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Stocks gain...More optimism seen on China...Oil prices climb again

January 8, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are higher as industrial and internet companies rise, and the S&P 500 index is on track for its first three-day winning streak since November. Railroad operator Union Pacific jumped after it named an industry veteran to a top executive position. AutoNation fell after predicting a weak year for auto sales.

BEIJING (AP) — There’s no evidence that the U.S. and China made significant progress in their latest round of trade talks. And experts say it will take months for them to resolve the causes of the trade war, which include disagreements over Beijing’s handling of technology and intellectual property. But investors have become notably more optimistic about an eventual deal, a sharp reversal of the concerns that helped send stocks plunging in October and December. An agreement between the two biggest economic powers in the world could remove a major obstacle to global economic growth.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices continue to rally. U.S. crude is higher for the eighth day in the last nine. It dropped from $76 a barrel in early October to about $42 a barrel on Dec. 24 as investors worried about slowing economic growth and a supply glut. The modest recovery in oil prices has helped energy company stocks after they took big losses at the end of 2018.

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears is getting another reprieve from liquidation after its chairman and largest shareholder revised his bid to save the iconic brand. The retailer says it has accepted Eddie Lampert’s bid through an affiliate of his ESL hedge fund that could keep 425 stores open and save tens of thousands of workers, according to a hearing today at the bankruptcy court in White Plains, N.Y. The bid now requires Lampert to deposit $120 million by 4 p.m. Wednesday through his hedge fund.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Motorists are lined up for a fourth straight day at gas stations in western Mexico as the government continues to restrict pipeline deliveries to combat illegal fuel taps. Authorities say attempts to re-open a key pipeline were abandoned after the duct was found to leaking fuel at numerous points from illegal taps.

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