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Losing year...Shutdown faceoff?...NYC tobacco restrictions

December 31, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — The final trading day of the year was positive for Wall Street, but the year wound up closing as the worst showing in a decade. After setting a series of records through the late summer and early fall, major U.S. indexes fell sharply after early October, leaving them all in the red for the year. The Dow added 265 points, or 1.1 percent, to 23,327. The S&P ended the year down 6.2 percent, the Dow fell 5.6 percent.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are introducing legislation to re-open government, but without extra money for President Donald Trump’s border wall. Votes are being planned for Thursday, as soon as the new Congress convenes. The package would fund Homeland Security at current levels through Feb. 8. The other closed departments would be funded through October, the remainder of the fiscal year. It’s unclear whether Trump would accept it.

PARIS (AP) — Paris is holding its annual New Year’s Eve celebration on the Champs-Elysees under heavy security as protesters planned to gather on the famed avenue where a peaceful march led to violent clashes with police on Dec. 1. The yellow vest protesters, angry over taxes and what they see as President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business policies, called for a “festive event.” Macron said during a televised address that the movement’s protests would not persuade his government to abandon its economic agenda.

BEIJING (AP) — An official survey shows China’s manufacturing activity contracted in December, boosting pressure on Beijing to reverse an economic downturn amid trade tension with Washington. The purchasing managers’ index of the National Bureau of Statistics and an industry group, the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing, fell to 49.4 from November’s 50.0 on a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 show activity contracting. A statement by the groups cited a domestic slowdown and weak global demand.

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City pharmacies won’t be allowed to sell cigarettes or other tobacco products starting Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal reports that the ban also includes businesses that contain pharmacies, such as supermarkets and big-box stores. The city’s health department says the change will affect about 500 pharmacies currently selling tobacco products.

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