Upturn in the market ...Oil prices slide... Trump names acting EPA chief after Pruitt quits
UNDATED (AP) — Technology and health care companies have led U.S. stocks broadly higher, setting the market on track to break a two-week losing streak. Some encouraging economic data helped put investors in a buying mood today. The S&P 500 rose 23 points to 2,736. The Dow gained 182 points, closing at 24,356 and the Nasdaq added over 83 points, to 7,586. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 19 points to end the day at 1,679.
UNDATED (AP) — Oil futures are down today. Benchmark U.S. crude dropped $1.20, or 1.6 percent, to settle at $72.94 per barrel in New York. Meanwhile, Brent crude, used to price international oils, slid 85 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $77.39 per barrel in London.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt resigned on his own accord and there was ’no final straw.” Trump tells reporters that Pruitt “did an outstanding job.” Pruitt’s management of the agency has prompted a series of investigations. Trump says: “He came to me and said I have such great confidence in the administration I don’t want to be a distraction.”
WASHINGTON (AP) —The new leader of the Environmental Protection Agency is a former coal industry lobbyist who helped lead an industry fight against regulations that protect Americans’ health and address climate change. Andrew Wheeler, the No. 2 official at EPA, will take over as acting administrator Monday now that embattled administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned. The Senate confirmed Wheeler as the agency’s deputy administrator in April.
AMHERST, S.D. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says a fatigue crack caused last year’s rupture of the Keystone oil pipeline in South Dakota. The NTSB says the crack likely originated from mechanical damage to the pipe exterior caused by a metal-tracked vehicle during installation. The report says the crack grew to a “critical size” and resulted in the Nov. 16 rupture near Amherst. An estimated 210,000 gallons of oil spilled from the pipeline.