Wall Street
Richard Drew  /  AP
FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2009 file photo, Specialist Donald Vaneck works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks fell Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009, as investors found little to pull them into the market after two weeks of big gains. A rebounding dollar also sapped buying sentiment. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)
updated 11/18/2009 3:06:54 AM ET 2009-11-18T08:06:54

Oil above $79 after US crude supply drop


SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices extended gains above $79 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after an unexpected drop in U.S. crude supplies suggested demand could be improving. Benchmark crude for December delivery was up 35 cents to $79.49 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 24 cents to settle at $79.14 on Tuesday.

Stock market end mixed even as commodities gain


NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks finished an erratic session mixed Tuesday as higher commodity prices lifted energy and materials shares. Major stock indexes had their third straight advance, reaching new 13-month highs, but there were more declining shares than advancers on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market. Stocks had zigzagged for much of the day on mixed news about retailers and industrial production.

Goldman Sachs, Buffett to help small businesses


NEW YORK (AP) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is teaming with billionaire investor Warren Buffett to invest $500 million to provide thousands of small business owners across America with college scholarships and boost their access to capital. The move comes as the company has been criticized for setting aside billions for employee paychecks despite the continuing weak economy.

Trump, bondholders reach deal over 3 NJ casinos


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Donald Trump ended his war with bondholders of the casino company that bears his name, settling Tuesday for 10 percent of Trump Entertainment Resorts once it emerges from bankruptcy. The real estate mogul announced he and his daughter, Ivanka, were abandoning their battle over control of the company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February. It was the third such filing for the company or its corporate predecessors.

Geithner: US must not drop ball on financial fix


WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress on Tuesday that efforts to strengthen the global financial system to prevent another deep crisis will falter if the United States drops the ball on overhauling regulation of its own banking system. "We need to move on the reform agenda when the memory of the crisis is still acute," Geithner said in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Administration widening pursuit of financial fraud


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has formed a new task force to target financial fraud — replacing an earlier corporate fraud task force. Attorney General Eric Holder says the new group will have a broader scope — and incorporate state investigators as well as federal agencies — to investigate and prosecute financial crimes that worsened the market collapse.

Factory production dips; wholesale inflation muted


WASHINGTON (AP) — A decline in factory production in October signals that consumers and businesses remain cautious in their spending, with the economic recovery likely to be sluggish. At the same time, the weak economy is taming inflation. Wholesale prices rose less than expected last month, giving the Federal Reserve more leeway to keep interest rates low to try to spur a stronger economic rebound.

3 retailers report solid 3Q but cautious on 4Q


CHICAGO (AP) — Deal-craving shoppers helped a trio of prominent U.S. retailers report Tuesday that their third quarter managed to improve this year. From Target Corp.'s cheap chic shoppers to Saks Inc.'s luxury loving customers, there were signs consumers were willing to splurge on a few extras. Just barely.

Dems, Republicans at odds over BofA, Merrill deal


WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior House Democrat says the government didn't force Bank of America to take over Merrill Lynch, but a bank board member said much pressure was applied and Republicans charged that a committee inquiry was covering up the role of an Obama administration official. "The government pushed us hard to do this deal," Bank of America director Charles "Chad" Gifford said after persistent questioning by lawmakers at a hearing Tuesday.

Value of loans at biggest banks drops in Sept.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The value of loans held by the largest banks who received the largest amounts of government bailout support fell for an eighth consecutive month in September, according to the Treasury Department. Further declines in lending will act as a severe drag on the economy as it struggles to rebound from the longest recession since the 1930s, analysts said.

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