Canadian economy, experts say.

The growing emergency near Fort McMurray has forced several oil companies in the area to shutter operations that, combined, produce hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude each day. In the past, the effects of sudden shutdowns in the economically crucial industry have echoed beyond the oilpatch, BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic said Thursday.

Kavcic noted how the real gross domestic product in Canada’s energy sector fell 4.2 per cent in May 2011 after an Alberta wildfire roared through the community of Slave Lake. “That was big enough to pull Canadian growth down into negative territory temporarily, at least, for one month,” he said.

At the time, Statistics Canada highlighted the mining, oil and gas sector as the “main source” behind the overall real GDP decline in May 2011. For the second quarter of 2011, Statistics Canada once again pointed to the wildfires, along with maintenance shutdowns, as a contributing factor to the headline real GDP figure for Canada, which contracted by 0.1 per cent.

A decrease of 3.6 per cent in real GDP that quarter in oil and gas extraction contributed to the reversal, Statistics Canada said at the time. This time around, experts are still trying to get a handle on the spreading wildfire near Fort McMurray.

“Analysts frankly don’t know the magnitude of potential production cuts or the duration,” said a research note

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