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Stocks finish higher...Oil prices edge lower... Trade tensions increase

August 3, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose today after the Labor Department said hiring remained solid in July and strong quarterly earnings continued to boost the market. The S&P 500 index gained 13 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 2,840. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 136 points, or 0.5 percent, to 25,462. The Nasdaq composite rose 9 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,812.01. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 8.73 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,673.37.

NEW YORK (AP) — There’s been a slight dip in oil prices today. Benchmark U.S. crude lost 0.7 percent to $68.49 a barrel in New York. Meanwhile, Brent crude, used to price international oils, dipped 0.3 percent to $73.21 per barrel in London. In other energy commodity futures, wholesale gasoline slipped 0.1 percent to $2.07 a gallon. Heating oil fell 0.2 percent to $2.13 a gallon and natural gas rose 1.3 percent to $2.85 per 1,000 cubic feet.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump administration has dropped a two-year investigation into how Exxon Mobil Corp. factors climate-change regulations into how it calculates the value of its assets. The Securities and Exchange Commission says it will not recommend an enforcement action against the company at this time. Exxon faces separate investigations in New York and Massachusetts into whether it misled investors about climate change issues.

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that “instead of retaliating, China should address longstanding concerns about its unfair trading practices.” The Trump administration has already slapped a 25 percent tax on $34 billion in Chinese products, is readying levies on another $16 billion and has threatened tariffs on $200 billion more. China says its poised to impose retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. imports.

SEATTLE (AP) — More states are suing the Trump administration to dissolve a settlement it reached with a Texas company that wants to post instructions online for making 3D-printed firearms that are hard to trace and detect. Attorneys general from 19 states, plus the District of Columbia, filed an amended complaint today. The states say the downloadable files threaten public safety and their ability to enforce gun laws.

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