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Stocks rise...Fed raises key rate a quarter-point...US charges Russians in Yahoo breach

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 15, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising in afternoon trading on Wall Street, after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates and signaled that any further increases this year will be gradual. Bond prices rose, pushing yields lower. That sent high-dividend stocks like utilities and real estate investment trusts higher. Financial stocks fell.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time in three months. The Fed's key short-term rate is rising by a quarter-point to a still-low range of 0.75 percent to 1 percent. The 9-1 vote signals that the Fed believes the economy no longer needs the support of ultra-low borrowing rates and is healthy enough to withstand steadily tighter credit. But it says any further hikes this year will be gradual.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has charged two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers in a breach at Yahoo that affected at least a half billion user accounts. U.S. officials say the hacking began at least as early as 2014 and targeted the email accounts of Russian and U.S. officials, Russian journalists, and employees of financial services and others. The Justice Department has previously charged Russian hackers with cybercrime, but this is the first criminal case brought against Russian government officials.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government says more than 12 million people have signed up for coverage this year under former President Barack Obama's health care law, even as the Republican-led Congress debates its repeal. The 12.2 million figure nationwide does not include an additional 765,000 people signed up under an option in the Obama-era law called the Basic Health Plan, which is used by New York and Minnesota. Counting those, total sign-ups approach 13 million. Most were eligible for tax credits and other assistance to help pay their premiums.

NEW YORK (AP) — The average Wall Street banker bonus came to slightly more than $138,000 in 2016. That's according to data from the New York State Comptroller's Office. The major banks set aside $23.9 billion for bonuses in 2016, or $138,210 per worker, up 2 percent from a year earlier. Bonuses remain well below than the levels they were in their heyday before the financial crisis, when the average bonus was $191,360.

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The Associated Press


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