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Investors still skittish...Oil edges higher...Microsoft wants Congress to regulate use of facial recognition

July 14, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors expect another round of great profit growth this quarter, but they’re not sure about what will come next with the U.S. and China in a trade war, upcoming congressional elections and rising interest rates. Stocks were up on Friday. The S&P 500 edged 3 points higher. The Dow added 94 points and the Nasdaq rose 2 points. But the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 3 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices are rising. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1 percent to $71.01 a barrel in New York on Friday. At the same time, Brent crude, used to price international oils, climbed 1.4 percent to $75.33 per barrel in London. Meanwhile, wholesale gasoline rose 1.7 percent to $2.11 a gallon. Heating oil added 0.5 percent to $2.13 a gallon. Natural gas sank 1.6 percent to $2.75 per 1,000 cubic feet.

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft is calling on Congress to regulate the use of facial recognition technology to protect people’s privacy and freedom of expression. It’s the first big tech company to raise serious alarms about an increasingly sought-after technology for recognizing a person’s face from a photo or through a camera. Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a blog post Friday that the government should form a bipartisan expert commission.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he is selling off all his vast stock holdings after news reports raised questions about the timing of some of his stock transactions and he received a sharp reprimand from the chief federal ethics officer. But it’s not clear whether the sales by Ross will be enough to satisfy ethics critics and end the episode. Before joining the Trump administration, Ross made billions investing in distressed companies.

UNDATED (AP) — U.S. regulators have approved the first treatment for smallpox — a deadly disease that was wiped out four decades ago — in case the virus is used in a terror attack. Smallpox is highly contagious. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug, called TPOXX (TEE’-pahks), on Friday. The maker, SIGA Technologies of New York, has already delivered 2 million treatments for stockpiling by the government.

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