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Further market declines...Consumer spending up...Air bag recall delays

December 21, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Investor jitters are being blamed for another brutal day on Wall Street, where the Dow fell 414 points and the S&P lost 50 points. Unless there is strong market surge in the next two weeks, this could be the worst December for stocks since the 1930s. Major U.S. indexes are now 16 to 26 percent below the peaks they reached in the summer and early fall.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans lifted their spending 0.4 percent in November from the previous month, a moderate gain that should sustain steady economic growth. The Commerce Department says personal incomes rose 0.2 percent, down from 0.5 percent in the previous month. Economists closely watch consumer spending because it accounts for about two-thirds of economic activity.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Swiss bank UBS has agreed to pay $68 million to settle a multistate investigation into the bank’s role in manipulating an interest rate used to price everything from credit cards to mortgages. The investigation involved attorneys general of 40 states. It is the latest of several bank settlements of charges related to the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate. UBS has paid more than $1.5 billion in fines and penalties to U.S. and European authorities for its manipulation of the rate.

DETROIT (AP) — More than three years after the government took over management of recalls involving dangerous Takata air bag inflators, one third of the inflators still have not been replaced. That’s according to an annual report on the recalls released late Friday. The report touts progress made this year by automakers. The government says average recall repair rates by manufacturers increased 30 percent during the year. But 16.7 million faulty inflators have yet to be replaced.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s attorney general is suing Comcast/Xfinity, alleging the company has overcharged thousands of consumers for cable TV packages, charged them for unordered equipment and services, and failed to deliver on promised Visa gift cards. The lawsuit, filed in state court Friday, alleges consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices. It seeks a court order to stop Comcast’s allegedly deceptive business practices, and for unspecified restitution, civil penalties and legal fees.

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