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Stocks gain...Home price growth slows...NYC minimum wage hike

December 26, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in early trading Wednesday, recovering some of their losses from a steep drop ahead of the Christmas holiday that left the benchmark S&P 500 index on the edge of what Wall Street calls a bear market. Technology companies and retailers drove much of the market’s rally. Wednesday’s gains provide the S&P 500 some breathing room Crude oil prices rose. The dollar strengthened against the yen and the euro.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home price growth slowed in October, a likely consequence of higher mortgage rates having worsened affordability and causing sales to fall. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5 percent from a year earlier, down from an annual gain of 5.2 percent in September, according to a Wednesday report. Home prices have dropped as would-be buyers are struggling to afford homes.

NEW YORK (AP) — The lowest-paid workers in New York state will have something to look forward to in the new year: a higher minimum wage, with the biggest boost coming to employees in New York City, who will make at least $15 per hour. For workers struggling in an expensive city, it’s a cause for celebration, an extra bit of cash to help with the daily fight to make ends meet, even as rents and other costs continue to rise. For some business owners, it’s a burden as they try to figure out how to cope with higher labor costs.

TOKYO (AP) — Japan announced Wednesday that it is leaving the International Whaling Commission to resume commercial hunts for the animals for the first time in 30 years, but said it would no longer go to the Antarctic for its much-criticized annual killings. Japan switched to what it calls research whaling after the IWC imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling in the 1980s, and now says stocks have recovered enough to resume commercial hunts.

BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) — As suburban Seattle has grown into one of the world’s major tech centers, it’s also become a hub for treating “tech addiction” — excessive use of video games, devices and online content that can ruin a person’s life. One young man who has struggled with video games and online content his entire life is trying to maintain limits even as he’s working in the tech industry. It’s not easy. The level of obsession is different, getting in the way of daily functioning and self-care.

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