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Soft landing for stocks...Oil prices end higher... Sears troubles continue

December 28, 2018

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

UNDATED (AP) — Oil prices recovered after wavering in midmorning trading. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1.6 percent to settle at $45.33 a barrel in New York today. Meanwhile, Brent crude, used to price international oils, inched up 0.1 percent to close at $52.20 a barrel in London.

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears is closing 80 more stores as it teeters on the brink of liquidation. The 130-year old retailer set a deadline of Friday for bids for its remaining stores to avert closing down completely. The 80 stores are due to close by March. That’s in addition to 182 stores already slated for closure. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October. At the time of the filing, it operated about 700 Sears and Kmart stores.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials and at least one state say they’ve started an investigation into a nationwide CenturyLink internet outage that has caused 911 service disruptions. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai saysthe outage that started Thursday is “completely unacceptable” because people who need help couldn’t use the 911 emergency number. The company says it’s working to restore service and appears to be making progress.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Association of Realtors says its pending home sales index fell last month as fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes. Higher mortgage rates and prices are squeezing would-be buyers out of the market, especially in the West.

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