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Stocks tumble again...Mnuchin calls market reaction to Fed ‘overblown’...Online sales strong

December 20, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are tumbling again on Wall Street, a day after another big plunge rocked markets around the world. Technology stocks, longtime market favorites, have taken particularly hard hits over the last few days of selling and are sharply lower again today. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index is now down 20 percent from the peak it reached in August.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-shin) says the negative market reaction following the Federal Reserve’s rate hike this week was “completely overblown.” Mnuchin says the market overreacted, with computerized program trading taking over and driving stock prices down further. In a Fox Business interview today, Mnuchin said he believed markets were disappointed in Powell’s comments at a news conference following the meeting. The Fed boosted its key policy rate for a fourth time this year but lowered its projections for further rate hikes from three to just two.

NEW YORK (AP) — In the run-up to Christmas, online shopping continues to be strong. Adobe Analytics, which tracks online spending, says online sales are up nearly 18 percent to $110.6 billion from Nov. 1 through Wednesday, compared to the year-ago period. Adobe predicts online sales for the two-month period will reach at least $126 billion, surpassing its original forecast of $124.1 billion.

LONDON (AP) — The chief executive of London’s Gatwick Airport says the drone intrusion that shut the airport was “highly targeted” and designed to cause “maximum disruption” just before Christmas. Stewart Wingate says that “regrettably” is isn’t clear when the airport will be able to resume flights safely because the drones still are a threat. Police have been searching the area around the airport for operators of the drones spotted over the airport on Wednesday evening.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Supporters of more advanced brakes on trains hauling explosive fuels are pushing back against a Trump administration decision to scrap their mandatory use following the revelation that derailment risks were miscalculated. A senior adviser to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says federal officials should reconsider the safety advantages of electronic brakes after The Associated Press found some benefits were ignored. Railroads were required to begin installing the brakes under a 2015 rule prompted by a string of fiery derailments involving oil and ethanol shipments.

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