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Stocks end lower ... ExxonMobile acknowledges fracking risks ... California to give up single-use plastic bags

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks have ended slightly lower today, leaving the Standard & Poor's 500 index 1.5 percent in the red for September, but still up 6.7 percent for the year. After a day of slight ups and downs, the S&P 500 fell five points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 1,972, while the Dow Jones industrial average lost 28 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,042. The Nasdaq composite fell 12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,493.

NEW YORK (AP) — PayPal's impending split from long-time partner eBay Inc. will ratchet up its appeal to online retail competitors like and give it the freedom to aggressively take on new mobile pay challenger Apple Pay. For eBay, the challenge will be how to drive revenue without its fastest-growing division. The move marks a 180-degree turn for eBay's CEO, John Donahoe, who had been adamant in spurning activist investor Carl Icahn's call months ago to spin off PayPal. Donahoe says he now agrees that it's the right path for both companies.

NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil is explaining how it's managing the risks of hydraulic fracturing. The company is working on a report on the issue following pressure from a corporate responsibility group, the New York City Comptroller and other shareholders. The report acknowledges that drilling wells and producing oil and gas from shale formations and other so-called unconventional sources do carry risks. But it also details the benefits of unconventional oil and gas production and how it compares favorably to many other types of energy production and generation.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — U.S. casinos and the makers of the games found inside had a $240 billion economic impact and employed 1.7 million people in 2013. That includes the $38 billion in local, state and federal taxes the industry said it paid last year. Unlike prior studies, tribal gambling and some legal online gaming were included. The American Gaming Association announced the results of the study at a news conference Tuesday.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation imposing the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. They'll be phased out of large grocery stores starting next year and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016. The legislation is meant to encourage consumers to bring their own bags and to reduce litter. Plastic- and paper-bag manufacturers opposed the legislation. They say it will result in lost manufacturing jobs in California.

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