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Wall Street woes continue...Oil prices drop... Weak consumer debt increase in February

April 6, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have ended the week the way they began it: tumbling as investors worry that tariffs and harsh words between the U.S. and China will touch off a trade war that derails the global economy. The Dow industrials dropped 572 points, or 2.3 percent, to 23,932. The S&P 500 lost 58 points, or 2.2 percent, to close at 2,604 and the Nasdaq slid 161 points, or 2.3 percent, to 6,915. The Russell 2000 dipped 29 points, or 1.9 percent, to end up at 1,513.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices have fallen almost 5 percent this week as investors wonder if an increase in trade tensions will reduce demand for oil by slowing down the global economy. Benchmark U.S. crude dropped $1.48, or 2.3 percent, to $62.06 a barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost $1.22, or 1.8 percent, to $67.11 per barrel in London.

WASHINGTON (AP) — US consumers increased their debt by just 3.3 percent in February, the weakest monthly change in nearly seven years despite an otherwise healthy economy. The Federal Reserve says consumer borrowing rose $10.6 billion in March to $3.9 trillion. The gains have slowed sharply from a 10.3 percent jump in debt levels in November. A category of debt that includes credit cards ticked up less than 0.2 percent to $1 trillion.

NEW YORK (AP) —Nine West Holdings Inc. is the latest retailer to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an attempt to restructure its debt. The shoe chain says the move was made to help with the sale of its Nine West and Bandolino footwear and handbag business and to focus more on its profitable businesses, including One Jeanswear Group, The Jewelry Group, the Kasper Group and Anne Klein. Nine West is owned by private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

PHOENIX (AP) — Federal law enforcement authorities are in the process of seizing Backpage.com and its affiliated websites. A notice on Backpage.com says the websites are being seized as part of an enforcement action by various federal agencies. Backpage.com lets users create posts to sell items, seek a roommate, participate in forums, list upcoming events or post job openings. It also has listings for adult escorts and other sexual services.

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