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Stock market bust...Oil prices down again... Obama signs big budget bill



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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing sharply lower today as the market erased its gains from earlier in the week. The downward move was led by drops in banks and technology companies. The Dow sank 367 points, or 2.1 percent, to 17,128. The S&P 500 fell 36 points, or 1.8 percent, to 2,005. And the Nasdaq composite lost 79 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,923.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices are continuing to fall. Benchmark U.S. crude slid 22 cents to $34.73 a barrel in New York today. Oil is trading at its lowest level in almost seven years and has slumped over the last two days. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, slipped 18 cents to $36.88 a barrel in London.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed a $1.1 trillion budget bill that averts a government shutdown. Republican leaders and the White House describe the deal as the best they could do under divided government. Congress also extended $680 billion in tax cuts for businesses and individuals. The White House is touting tax breaks for the wind and solar industry.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Walt Disney Co. is forecasting that "The Force Awakens" will make more than $100 million in North America today and is headed for a weekend total beyond $200 million. Disney says the new "Star Wars" film will possibly overtake the $208.8 million record of "Jurassic World" set in June, based on the robust box office receipt of today's matinees.

NEW YORK (AP) — A man extradited from Germany to face securities fraud charges for the second time has pleaded not guilty to charges that he pocketed more than $9 million in his latest investment scam. Edward Durante of New York City entered the plea today in Manhattan federal court. The 63-year-old defendant is being held without bail.

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The Associated Press

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