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Stocks plunge...Crude drops below $40...US tar sands mine set to open in Utah

By The Associated Press | Posted - Aug. 21, 2015 at 12:31 p.m.



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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are plunging in afternoon trading on Wall Street, following a sell-off in major indexes around the world. The Dow Jones industrial average has been down more than 300 points for the second day in a row. The Nasdaq has fallen more than 90 points. The Nasdaq is now about 8 percent off its recent high of 5,218.86 on July 20.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil has dropped below $40 a barrel for the first time since the end of the global economic crisis. Crude fell to $39.86 in afternoon trading. Oil prices have been falling solidly for eight consecutive weeks. That's the longest streak since 1986. Prices have fallen almost 60 percent since this time last year, and more than 34 percent in just the past three months.

BOOK CLIFFS, Utah (AP) — A Canadian company is about to embark on something never before done commercially in the United States: digging sticky, black, tar-soaked sand from the ground and extracting the petroleum. U.S. Oil Sands has invested nearly $100 million over the last decade to acquire rights to about 50 square miles in Utah, obtain permits and develop what it says is new, non-toxic method of separating out the oil with the use of an orange-peel extract. The company says it will leave the land only minimally harmed, but environmentalists oppose the project.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has reinstated Obama administration regulations that guarantee overtime and minimum wage protections to nearly 2 million home health care workers. The court in Washington ruled that the Labor Department had authority to change the wage rules covering domestic workers who help the elderly and disabled with everyday tasks such as bathing or taking medicine. Workers hired through third-party staffing agencies haven't been eligible for minimum wage and overtime pay since 1974.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Labor Department says unemployment rates fell in 24 U.S. states last month. Rates rose in 14 and were unchanged in 12. Employers added jobs in 34 states and cut them in 16. Nebraska has the nation's lowest unemployment rate, at 2.7 percent, followed by North Dakota with 3 percent. West Virginia, which has been hit by a steep decline in coal prices, has the highest rate, at 7.5 percent.

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The Associated Press

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