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Fed leaves low rates alone and foresees no moves in 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s decision to leave interest rates alone follows three rate cuts this year. It reflects its view that the U.S. economy has so far withstood the U.S.-China trade war and a global slump and remains generally healthy. The Fed’s benchmark rateinfluences many consumer and business loans. It will remain in a low range of 1.5% to 1.75%. The Fed’s latest policy statement dropped a phrase it had previously used that referred to “uncertainties” surrounding the economic outlook. That suggests that the Fed may be less worried about the impact of the U.S.-China trade war or overseas developments.

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FAA analysis predicted many more Max crashes without a fix

WASHINGTON (AP) — An FAA analysis after the first crash of a Boeing 737 Max predicted there would be more disasters without a fix of critical automated flight-control system. Safety officials estimated there could be 15 more crashes of the Max over the next few decades. Yet the Federal Aviation Administration did not ground the plane until a second deadly crash five months later. The disclosure came as the House Transportation Committee questioned the head of the FAA about his agency’s oversight of Boeing and the Max. Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio says the FAA failed to do its job.

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Saudi stock offering creates world’s most valuable company

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco has surpassed Appleto become the world’s most valuable public company. Its shares jumped 10% in a stock market debut Wednesday. The market flotation is part of the country’s ambitious shift away from the very fossil fuels the economy depends on. The shares’ rally on the Saudi exchange brought state-owned Aramco’s value to $1.88 trillion. The 1.5% of the company that is listed has raised $25.6 billion, a record for an initial public offering. Despite the success of the sale, the kingdom’s decision not to list the company on a larger foreign exchange points to concerns that a global flotation would raise.

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US budget deficit rises to $209 billion in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. budget deficit rose by 2% last month to $209 billion, another step in a journey back toward $1 trillion-a-year budget shortfalls. The Treasury Department reported the federal government took in $225 billion in tax and other revenue. However, it spent a record $434 billion in November, the second month of the government’s 2020 budget year. In the 2019 budget year, the government ran up a deficit of $984.4 billion, the most in seven years.

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New drugs show rare promise against advanced breast cancer

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Doctors are reporting unusually good results from tests of two experimental drugs in women with an aggressive form of breast cancer that had spread widely and resisted treatment. One drug showed particular ability to reach tumors in the brain. The other is like a guided missile that pairs a homing device for cancer cells with chemotherapy that’s released when it reaches them. Results were disclosed Wednesday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and in the New England Journal of Medicine. The studies involve cancers that are called HER2 positive.

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EU to offer billions to help poorer EU nations cut emissions

The president of the European Commission wants to offer 100 billion euros ($130 billion) to help member countries cut climate-warming emissions. Ursula von der Leyen took office this month at the helm of the EU’s powerful executive arm and has made the fight against climate change her top priority. She has pledged to make the EU the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and wants the 28-country bloc to reduce carbon emission by at least 50% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.That is part of the “European Green Deal” she unveiled Wednesday.

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Firm hands out $10M in holiday bonuses to 198 employees

BALTIMORE (AP) — A commercial real estate developer is handing out a total of $10 million in bonuses to its 198 employees. Edward St. John is the founder and chairman of St. John Properties. He said he couldn’t think of a better way to show his thanks for his employees’ hard work. The bonuses are based on tenure. The average is $50,000, but some longtime employees are getting more than $250,000.

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US stocks notch modest gains as Fed leaves rates unchanged

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks notched modest gains on Wall Street Wednesday, snapping a two-day losing streak for the S&P 500. The market shook off a mixed start after the Federal Reserve announced it would be leaving interest rates unchanged this month and signalled that it expects to leave them alone in 2020. The Fed’s latest policy statement dropped a phrase that referred to “uncertainties” surrounding the economic outlook, suggesting it’s less worried about the impact of the U.S.-China trade war. Jitters over trade have made for choppy trading this week. Technology and industrial stocks led the gains. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower.

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The S&P 500 index gained 9.11 points, or 0.3%, to 3,141.63. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 29.58 points, or 0.1%, to 27,911.30. The Nasdaq added 37.87 points, or 0.4%, to 8,654.05. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks edged up 0.21 of a point, or less than 0.1%, to 1,631.93.

The Associated Press