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Late rally boosts stocks...Oil prices rise...Obama budget targets pricey meds



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NEW YORK (AP) — After an up and down day, stocks have finished with solid gains on Wall Street. Energy companies led a late rally, pushing the Dow up 196 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,361.04. The S&P 500 gained nearly 26 points, or 1.3 percent to 2,020.85. The Nasdaq composite's gain was slightly smaller, less than one percent, closing up 41 to 4,676.69.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices have regained a bit of ground. Benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.33 on the New York Mercantile Exchange today, closing at $49.57 a barrel. Energy companies rose 3 percent, the biggest gain among the 10 sectors in the S&P 500. Among the big winners, Denbury Resources jumped 12 percent and Chesapeake Energy rose 7 percent. In the Dow 30, Chevron jumped 3.4 percent and Exxon Mobil rose 2.5 percent after reporting better-than-expected earnings..

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is calling for the government to use its buying power to squeeze drug companies for lower prices on new medications. In his budget for the 2016 fiscal year, Obama asks Congress to authorize Medicare to negotiate on behalf of its beneficiaries for so-called "specialty" drugs that require hefty copayments from patients. They include biologics, which are medications derived from natural substances, ranging from insulin to some of the latest cancer treatments.

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is planning another large bond sale. Traders say the company was originally trying to sell $5 billion in bonds, but investor demand has been strong and Apple's offering might go as high as $6.5 billion. Meanwhile, Apple says it will invest billions of dollars to open a data center in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa. The company expects 150 permanent workers at the site, in addition to construction crews.

NEW YORK (AP) — It turns out the Seahawks weren't the only ones stopped on the goal line over the weekend. Estimates yesterday had "American Sniper" bringing in $31.9 million, a record box office haul for Super Bowl weekend. But final figures have revised the total down to $30.7 million. That leaves "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour" as the top earner against the NFL's big game. Still, "American Sniper" has set a host of other box-office records in five weeks of release and has earned $247.8 million overall.

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The Associated Press

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