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Stocks snap 2-day losing streak...Oil prices higher... Toyota announces recall

January 31, 2018

UNDATED (AP) — Stock indexes have ended the day slightly higher after overcoming a brief stumble in the afternoon. The dip came after the Federal Reserve released its latest statement on interest rate policy and the economy. The Fed held off on raising interest rates. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 2,823. The Dow climbed 72 points to 26,149. The Nasdaq rose 9 points to 7,411 and the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up nearly 8 points to 1,574.

UNDATED (AP) — Oil prices have reversed an early slide. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents today to settle at $64.73 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. At the same time, Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 3 cents to $69.05 a barrel in London. In other futures trading, wholesale gasoline added 1 cent to $1.91 a gallon. Heating oil was little changed at $2.07 a gallon. Natural gas fell 20 cents to $3 per 1,000 cubic feet.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell has won nine of the 29 deep-water oil exploration blocks Mexico put up for bid in the Gulf of Mexico. The Anglo-Dutch oil giant won four of those bids in alliance with other companies. Shell was the biggest winner in the bidding round, in which 10 blocks drew no bids.

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears Holdings Corp. says it’s laying off 220 workers primarily at its headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois as it struggles to turn around its ailing business. Sears says it’s offering severance and transition assistance to those workers who are eligible. Earlier in January, the retailer said it was closing more than 100 locations under the Sears and Kmart names. That’s in addition to closing about 250 stores announced last year.

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota is recalling about 645,000 vehicles worldwide to fix an electrical problem that could stop air bags from inflating in a crash. The recall covers certain Toyota Prius and Lexus RX and NX SUVs. Also covered are some Toyota Alphard, Vellfire, Sienta, Noah, Voxy, Esquire, Probox, Succeed, Corolla, Highlander, Levin and Hilux models. All were produced from May of 2015 to March of 2016.

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