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Stocks stabilize...Watching the Fed...Ethics review of Iowa lawmaker

December 18, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — After two days of huge losses, U.S. stocks ended the day back where they started on Tuesday. Energy companies sank as crude oil plunged 7 percent, but technology and consumer-focused companies climbed. The Dow added 83 points.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Having raised interest rates with steady regularity in recent months, the Federal Reserve may embrace a new message this week: Flexibility. On Wednesday, the Fed is all but sure to impose its fourth rate hike of the year. But after this week’s market volatility, no one is certain what it will do. Neither, it may be, is the Fed itself.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s expenditures will hit a record-high in 2019 as the government plans to increase state spending by 7 percent to reach $295 billion despite plunging oil prices. The government said Tuesday it expects revenue to increase by more than 9 percent to hit $260 billion — leaving a projected deficit of $35 billion.

DONGGUAN, China (AP) — The chairman of Huawei has called on the United States, Australia and other governments to provide evidence to back up claims that the Chinese tech giant is a security risk. The statements come as part of a public relations effort to defuse fears that threaten Huawei’s role in next-generation communications.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An independent review found that Rep. Rod Blum likely violated a host of ethics rules in his private business dealings. The Office of Congressional Ethics opened the review into Blum, a Republican from Iowa, following an investigation by The Associated Press earlier this year. Its report found “substantial reason to believe” that Blum failed to disclose his ownership of Tin Moon Corp., used House resources to promote the business, and allowed the company to use deceptive marketing practices.

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