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Business Highlights: Rates on hold; Natural gas up, crude down

🕐 4 min read

Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

The S&P 500 index added 15.25 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,738.31. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 190.87 points, or 0.8 percent, to 25,461.70. The Nasdaq composite sank 28.14 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,328.85. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slipped 0.47 of a point to 1,547.51.

Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 0.1 percent to $63.10 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 0.5 percent to $73.17 per barrel in London. Natural gas soared 8.6 percent to $3.57 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil also rose 1.1 percent to $2.20 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline lost 1 percent to $1.69 a gallon.__


Fed likely to keep rates on hold and sketch a bright outlook

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the economy strong, wages rising and unemployment at a near-five-decade low, the Federal Reserve remains on track to keep raising interest rates — just not this week. After the Fed’s latest policy meeting, it’s expected to signal a healthy outlook for the economy but to hold off on any further credit tightening, most likely until December. A rate hike in December would mark the fourth this year.


Ride-share companies embrace election frenzy

NEW YORK (AP) — Ride-share companies are capitalizing on voter enthusiasm ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections by offering free or discounted rides to the polls in shared cars, bikes and scooters. They say they are aiming to remove what many consider a barrier to voting: lack of transportation. Midterm elections are often marked by low voter turnout. But political watchers are expecting voter angst over which party will control the U.S. House and Senate to drive more Americans to cast votes.


Jittery investors await outcome of midterm elections

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The midterm elections are certain to have implications for Wall Street, regardless of how they shape the balance of power in Congress. That’s because in every scenario there could be winners and losers in key sectors of the market, including banking, pharmaceuticals, companies that would benefit from government infrastructure projects.


Economic realities moderate Trump’s hard line on Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration was caught between allies at home and abroad and the reality of global economics as it reinstated sanctions Monday on Iran. It was forced to carve out exemptions for some important allies because of concerns that a complete end to Iran’s exports would cause a major spike in world oil prices and cause other economic disruptions.


China’s Xi promises market opening as import fair begins

SHANGHAI (AP) — President Xi Jinping has promised to open China’s growing consumer market wider at an import fair meant to help defuse complaints Beijing abuses the global trading system. Xi offered no response to U.S. and European complaints about technology policy and investment. Some 3,600 companies from 152 countries selling everything from Egyptian dates to German factory machinery are attending the five-day event.


US services firms’ growth slipped in Oct. after record Sept.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. services firms expanded at a slightly slower rate in October, after achieving a record pace in September in a sign of the economy’s strength and endurance. The Institute for Supply Management, which is composed of purchasing managers, reports that its services index dipped to 60.3 in October, down from 61.6 in September. Readings above 50 point to further growth.


Supreme Court rejects net neutrality appeal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ended the court fight over repealed Obama-era “net neutrality” rules that required internet providers to treat all online traffic equally. The court on Monday rejected appeals from the telecommunications industry seeking to throw out a lower court ruling in favor of the “net neutrality” rules. The Federal Communications Commission under President Donald Trump has rolled back the rules, but the industry also wanted to wipe the court ruling off the books.


How ‘net neutrality’ became a hot-button issue

NEW YORK (AP) — Net neutrality, once just a nerdy engineering issue, is pushing a lot of political buttons these days. California’s effort to enact its own net neutrality law against federal dictates is the latest faceoff over a concept that started off as an insight into how to make networks like the internet work most efficiently. But it has taken on larger social and political dimensions, emerging as a privacy and anti-monopoly rallying point and a focus for “resistance” to the Trump administration.


Shareholder activist Evelyn Y. Davis dies at 89

WASHINGTON (AP) — The brash shareholder activist Evelyn Y. Davis, who owned stock in more than 80 public companies and rarely failed to make her presence known at corporate-investor meetings, has died. She was 89. Davis was notorious among executives at blue chip companies for raising a ruckus. Simultaneously confrontational and flirty, she would demand that a CEO resign, while letting on that she found the executive to be attractive.


US stocks rise as banks and health care companies climb

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose as Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway led gains for insurers and other financial companies after it reported strong quarterly results and bought back almost $1 billion in stock. Drugmakers rose as well. Apple and other technology companies continued to fall. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower.


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