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Stocks fall on final day of trading...Oil climbs higher... Trump administration proposes changes in drilling rules

December 29, 2017

UNDATED (AP) — Stocks are down on the final trading day of 2017, capping the best year for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index in four years. Losses in the technology, financial and health care sectors outweighed slight gains for consumer products makers today. Trading was light ahead of New Year’s Day. The S&P 500 fell 14 points to 2,673. The Dow slipped 111 points to 24,719 and the Nasdaq lost over 46, closing at 6,903. The Russell 2000 gave up 13 points.

UNDATED (AP) — Oil futures have finished broadly higher. Benchmark U.S. crude added 58 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $60.42 per barrel in New York today. That’s the highest closing price of the year and the first time U.S. crude has finished above $60 a barrel since June 2015. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, gained 71 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $66.87 per barrel in London.

DALLAS (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing to rewrite or kill rules on offshore oil and gas drilling that were imposed after the deadly 2010 rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The administration says the rules are an unnecessary burden on industry and rolling them back will encourage more energy production. Environmentalists say President Donald Trump is raising the risk of more deadly oil spills.

BERLIN (AP) — International Airlines Group, the parent of British Airways and Iberia, says it’s acquiring much of bankrupt Air Berlin’s Niki division. German news agency dpa reports that IAG says it will pay $24 million for Austria-based Niki and inject additional millions into the company. It will found a new Austria-based subsidiary of budget airline Vueling, taking on up to 15 Airbus A320 jets.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The man who led South Carolina’s state-owned utility during a scuttled multibillion-dollar project to build two nuclear reactors is stepping down after the governor wanted to fire him. Santee Cooper board chairman Leighton Lord gave his resignation letter to Gov. Henry McMaster today. McMaster says Lord failed to turn over all documents Santee Cooper had about the two nuclear reactors being built at the V.C. Summer plant.

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