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Stocks gain...Fed raises rate...Zuckerberg to speak

March 21, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are holding onto their gains after the Federal Reserve wrapped up its meeting. Energy companies are rising along with the price of oil and smaller, more U.S.-focused companies are climbing. Homebuilders are up following a report that sales increased in February. Cereal maker General Mills is sinking after it reported rising expenses and cut its profit forecast.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is raising its benchmark interest rate and signaling that it is sticking with a gradual approach to rate hikes under its new chairman, Jerome Powell. The Fed is boosting its key short-term rate by a modest quarter-point to a still-low range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent and will keep shrinking its bond portfolio. Both steps show confidence that the U.S. economy remains sturdy nearly nine years after the Great Recession ended. The actions mean consumers and businesses will face higher loan rates over time.

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to speak sometime in the next day with a “focus on rebuilding trust.” That’s according to a person familiar with the matter. The person gave no further details on timing or where Zuckerberg will speak. But the person said the CEO’s plan was “always to speak publicly” about Facebook’s latest privacy scandal, which involves Trump campaign consultants who allegedly stole data on tens of millions of Facebook users in order to influence elections.

DETROIT (AP) — A person briefed on the matter says Tesla’s shareholders have approved an ambitious pay package for CEO Elon Musk by a large margin. Stockholders of the electric car and solar panel maker voted on the all-or-nothing package today in California, where the company is based. It could net Musk more than $50 billion if he meets 12 milestones including increasing the company’s market capitalization tenfold to $650 billion.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The financial services firm UBS has agreed to pay $230 million to New York state in a legal settlement stemming from the firm’s handling of mortgage-based securities in the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the settlement today. As part of the deal, UBS will pay $41 million to the state and another $189 million for community efforts to expand affordable housing and improve blighted properties.

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