US stocks soar; Microsoft leads a surge in technology

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks soared on the last trading day of January, led by big gains in technology companies after Microsoft turned in a strong quarter.

Visa and MasterCard also joined the rally in technology Friday, and several other companies also surged on strong earnings. Consol Energy jumped along with the price of natural gas.

The gains, as big as they were, weren't enough to make up for a dismal start to the year. U.S. indexes are still down sharply for January following the worst beginning to a year on record.

US stocks rise as oil prices jump again; tech climbs

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose Thursday as the price of oil climbed for the third day in a row while key oil-producing nations discussed cuts in production. Tech and consumer stocks traded higher, led by Amazon and PayPal, while drugmakers fell.

Facebook made its biggest leap in two and a half years after it said its profit more than doubled in the fourth quarter. The social network finished 2015 with almost 1.6 billion users. Sports apparel maker Under Armour also surged. Energy prices and companies rose as Russia, Saudi Arabia and OPEC discussed production cuts.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 125.18 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,069.64. The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 10.41 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,893.36. The Nasdaq composite index rose 38.51 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,506.68.


Russia: No firm plans to coordinate oil output with OPEC

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin says there are no concrete plans to cut oil output in coordination with major producers Saudi Arabia and OPEC.

Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday that Russia is "actively discussing the instability of oil markets," with Saudi Arabia and OPEC, but, as of yet, there are no conclusions from the talks.

On Wednesday, Transneft head Nikolai Tokarev said talks on output cuts are planned with Saudi Arabia and OPEC, with the Saudis as the main negotiators.


Russian companies back talks with OPEC on oil

MOSCOW (AP) — The head of Russian state oil pipeline monopoly Transneft says talks on output cuts are planned with Saudi Arabia and OPEC.

Transneft head Nikolai Tokarev said that Saudi Arabia had "taken the initiative and come out with a proposal to discuss the possibility of reducing volumes," in comments reported by Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

The negotiations could be within the OPEC format or bilateral, though the Saudis are the "main negotiators," Tokarev was quoted as saying by Tass.


Stock gain, driven by a turn higher in crude oil prices

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks jumped Tuesday as the price of oil made another abrupt reversal, this time rising almost 4 percent after falling sharply the day before.

Energy stocks climbed along with the price of oil, and Chevron and Exxon Mobil made major gains. Strong fourth-quarter results from beleaguered wireless provider Sprint gave telecom stocks a boost. Quarterly earnings also sent several stocks higher, including Post-it Notes maker 3M, Procter & Gamble, which makes Crest toothpaste, and luxury handbag maker Coach.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 282.01 points, or 1.8 percent, to 16,167.23. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 26.55 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,903.63. The Nasdaq composite index added 49.18 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,567.67.


Stocks slip as oil skids 6 percent, hitting energy companies

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks fell Monday as the price of oil slumped again, giving up some of the ground it gained late last week. That forced energy companies lower.

The stock market opened lower and stayed in the red all day. The selling accelerated in the last hour of trading. The biggest losses came in the energy sector and companies that make chemicals and paper goods.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 208.29 points, or 1.3 percent, to 15,885.22. The Standard & Poor's 500 index shed 29.82 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,877.08. The Nasdaq composite index lost 72.69 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,518.49.


Exxon says oil and gas will still dominate energy in 2040

DALLAS (AP) — The way oil giant Exxon Mobil sees it, the global energy landscape won't be radically different in 2040 than it is today.

Oil and gas will remain king, accounting for an even slightly larger share of the energy supply. Coal will fall behind natural gas to become the third-largest source of energy.

Exxon forecasts that emerging renewables such as solar and wind power will triple but remain small — just 4 percent of the world's energy. And carbon emissions will continue rising until around 2030, when cuts in industrialized nations gain traction lead an overall reduction.


European shares relapse into losses as oil prices fall back

TOKYO (AP) — European shares fell Monday as oil prices slipped back below $32 a barrel while Asian markets were buoyed for a second day by stimulus hopes.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX fell 0.5 percent to 9,717.15 and France's CAC 40 lost 0.7 percent to 4,306.61. Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.6 percent to 5,863.96. Wall Street looked set for losses. Dow futures were down 0.5 percent at 15,931.00 and S&P 500 futures dropped 0.4 percent to 1,892.20.

OIL PRICES: A rally in battered crude oil prices that began Friday appears short-lived. After modest gains earlier in the day, U.S. crude was down $1.10 to $31.09 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, it shot up $2.66 to $32.19 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, lost $1.11 to $31.07 a barrel. It gained $2.93, or 10 percent, on Friday to $32.18 a barrel in London.


Saudi Aramco chairman defends oil giant's possible IPO move

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The chairman of Saudi Arabia's state oil giant said on Monday that plans for a possible initial public offering are not being driven by a need for cash amid a global slump in oil prices, but instead signal a desire for greater openness to outside investors.

Speaking at an investment conference in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, Khalid al-Falih said the potential listing of the world's largest oil producer "is not for cash" but a "sign of the times" that the kingdom is open for business.

"If we do it, the percentage will not be such that it's going to move the needle significantly in terms of the government proceeds," al-Falih said, a reference to the potential listing.


Gas prices plunge 14 cents over past 2 weeks

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average price of gasoline has plunged 14 cents over the past two weeks, to $1.91 a gallon.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that with the latest decline the price is the lowest it's been in seven years.

Lundberg says the price drop may soon end as crude costs start going up again.


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