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US stocks mount milestone-shattering run in 2017

Wall Street delivered big gains and shattered stock market records in 2017 as a global economic rebound, strong company earnings growth and the GOP-led push to slash corporate taxes and enact other pro-business policies encouraged investors to keep buying stocks even as share prices climbed ever higher.

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2017 winners and losers: Amazon, Boeing soared; GE plunged

In a strong year for stocks overall, Amazon posted more outsize gains while and Boeing nearly doubled. Oil companies fell as the price of crude bounced around. General Electric slumped after making big changes at the top, cutting its dividend and saying it will slim down over the next few years.

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Risk for middle class: That GOP tax cuts could fade away

WASHINGTON (AP) — The new tax law bestows an initial infusion of cash on nearly every taxpayer next year. That extra income is likely to please millions of households, support consumer spending and perhaps give the economy a lift. But over the next several years, multiple analyses have found, those tax cuts will gradually fade — and then morph into tax hikes for a majority of people who are solidly middle class.

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Small retailers capitalized on strengths for holiday season

Small and independent retailers who had a successful holiday season capitalized on the advantages they have over big national chains. The smaller retailers were able to change their prices and other strategies quickly. Retailers that did well also said they were able to take advantage of social media tools designed for smaller companies.

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Trump, GOP Hill leaders to meet at Camp David in January

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump plans to open the new year by meeting with the Hill’s top Republicans to plan the 2018 legislative agenda. The White House says Trump will host Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan at the Camp David presidential retreat during the weekend of Jan. 6. The meeting will follow enactment of legislation to cut taxes for corporations and individuals, Trump’s major legislative achievement for 2017.

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Jewelry company Alex and Ani’s president, finance boss leave

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Fashion jewelry maker Alex and Ani says its president and chief financial officer have left the Rhode Island-based company. Company attorney Mark Geragos tells the Providence Journal president Cindy DiPietrantonio and chief financial officer Bob Woodruff moved on after their one-year contracts with the company expired and neither was fired. DiPietrantonio and Woodruff are the latest in a series of executives to depart the Cranston-based company.

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Connecticut news radio veteran Fran Schneidau dies at 79

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A longtime WCBS radio reporter whose distinctive voice could be heard delivering Connecticut news for 39 years has died. Fran Schneidau had retired from WCBS Newsradio 880 in February and was 79 years old. The New York-based station announced her death on Wednesday but didn’t disclose the cause of it.

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Football, funny ladies and ‘Wonderful Life’ are ratings hits

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two TV funny ladies and a classic Christmas movie won over viewers last week. According to Nielsen figures released Wednesday, popular shows included a preview of Ellen DeGeneres’ new NBC game show and vintage “I Love Lucy” episodes on CBS.

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FEMA sells disaster trailers cheaply despite victim demand

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The federal government typically spends up to $150,000 apiece on the trailers it leases to disaster victims, then auctions them for pennies on the dollar after 18 months of use or any sign of minor damage. A spokeswoman with the Department of Homeland Security confirms to The Associated Press that disposing of used trailers is longstanding practice. It’s continued even with almost 8,000 Texas applicants awaiting federal housing help after Hurricane Harvey landed in the Gulf Coast.

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US stocks eke out gains in quiet day on Wall Street

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. stock indexes capped another quiet day on Wall Street Wednesday with slight gains, recouping some of the market’s modest losses from a day earlier.

Technology, health care and industrials stocks accounted for much of the market’s gain. A report showing that pending U.S. home sales inched higher last month helped lift homebuilder shares.

Retailers and consume-goods manufacturers declined the most, following a late-afternoon slide. Energy stocks also fell along with the price of crude oil. Bond yields fell following a report showing U.S. consumer confidence dipped this month.

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,682.62. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 28.09 points, or 0.1 percent, to 24,774.30. The Nasdaq composite edged up 3.09 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 6,939.34. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 0.29 points to 1,543.94.

Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 33 cents to settle at $59.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, slipped 58 cents to close at $66.44 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline remained at $1.79 a gallon. Heating oil stayed put at $2.04 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 10 cents to $2.74 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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