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What a day on Wall Street...Oil prices spike... Holiday sales grew dramatically

December 26, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street has notched its best day in 10 years as stocks rallied back today, giving some post-Christmas hope to a market that has otherwise been battered this December. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 1,000 points — its biggest point-gain ever — rising nearly 5 percent as investors returned from a holiday break. The benchmark S&P 500 index also gained 5 percent and the technology heavy Nasdaq rose 5.8 percent.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices have jumped. Benchmark U.S. crude climbed 8.7 percent to settle at $46.22 a barrel in New York today. Meanwhile, Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 7.9 percent to $54.47 a barrel in London.

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans have pushed holiday sales growth to a six-year high. According to data from Mastercard SpendingPulse, retail sales rose 5.1 percent between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 compared with the previous year. The data tracked spending online and in stores across all payment types. Mastercard says total sales topped $850 billion this year. Data shows online sales continued to grow.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Prosecutors say thousands of individuals and businesses were victims of a large-scale scheme in which ordinary corn and soybeans were fraudulently marketed nationwide as “certified organic.” A U.S. attorney’s office in Iowa says potentially “tens of thousands” were defrauded by Randy Constant and his associates into paying a premium for products they didn’t want. Constant and three others have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans’ mayor says the city deserves to get a bigger percentage of the $166 million collected each year from a 15 percent surcharge on hotel rooms. Mayor LaToya Cantrell says the city of Mardi Gras fame receives barely more than 1 in 10 of each dollar collected from the taxes and fees visitors pay. The city is grappling with longstanding infrastructure challenges, including potholes, drainage problems and sporadic drinking water issues.

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