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Stocks volatile... Oil prices plummet...Obama proposes changes in unemployment insurance


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UNDATED (AP) — Investors are in shock at how bad the stock market is performing in the first two weeks of 2016. The Dow and S&P 500 have now fallen about 8 percent this year, while the Nasdaq is off about 10 percent. Stocks tumbled again Friday. The Dow slid 391 points, or 2.4 percent. The S&P fell nearly 45 points, or 2.3 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 126 points, or 2.7 percent.

UNDATED (AP) — Part of the stock market's problems relate to falling oil prices. There's plenty of supply and too few buyers and more crude will likely be coming on line soon. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.78, or 5.7 percent, to $29.42 a barrel in New York on Friday. And Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell $1.94, or 6.3 percent, to $28.94 a barrel in London.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is proposing a set of changes to unemployment insurance that he says would offer more security to out-of-work Americans and encourage more people to rejoin the workforce. Obama's plan would expand coverage to many part-time and low-income workers and expand wage insurance programs, aiming to soften the transition for people who take lower-paying jobs. He also wants to require all states to provide at least 26 weeks of unemployment insurance.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Regions Bank officials say the company is planning to eliminate 260 positions in the first quarter of 2016. Officials say the move is "part of an effort to improve efficiency and restructure the company's expense base." Regions Bank, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, operates more than 1,600 banks and 2,000 ATMs and employs about 24,000 people.

HUNTINGBURG, Ind. (AP) — The company behind the Indiana turkey farm where bird flu was found, Farbest Farms, says it is working closely with state and federal officials. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday that the H7N8 flu strain was confirmed at a farm in southern Indiana after samples from birds were taken when the farm saw a surge in turkey deaths. It's a different strain than the virus that led to the deaths of about 48 million turkeys and chickens last summer.

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