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Positive news lifts stock market...A slight rise in oil prices...Numbers down for latest protests in France

January 5, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — Hopes for progress in the U.S.-China trade dispute, a strong report on the U.S. jobs market and encouraging comments from the chairman of the Federal Reserve about flexibility in the central bank’s interest rate policy are cheering investors. The S&P 500 index climbed 3.4 percent on Friday, more than wiping out Thursday’s loss. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 3.3 percent and the Nasdaq composite jumped 4.3 percent.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices are moving higher. Benchmark U.S. crude added 1.8 percent to $47.96 a barrel in New York on Friday. Meanwhile, Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 2 percent to $57.06 per barrel in London. In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline dipped 0.1 percent to $1.35 a gallon on Friday and heating oil added 1.6 percent to $1.77 a gallon. At the same time, natural gas rose 3.4 percent to $3.04 per 1,000 cubic feet.

PARIS (AP) — Hundreds of protesters are trying to breathe new life into France’s apparently waning yellow vest movement with marches in Paris and gatherings in other cities. But the numbers appear down on their first demonstration of the new year. There were no reports of violence on the eighth consecutive Saturday of yellow vest protests, in contrast to some December demonstrations that degenerated into chaotic violence.

LIMA, Peru (AP) — The top U.S. trade official has taken the first step toward potential sanctions on Peru for allegedly violating the environmental protections included in its free trade pact. The U.S. wants to open a diplomatic channel to resolve the dispute before taking punitive measures. The agency monitoring Peru’s corrupt logging industry is now under the Environment Ministry but it’s required to be independent under the U.S-Peru trade pact.

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan says Chief Performance Officer Jose Munoz is taking a leave of absence to work on “special tasks arising from recent events,” referring to the arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn. Munoz is among several executives media have speculated could be a possible successor to Ghosn. Ghosn, sent in by Renault in 1999, was arrested Nov. 19 and has been charged with falsifying financial reports. He says he is innocent.

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