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Volatile week in stocks ...Oil prices climb... Feds investigating CenturyLink outage

December 29, 2018

UNDATED (AP) — It’s been a week of volatile stock trading on Wall Street. It was capped Friday with an uneven finish and the market’s first weekly gain since November. The S&P 500 index slipped 3 points, or 0.1 percent, on Friday to close at 2,485. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 76 points, or 0.3 percent, to 23,062. The Nasdaq climbed 5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,584. And the Russell 2000 added 6 points, or 0.5 percent, end the day at 1,337.

UPDATE (AP) — Oil prices are up. They recovered Friday after wavering in midmorning trading. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1.6 percent to settle at $45.33 a barrel in New York. At the same time, Brent crude, used to price international oils, inched up 0.1 percent to close at $52.20 a barrel in London.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. officials and at least one state say they have started investigations into a nationwide CenturyLink internet outage that has disrupted 911 service. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai called the outage that began Thursday “completely unacceptable.” He says “Its breadth and duration are particularly troubling.” A CenturyLink spokeswoman says the outage was “not related to hacking.”

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo will pay $575 million in a settlement with attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia that are investigating its banking practices, which have included phony accounts and manipulative sales practices. Under the deal, the bank will also be required to create teams to review and respond to customer complaints. Wells Fargo has already been ordered to pay more than $1.2 billion in penalties and faces stricter regulations.

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears is closing 80 more stores as it teeters on the brink of liquidation. The 130-year old retailer that began out as a mail order catalog in the 1880s has been in a slow death spiral, hobbled by the Great Recession and then overwhelmed by rivals both down the street and across the internet. The 80 stores are due to close by March. That’s in addition to 182 stores already slated for closure. Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October.

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