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Business Highlights: Wall Street ‘likes’ Facebook results; crude, natural gas down

🕐 4 min read

Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

The S&P 500 index jumped 41.38 points, or 1.6 percent, to 2,682.63. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 431.72 points, or 1.8 percent, to 24,874.64. The Nasdaq composite advanced 111.36 points, or 1.6 percent, to 7,161.65. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 29.33 points, or 2 percent, to 1,506.64.

Benchmark U.S. crude shed 1.3 percent to $66.18 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 1.8 percent to $75.91 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 1 percent to $1.81 a gallon. Heating oil lost 1.1 percent to $2.26 a gallon and natural gas declined 0.3 percent to $3.19 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Stocks rally on earnings a day after ending at 5-month lows

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks climb as strong results from a number of companies help the market regain a sliver of its recent losses. Trading remains uneven: the S&P 500 made a big gain early on only to return most of it in the afternoon, then rallied again in the final hour of trading. General Electric plunged after slashing its dividend and announcing a criminal probe of its accounting. Bond prices fell, sending yields higher.


Facebook posts strong 3Q profit, lukewarm revenue

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook didn’t hit it out of the ballpark with its latest quarterly report, but the bar isn’t so high these days for the image-battered social networking giant. The company reported a slight revenue miss but stronger than expected profit for the July-September period. Coming three months after its stock suffered its worst one-day drop in history, wiping out $119 billion of its market value, the mixed results were perhaps not the redemption Facebook hoped for.


US home price gains weaken for 5th straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home price gains slowed for the fifth straight month in August as higher mortgage rates have lowered home sales. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased 5.5 percent in August compared with a year earlier, down from a 5.9 percent gain in the previous month.


GE slashes dividend, takes $22 billion charge in 3Q

General Electric is slashing its dividend from 12 cents, to a penny, and taking a $22 billion impairment charge for its power division. The company swung to a third-quarter loss of $22.77 billion Tuesday that was bigger than most analysts expected. GE also says the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice are both investigating GE’s $22 billion write-down, adding to their ongoing probes of the company.


Pfizer’s 3Q profit, up due to tax cut, beats expectations

Pfizer Inc. posted a 45 percent jump in third-quarter profit, as it benefited from sharply lower taxes due to this year’s federal tax cut and slightly higher revenue. The maker of Viagra and nerve pain treatment Lyrica on Tuesday reported net income of $4.11 billion, or 69 cents per share. Adjusted for one-time gains and costs, the New York-based drugmaker said income came to 78 cents per share, which beat analysts’ expectations.


Progress? Gridlock? How midterm vote could affect US economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — If Democrats win control of the House in next week’s congressional elections, their legislative priorities wouldn’t likely much alter a $20 trillion U.S. economy. For one thing, President Donald Trump would remain able to block Democratic initiatives — just as they could stop his plans for more tax cuts and a 5 percent trim of Cabinet department budgets. What instead would likely result is continued gridlock.


End of austerity? Britain’s poor to see little improvement

LONDON (AP) — Much of Britain will continue to feel the effects of eight years of spending cuts, even after the government’s Treasury chief heralded the end of austerity in his budget plan. As the country prepares for a potential economic hit from leaving the European Union, the government is spending more on health, transportation and small business. Experts say that won’t materially improve the living standards of the poor, which have fallen sharply under a Conservative government focused on reducing debt.


iPads, Macs get new screens as Apple pushes creativity

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple’s new iPads will resemble its latest iPhones as the company ditches a home button and fingerprint sensor to make more room for the screen. There’s also a new MacBook Air laptop with a better screen. Tuesday’s announcements took place at an opera house in New York, where the company is emphasizing its products’ ability to create music, video and sketches. Neither the Mac nor the iPad generate as much revenue for Apple as iPhones.


Ben & Jerry’s unveils Pecan Resist flavor ahead of midterms

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s says it’s taking a stand against what it calls the Trump administration’s regressive policies by rebranding one of its flavors Pecan Resist. The company and its founders are unveiling the limited batch ice cream flavor Tuesday in Washington ahead of the midterm elections. The company says the flavor celebrates activists who are resisting oppression, harmful environmental practices and injustice. Ben & Jerry’s is giving $25,000 each to four activist entities.


Coke rides on sales of healthier drinks

ATLANTA (AP) — Strong sales of “premium” water and sugar-free sodas powered third-quarter earnings for Coca-Cola Co. Coke President and CEO James Quincey said enhanced waters like the smartwater, vitaminwater and Topo Chico brands helping turn around a slump in water sales at the company. Sales of water and sports drinks jumped 5 percent in the July-September period, with particularly strong growth in China and Mexico.


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