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Stocks finish with little change... PR power company reaches restructuring deal ... Chocolate bar scandal?



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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have finished a shortened trading day slightly lower, in extremely light trading. Investors remained on the sidelines ahead of Christmas. The price of crude oil continued to recover. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 50 points. The S&P 500 fell three points, and the Nasdaq composite rose two and a-half.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Analysts say a drop in mortgage rates a week after the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates is a reminder that the Fed has only an indirect effect on long-term mortgage rates. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac is reporting that the average on a 30-year fixed mortgage dipped to 3.96 percent from 3.97 percent last week. But the rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged at 3.22 percent.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's struggling power company has reached a key restructuring deal with creditors and bond insurers that forgives a portion of its $9 billion debt and would temporarily boost its liquidity amid a deep economic crisis. The Electric Power Authority says the deal forgives $600 million through a 15 percent discount. It also delays a more than $700 million debt payment for five years. The deal also calls for an increase in utility rates.

TOKYO (AP) — Mitsubishi, a maker of the World War II-era Zero fighter, says it plans to postpone by one year deliveries of its new regional jet, to mid-2018. The company says several issues still need to be addressed, so the jet's development schedule has been revised. Mitsubishi aims to reclaim Japan's one-time status as an aviation power some 70 years after the country suspended making planes following its defeat in World War II.

NEW YORK (AP) — A scandal is roiling the world of fancy chocolate. Brothers Rick and Michael Mast have been accused of using re-melted chocolate in their stylishly wrapped chocolate bars that can cost $10 a piece. They describe their company as "bean-to-bar," or chocolate made from scratch. The Mast brothers say they haven't used melted industrial chocolate since 2009 and they say they've never passed off re-melted chocolate as being made from scratch.

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The Associated Press

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