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Stocks drift lower ... Tough season for homebuyers ... Insurance loopholes tightened



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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks drifted mostly lower in afternoon trading as falling oil prices pulled down energy stocks. The market is coming off its best day in two months on Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index are both down a bit, while the Nasdaq composite gained slightly.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Home buyers are facing a tough, competitive spring buying season. Bidding wars have broken out in hot real-estate markets like Denver and Los Angeles, where there aren't enough houses to meet demand. Low mortgage rates are further tilting the market in favor of sellers. The low rates have ratcheted up pressure on buyers to wrap up deals before borrowing becomes more expensive.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Volvo Cars has announced it will build its first plant in South Carolina. The $500 million plant will eventually employ up to 4,000 people and initially manufacture about 100,000 vehicles a year. The first models are to roll off the line in 2018, about 30 miles north of the Port of Charleston in Berkeley County.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is closing insurance loopholes on coverage of preventive services, from contraception to colonoscopies. The Department of Health and Human Services says insurers must cover at least one birth control method in each of 18 categories approved by the FDA at no extra cost to patients. Also, insurers can't charge patients for anesthesia services provided during colonoscopy screenings for cancer risk.

MILLIKEN, Colo. (AP) — A barbecue restaurant in northern Colorado has dropped a plan to give white customers a 10 percent discount and will now include everyone. Edgar Antillon (an-tee-OHN'), the owner of the restaurant in Milliken, who is of Mexican heritage, said he had just wanted to "appreciate white Americans" because there already was Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month. The white customer discount was called racist on social media.

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The Associated Press

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