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Wall Street roller coaster continues...Oil prices slide... Consumer confidence falls

December 27, 2018

UNDATED (AP) — Wall Street staged a swift, last-minute turnaround today. It rescued stocks from a steep dive and put the market on track to end a topsy-turvy, volatile week with a gain. The S&P 500 index rose 21 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,488. The Dow gained 260 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 23,138. The Nasdaq added 25 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,579. And the Russell 2000 picked up 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to end the day at 1,331.

UNDATED (AP) — Oil prices are down again. Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 3.5 percent to settle at $44.61 a barrel in New York today. Meanwhile, Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 4.2 percent to $52.16 a barrel in London.

WASHINGTON (AP) —Consumer confidence fell this month as Americans began to worry that economic growth will moderate next year. But consumer spirits are still high by historic standards, according to the Conference Board. The economy is healthy. Unemployment is the lowest in nearly five decades. But the Federal Reserve has gradually been raising interest rates, financial markets have been volatile and global growth is slowing.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term mortgage rates fell this week. That offers a slight degree of relief to would-be homebuyers who have been increasingly concerned about the overall decline this year in the stock market. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 4.55 percent from to 4.62 percent last week. Rates averaged 3.99 percent a year ago.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elon Musk is asking a California judge to throw out a lawsuit filed against him by a British diver who accused the tech entrepreneur of falsely calling him a pedophile. The court filing says “the public knew from the outset that Musk’s insults were not intended to be statements of fact.” Musk called the diver a “pedo” in a tweet after he criticized Musk in a CNN interview about efforts to rescue young soccer players trapped in a cave in Thailand.

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