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Stock market continues on a roll...Energy futures mixed... Amtrak wants safety feature installed quickly

February 15, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — A surge in technology companies pushed stocks higher again on Wall Street, giving the market its fifth gain in a row. Big increases from Apple, Microsoft and Cisco drove the tech sector higher, helping to erase more of the swift drop stocks had in early February. The Dow gained nearly 307 points, or 1.2 percent, to 25,200. The S&P 500 rose over 32 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,731 and the Nasdaq climbed nearly 113 points, or 1.6 percent, to 7,256.

NEW YORK (AP) — A mixed day for energy futures. Benchmark U.S. crude oil turned higher in afternoon trading after a slump in the morning. It rose 74 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $61.34 a barrel in New York. Meanwhile, Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 3 cents to $64.33 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline picked up 2 cents to $1.74 a gallon and heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.89 a gallon. Natural gas slipped 1 cent to $2.58 per 1,000 cubic feet.

UNDATED (AP) — Amtrak’s top executive is considering suspending service on tracks that don’t have sophisticated speed controls by a Dec. 31 deadline. It’s a push to strengthen safety after a series of deadly wrecks. President and CEO Richard Anderson has told a House panel that Amtrak is worried passengers are being put at risk by delays in installing Positive Train Control systems on tracks it uses but doesn’t own.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key U.S. senator says he will no longer block Persian Gulf nations from buying American-made lethal weapons even though the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its neighbors remains in a stalemate. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker says he’s lifting the hold because it’s important that the U.S. maintains close security and counterterrorism cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Three of four former employees of truck stop chain Pilot Flying J who’ve been on trial since November have been convicted in connection with a rebate scam. Media report former company President Mark Hazelwood and former account representative Heather Jones were found guilty of conspiracy today. Former Vice President Scott “Scooter” Wombold and former account representative Karen Mann were found not guilty of conspiracy.

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