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Lawmakers release Russia-linked Facebook ads

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers have released a trove of Facebook ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process and shape public opinion on divisive social issues. The ads, dozens of which were disclosed for the first time, were released as representatives of leading social media companies faced criticism on Capitol Hill about why they hadn’t done more to combat Russian interference in last year’s election.

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Fed leaves key rate unchanged but hints at future hikes

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a new Federal Reserve leader about to be announced, the Fed is keeping its key interest rate unchanged while hinting that it’s preparing to resume raising rates to reflect a strengthened economy. The Fed’s decision left its benchmark rate in a low range of 1 to 1.25 percent.

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Trump says he’ll announce new Fed head Thursday

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he’ll announce the “new head” of the Federal Reserve Thursday afternoon. Trump says before a Cabinet meeting: “I think you will be extremely impressed by this person.”

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US auto sales fall even with strong sales of SUVs and trucks

DETROIT (AP) — Increased demand from rental car companies, strong truck and SUV sales, and recovery from hurricanes in Florida and Texas weren’t enough to push U.S. auto sales into positive territory for October. Sales for the month fell 1.3 percent compared with a year ago as slowing demand made it almost certain that 2017 will be the first year with declining sales in seven years. Full-year sales almost certainly will fall below last year’s record of more than 17.5 million, although most analysts say demand is still healthy.

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S&P 500 inches closer to record as global stocks rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Rising energy stocks helped nudge the Standard & Poor’s 500 close to its record high, but drops for smaller stocks left U.S. indexes mixed on Wednesday. Markets around the world were broadly higher as investors got more evidence that the global economy is strengthening and corporate profits are climbing.

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Court upholds approvals of 3 projects to export natural gas

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld Energy Department decisions approving three projects to export liquefied natural gas. It’s a boost for the Trump administration’s strategy to promote gas exports. The Sierra Club wanted to overturn approvals of export terminals in Maryland, Louisiana and Texas. The group said the projects would increase air and water pollution and contribute to global warming. But the District of Columbia-based appeals court has rejected that challenge.

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House GOP scrambles to finalize tax bill despite opposition

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans on Wednesday scrambled to finalize the first major tax overhaul in three decades amid opposition from GOP lawmakers fearful about constituents losing a cherished deduction for state and local taxes. Top Republicans vowed to release the measure on Thursday after missing a self-imposed Wednesday deadline and dismissed rumors that the unveiling might be further delayed. The ambitious timetable calls for passing the measure in the House by Thanksgiving.

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Trump signs GOP repeal of consumer banking rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed the repeal of a banking rule that would have allowed consumers to join together to sue their bank or credit card company to resolve financial disputes. The president signed the measure at the White House in private. Journalists were not present to witness the signing. The Republican-led Senate narrowly voted to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulation, which the banking industry had been seeking to roll back.

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Airlines see Thanksgiving travel rising 3 percent

Airline trade group predicts more than 28 million Americans will fly over Thanksgiving break, a 3 percent increase from last year. The Sunday after the holiday figures to be the busiest travel day.

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The S&P 500 rose 4.10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,579.36. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 57.77 points, or 0.3 percent, to 23,435.01. The Nasdaq composite fell 11.14 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,716.53. The small-cap Russell 2000 index lost 10 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,492.78.

Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 8 cents to settle at $54.30 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 45 cents to $60.49. Natural gas was virtually flat at $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil fell 2 cents to $1.86 per gallon and wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.74 per gallon.

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