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Business Highlights: Energy companies lead US stocks lower after oil price plunge

🕐 4 min read

NEW YORK (AP) — The steepest drop in oil prices in more than three years put investors in a selling mood Tuesday, extending a losing streak for the S&P 500 index to a fourth day. Energy stocks led a late-afternoon sell-off on Wall Street after the price of U.S. crude oil plunged 7.1 percent to $55.69 a barrel, the lowest level since December 2017. Oil has now fallen for 12 straight days, driven by worries over rising oil production around the world and weakening demand from developing countries.


The S&P 500 index fell 4.04 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,722.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 100.69 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,286.49. The Nasdaq composite was little changed at 7,200.87. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 3.99 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,514.80.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil plunged 7.1 percent to $55.69 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 6.6 percent to close at $65.47 a barrel in London. Heating oil fell 4.3 percent to $2.06 a gallon and wholesale gasoline dropped 5.7 percent to $1.54 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 8.3 percent to $4.10 per 1,000 cubic feet.___

Amazon goes bicoastal: will open HQs in New York, DC suburb

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has set its sights on two of the nation’s largest and most powerful metro areas, announcing Tuesday it had chosen a buzzy New York neighborhood and a suburb of Washington for its new East Coast headquarters. The online shopping giant ended its 14-month-long competition for second headquarters by selecting Long Island City, Queens, and Arlington, Virginia, as the joint winners. Both are waterfront communities away from overcrowded business districts, giving Amazon space to grow.


CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

NEW YORK (AP) — CNN is suing the Trump administration, demanding that correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass to cover the White House be returned. The administration revoked it last week following the president’s contentious post-election news conference, citing Acosta’s refusal to hand over a microphone when the president said he was done talking to him. The White House, never shy about picking a fight with CNN, says bring it on.


Pilots says Boeing didn’t disclose jet’s new control feature

Pilots say Boeing didn’t tell them about features of a new flight-control system that reportedly is a focus of investigation into deadly crash. The automated system in Boeing 737 MAX planes is designed to help pilots avoid a stall by raising the plane’s nose too high, but can cause the nose to pitch down sharply. Investigators are looking into whether controls played a role in last month’s deadly Lion Air crash in Indonesia.


US October budget deficit jumps to $100.5 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government recorded a deficit of $100.5 billion in October, a big increase from a year ago that was primarily caused by quirks in the calendar. The Treasury Department says the deficit shot up 59 percent from the same month a year ago. The government has run a deficit in every October going back to the early 1950s. The new report begins a budget year in which the federal deficit is expected to soar above $1 trillion, reflecting in part the tax cuts Congress approved last December.


The “worst toys” for the holidays, according to safety group

BOSTON (AP) — A Black Panther “slash claw” and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the toys topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holiday season. Massachusetts-based World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., unveiled its list Tuesday at a Boston children’s hospital. The toy industry says the list is biased and inaccurate.


EPA seeks new truck pollution rules; says air won’t suffer

DETROIT (AP) — The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to rewrite rules that limit pollution from heavy trucks but that the EPA says slow the economy. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler argues that new technology can help improve air quality, noting that regulation of harmful nitrogen oxide emissions hasn’t been revamped since 2000.


Juul halts store sales of some flavored e-cigarettes

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation’s leading e-cigarette maker is halting store sales of some flavors to deter use by kids. The announcement Tuesday by Juul Labs Inc. comes ahead of an expected government crackdown on underage sales of e-cigarettes. It will continue to sell flavors through its website and limit sales to those 21 and older.


Iconic Barbie fashion comes alive in vintage collaboration

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the largest sellers of vintage-inspired fashion has recreated some of Barbie’s most iconic early looks for real women to wear. Unique Vintage, based in Burbank, California, is the first Mattel collaboration for a fashion line based on Barbie outfits. And in sizes up to 4X. The collaboration, Barbie x Unique Vintage, is sold online at and in about 500 boutiques around the world. A special collection in the line is planned for next year, when Barbie turns 60.


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