Stocks end mixed...Oil prices climbed ...Fed chair speaks about reducing bond portfolio
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have drifted to a mixed finish on Wall Street as gains for banks and industrial companies were offset by losses elsewhere in the market. The S&P 500 index dropped 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,792. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 72 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 25,985. The Nasdaq composite gained 5 points, or 0.1 percent, to the day at 7,554.51. And the Russell 2000 index picked up 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,581.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Oil prices are rising. Benchmark U.S. crude climbed 2.6 percent to settle at $56.94 a barrel in New York. At the same time, Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 1.8 percent to close at $66.39 a barrel in London. In other energy futures trading today, wholesale gasoline jumped 3 percent to $1.63 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1.2 percent to $2.02 a gallon and natural gas gained 0.1 percent to $2.80 per 1,000 cubic feet.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says that the Fed is close to announcing a plan to bring to an end the reduction of the size of its massive bond portfolio. He says the expectation is that the bond trimming will draw to a close by the end of this year. Powell, delivering the Fed’s semiannual monetary report to Congress, faced a number of questions about the bond runoff from members of the House Financial Services Committee.
LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Theresa May insists Britain will leave the European Union on schedule next month, amid signs that her promise to give Parliament a vote on delaying Brexit is paying off politically. May bowed to pressure and offered lawmakers the chance to postpone the March 29 withdrawal date if they won’t approve her divorce deal with the EU. Lawmakers voted 502-20 Wednesday to back a motion that underscored May’s promise.
DALLAS (AP) — Southwest says it has won U.S. approval to begin flights to Hawaii from California. The airline’s bid to serve the islands took longer than expected, with the latest delay due to the 35-day government shutdown that affected the Federal Aviation Administration. The airline’s chief operating officer tells employees that Southwest will announce timing for selling tickets and beginning flights in the coming days.