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Tech stocks rally...Profits soar at Exxon, Chevron...US releases list of off-limits Russian firms

October 27, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft and Intel are making their biggest gains in years as technology companies lead a stock market rally based on strong third-quarter earnings. Wall Street is also pleased that the U.S. economy grew more than expected in the third quarter. But traditional retailers are tumbling after J.C. Penney cut its forecasts.

DALLAS (AP) — Profits are soaring at Exxon Mobil and Chevron, buoyed by higher oil prices. Exxon says it earned nearly $4 billion in the third quarter, and Chevron made $2 billion. Both were about 50 percent higher than the same quarter last year. When the year is done, analysts expect both companies to far surpass their 2016 results and keep on earning big profits next year.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department has put several significant Russian companies on a list of businesses and individuals linked to Russia’s defense and intelligence agencies. Anyone who does business with them could then be hit with new U.S. sanctions. The list of more than 30 companies published today includes an arms trader (Rosoboronexport), a state-controlled missile manufacturer (Almaz-Antey), export firm Rostec and Russia’s biggest shipbuilding firm, United Shipbuilding Corporation.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook is taking new steps to increase transparency for the people who see and buy political advertising on its site. The move comes after the company acknowledged it had found more than 3,000 ads linked to Russia. Company executives say they’ll verify political ad buyers, requiring them to reveal correct names and locations and to create new pages for every advertiser on the site. Users will be able to click on the pages to see all of the ads an advertiser is running.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Democrats are asking the inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security to investigate a $300 million no-bid contract awarded to a tiny Montana company to help restore Puerto Rico’s power grid. The 2-year-old company, based in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s (ZIN’-keez) hometown, had just two full-time employees when the storm hit Sept. 20. It has since hired more than 300 workers. The White House and FEMA say the decision to award the contract to Whitefish Energy Holdings was made exclusively by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

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