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Stocks rise...Consumer prices fall with drop in gas prices...Threat cancels NY movie premier

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 17, 2014 at 8:41 a.m.



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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are higher in early trading on Wall Street. Energy stocks are leading the gains despite the ongoing slump in oil prices. This afternoon Federal Reserve policymakers conclude a two-day meeting. Traders are watching for signs that the Fed is considering raising interest rates.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Plunging gasoline costs are keeping inflation at bay. The Labor Department says consumer prices fell 0.3 percent last month as gas plummeted 10.5 percent, the steepest decline in nearly six years. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, rose 0.1 percent in November.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. current account trade deficit widened slightly in the July-September quarter, largely due to foreign institutions paying less in fines and penalties to the U.S. government. The Commerce Department says the deficit in the current account rose to $100.3 billion in the third quarter, up 1.9 percent from the revised $98.4 billion deficit in the April-June period. The current account is the broadest measure of trade, covering not only the flow of goods and services but also investment flows.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — FedEx says its second-quarter earnings jumped 23 percent, but it missed Wall Street forecasts and left its expectation for the full fiscal year unchanged. The package delivery company says a jump in plane maintenance costs blunted gains the company reaped from managing costs, lowering its pension expense and growing its export package revenue.

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York premiere of the comedy "The Interview" has been canceled following threats of violence against theaters carrying it. The Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy is about a CIA plot to kill North Korea's leader, and security fears have spurred Sony to allow theater chains to cancel showings. The threat comes from a shadowy group calling itself Guardians of Peace, which earlier released a trove of data files including 32,000 emails to and from Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton.

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The Associated Press

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