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Stocks rise...Trump moves to expand offshore drilling...Southwest settles collusion lawsuits

January 4, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average has been trading above 25,000 today for the first time, just five weeks since its first close above 24,000. The Dow broke through five 1,000-point barriers in 2017, on its way to a 25 percent gain for the year. Technology stocks are rising again, and banks are benefiting from higher bond yields, which allow them to charge higher interest rates on mortgages and other kinds of loans.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is moving to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans. A draft plan announced today by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (ZIN’-kee) would open up federal waters off the California coast for the first time in more than three decades. The five-year plan also could open new areas of oil and gas exploration in areas off the East Coast from Georgia to Maine, where drilling has been blocked for decades.

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines will pay $15 million to settle class-action lawsuits that accuse the four biggest U.S. carriers of conspiring to boost prices by holding down the supply of tickets for sale. Southwest denies breaking the law but says it settled to avoid the expense of more litigation. American and United say they will continue to defend themselves against the lawsuits. Delta did not immediately comment.

UNDATED (AP) — Technology companies are scrambling to fix serious security flaws affecting computer processors found in many of the world’s personal computers and smartphones. The bugs can be exploited to allow the memory content of a computer to be leaked, potentially exposing stored passwords and other sensitive data. Researchers discovered the problem last year and disclosed it yesterday, after word got out through a British technology site. Intel and Google say they were planning to disclose the issue next week when fixes will be available.

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his “personal challenge” for 2018 is to fix Facebook. Zuckerberg writes that he wants to focus on protecting Facebook users from abuse, defending against interference by nation-states and “making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.” Zuckerberg has declared a goal each year since 2009. Past challenges have included wearing a tie every day, learning to speak Mandarin and eating meat only from animals he killed himself.

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