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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks move lower in early trading

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell in morning trading on Wall Street Monday as investors worried that tensions between the U.S. and Iran would escalate.

A U.S. airstrike killed a top Iranian general last week and prompted threats of retaliation from Iran. That has rattled financial markets around the world as investors remain uncertain about how Iran will respond.

Banks and industrial companies led the losses. Energy and communications companies held up well.

Investors continued to shift some money into safer holdings. Utilities moved higher. The price of gold hit a seven-year high before pulling back slightly.

UNITED STATES-IRAN-OIL MARKETS

Oil prices at highest levels in months

UNDATED (AP) — The global benchmark for crude oil has risen above $70 a barrel for the first time in over three months.

The increase came amid jitters over the escalating military tensions between Iran and the United States after an American drone strike killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

The price of oil is now up more than 5% since the killing.

The energy industry is worried that Iran could strike at oil and gas facilities along the Persian Gulf that are important to the U.S. and its regional allies.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-WEINSTEIN

Harvey Weinstein and accusers converge at court

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein and several women who have accused him of sexual misconduct converged Monday at a New York City courthouse ahead of his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault.

The 67-year-old movie mogul entered the building Monday leaning on a walker following recent back surgery. He, his lawyers and a judge were handling the final preparations before jury selection starts this week.

A group of Weinstein's accusers spoke with reporters outside court, including actress Rose McGowan. She thanked the women who will testify for representing many more women she says may never get their day in court.

BORDEN-BANKRUPTCY

Borden files for bankruptcy amid drop in US milk drinkers

UNDATED (AP) — Borden is filing for bankruptcy protection, the second major US dairy to do so in as many months.

American refrigerators are increasingly stocked with milk substitutes made from soy or almonds, hammering traditional milk and cheese producers like Borden, founded in 1857.

Dean Foods, the nation's largest milk producer, filed for bankruptcy protection in November. Both dairies are based in Dallas.

Borden Dairy Co. — whose smiling mascot Elsie the cow first appeared on milk cartons in the 1930s — says it will continue operations during its financial restructuring.

FRANCE-PENSION OVERHAUL

France enters crucial week of talks with unions on pensions

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron says he want to reach a quick compromise in talks this week with unions over government plans to overhaul the pension system. Nationwide demonstrations and transport strikes continue as unions protest the changes.

According to a government spokeswoman, Macron told a Cabinet meeting today that the new pension system must be financially sustainable.

Talks between the prime minister and worker unions are to resume Tuesday, including on the financing of the retirement system. Macron also says that people doing physically demanding or dangerous work should be allowed to retire early.

Macron's plans include raising the eligibility age for full pensions from 62 to 64, the most criticized measure.

GADGET SHOW-SURVEILLANCE

CES Gadget Show: Surveillance is in - and in a big way

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The CES gadget show this year is all-in on surveillance technology — from the face scanner that will check in some attendees to the cameras-everywhere array of digital gadgets.

Travel through the sprawling Las Vegas consumer tech conference, and you'll find devices that see, hear and track the people they encounter. Some also analyze people's looks and behavior.

The gadgets bring convenience but also serve as powerful spying tools.

Skeptics who raise privacy and security concerns at CES can be easily drowned out in the flashy spectacle of gee-whiz technology.

CES runs Tuesday to Friday after two days of media previews.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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