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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are heading for a sluggish end to the year. The major indexes are lower in light New Year's Eve trading. Nine of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index were down at midday, led by a 1.9 percent decline in utilities stocks. Energy stocks, which have been battered recently, edged higher as oil prices rebounded.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Flooding is disrupting train traffic in Missouri and Illinois. Union Pacific says two sections of track in Missouri and two in Illinois are out of service because of rising waters. In the St. Louis area, transportation by car, boat or train is at a virtual standstill. And the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District says a sewage treatment plant in Valley Park has been shut down after water from the Meramec River flowed over a wall of sandbags around the plant, causing raw sewage to flow into the river.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The largest container ship to visit the U.S. has passed under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco en route to the Port of Oakland. The nearly quarter-mile-long megaship cleared the famous bridge today with about 20 feet of space to spare. The ship named the Benjamin Franklin set sail from China earlier this month and stopped in Los Angeles after Christmas. It can hold up to 18,000 20-foot shipping containers. The largest ships serving the U.S. can carry 14,000 containers.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is making some of its users feel older than they really are. The social network sent automated messages today inviting some users to celebrate "46 years of friendship on Facebook" with their online friends. That's odd, since Facebook only started in 2004. And some people who got the message are in their 20s and 30s. Facebook blames a software bug and promises to fix it so that everyone can start the new year feeling young again.
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary BH Media Group is adding to its newspaper holdings in Virginia. It's purchased The Free Lance-Star, a 31,700-circulation daily newspaper serving the Fredericksburg area. That gives BH Media 32 daily newspapers, of which 10 are in Virginia.
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