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Stocks advance...Oil's rebound erased...Halliburton cutting jobs...Germany's hardline on Greek debt



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NEW YORK (AP) — A mix of positive earnings and corporate news has boosted stocks today. Coca-Cola rose after the company reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. And General Motors was another winner after an activist investor said he would seek a seat on the company's board and push for a stock buyback. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 139.55 points, or 0.8 percent, to 17,868.76. The broader indexes were up more than one percent. The S&P 500 added 21.85 to 2,068.59. The Nasdaq composite rose 61.63 points to 4,787.64.

NEW YORK (AP) — The rebound in oil prices has come to a halt. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $2.84, erasing three days of gains, to close at $50.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Analysts at Citigroup say the rising inventory costs could push the price as low as $20 a barrel.

NEW YORK (AP) — Halliburton says it will eliminate at least 5,000 jobs in response to falling oil prices. The oil and gas drilling services company says it will lay off up to 8 percent of its staff. Oil prices plunged 60 percent from June to January. Last month, Halliburton competitor Schlumberger Ltd. said it would eliminate 9,000 jobs in response to falling oil prices.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Germany is taking a tough line against Greece over its bailout, tempering market hopes that a deal between Athens and its European creditors is in the works. Greece wants to scrap its bailout program and work out a new one with easier terms. But Germany's finance minister (Wolfgang Schaeuble) says statements from Greece's new government are "more confusing than helpful" and warns that a decision by Athens to pull out of the current deal will kill negotiations.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Airlines are doing better avoiding super-long tarmac delays. The U.S. Department of Transportation says there were no such delays in December, making 2014 the best year on record. Only 30 domestic flights had ground delays topping three hours last year. Under rules that took effect in 2010, airlines can be fined for such long delays. In the year before the rules were put into place, there were 868 domestic flights stuck on the ground for more than three hours.

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The Associated Press

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