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Stocks higher ...Fed minutes released... Trump discusses tariffs on imported cars from Europe

February 20, 2019

UNDATED (AP) — Stocks closed modestly higher on Wall Street Wednesday, extending the market’s gains from a day earlier. The S&P 500 gained 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 2,784. The Dow added 63 points, or 0.2 percent, to 25,954. The Nasdaq rose 2 points, or 0.03 percent, to 7,489. And the Russell 2000 picked up 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,581. Meanwhile, Crude oil futures prices ended higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The near-month contract for the benchmark grade rose 81 cents -- closing at $56.90 a barrel.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve policymakers last month noted a number of increased threats to the U.S. economy, ranging from adverse effects from the government shutdown to rising trade tensions, and opted to emphasize that they would be “patient” in raising interest rates. Minutes of the Fed’s discussions in January showed that Fed officials also felt that further rate hikes might only be needed if inflation were to accelerate.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says that tariffs on imported vehicles from Europe are something “we certainly think about” and suggested that a final decision will hinge on the United States and the European Union reaching a trade deal in the coming months. Trump was asked about the prospect for the auto tariffs Wednesday before a meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

UNDATED (AP) — Google says it forgot to mention that it included a microphone in a security product it began selling in 2017, but blames the omission on an error. When the Nest Secure home alarm system hit the market, its product information didn’t mention a microphone. Google says the microphone wasn’t intended to be a secret and should have been disclosed. The company says people have to specifically turn on the microphone for it to be listening.

DETROIT (AP) — Another driver has been hurt by an exploding air bag inflator made by ARC Automotive of Knoxville, Tennessee. The company’s inflators have been under investigation for nearly four years by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Safety advocates say the agency is moving too slowly on the probe, which began in July of 2015, and other investigations. The agency says it’s continuing to review information.