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Stocks seeking direction...10 automakers commit to emergency braking...August budget deficit drops

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 11, 2015 at 12:51 p.m.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Major stock indexes have been flipping between slight gains and losses today as traders look ahead to next week's Federal Reserve policy meeting. Oil and gas companies dropped as the price of oil took another fall. U.S. crude sank after Goldman Sachs said that the global glut of oil could push prices as low as $20 a barrel.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten automakers have committed to the government to include automatic emergency braking in all new cars. Today's announcement by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx didn't specify a timetable for implementing the change. The automakers are Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is on track to record the smallest annual deficit in eight years. The Treasury Department says the deficit in August totaled $64.4 billion, a drop of 50 percent from the same month a year ago. Much of that improvement reflected quirks in timing related to the calendar. Some $42 billion in August benefit payments were made in July because Aug. 1 fell on a Saturday. Through the first 11 months of this budget year, which ends Sept. 30, the deficit is running 10 percent below last year's level.

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Baggage handlers, cabin cleaners and ramp workers employed by Alaska Airlines contractor Menzies Aviation have walked off the job at Sea-Tac International Airport. The workers are picketing to protest what they say is unfair labor practices, including intimidation, threats and harassment, by their employer. The company denies that it's been involved in unfair labor practices.

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago woman is accusing Office Depot of religious discrimination. She says employees told her that making copies of an anti-abortion prayer violated company policy. A company spokeswoman tells the Chicago Tribune that Office Depot prohibits the copying of material that advocates "the persecution of certain groups of people," and that the flier advocated "the persecution of people who support abortion rights."

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The Associated Press


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