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Solid job report helps Wall Street ...Chinese premier says free trade must be upheld...77-year-old payday lender gets 14 years in prison

July 7, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street focused on a solid jobs report Friday instead of the escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China. Yesterday, the S&P 500 index rose 23.21 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,759.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 99.74 points, or 0.4 percent, to 24,456.48. And the Nasdaq composite added 101.96 points, or 1.3 percent, to 7,688.39. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 14.57 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,694.05. On Friday, the U.S. put a 25 percent tax on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports.

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The Chinese premier says free trade and international cooperation need to be upheld to avoid slowing down the global economy. Premier Li Keqiang (lee kuh-TYAHNG’) attended a gathering in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, today with government leaders from 16 central and eastern European countries. The 16+1 meeting is part of China’s $900 billion “New Silk Road” plan to boost its influence in Europe through investments and closer economic links.

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s prime minister is claiming victory in her bid to unite her fractious Cabinet behind her Brexit policy, but many hurdles lie ahead. It is unclear if Theresa May can keep the Cabinet united behind her, or if European Union Brexit negotiators will even accept her new plan.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The head of a multimillion-dollar payday lending enterprise has been sentenced in Philadelphia to 14 years in federal prison for evading state regulations by using Native American tribes and a bank as fronts. Charles Hallinan was also ordered Friday to pay a $2.5 million fine for the scheme to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in unlawful debt from high-interest loans. Prosecutors say the 77-year-old Hallinan charged astronomical interest rates of more than 700 percent on the short-term loans.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Marvel Comics family says it is mourning the death of Marvel artist Steve Ditko. Ditko was found dead June 29 in his Manhattan apartment. He was 90. Ditko, along with writer Stan Lee, introduced the world to Peter Parker and his alter-ego Spider-Man in 1962 in an issue of “Amazing Fantasy.” A year later, Ditko introduced the world to surgeon-turned-metaphysical superhero Doctor Strange.

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