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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, January 12, 2019 1:00 am

Briefs

Markets calm amid losses in oil

News services

NEW YORK – U.S. stock indexes nestled a hair lower on Friday after the falling price of oil weighed on energy companies, but the S&P 500 nevertheless closed out its third straight winning week following a brutal stretch in December.

It was a day full of broken streaks – oil fell for the first time in two weeks, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note sank to its first loss in more than a week – but the market remained calm through it. Gradual moves for markets in recent days have offered a respite following the tumultuous trading that rocked investors in late 2018.

The S&P 500 edged down by 0.38 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,596.26. Last month, a typical day for the index was a swing 10 times that.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 5.97 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 23,995.95. The Nasdaq composite lost 14.59, or 0.2 percent, to 6,971.48, and the Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks ticked up by 1.95, or 0.1 percent, to 1,447.38.

It was the first loss for the S&P 500 in six days, and much of the reason for it was the falling price of oil.

Consumer prices fall 0.1% in December

Consumer prices slipped 0.1 percent last month, pulled down by sharply lower gas prices and cheaper air fares, used cars, and mobile phone plans.

The Labor Department said the consumer price index rose just 1.9 percent in December from a year earlier, the first time it has fallen below 2 percent since August 2017.

Excluding the volatile energy and food categories, core prices rose 0.2 percent for the third month in a row. They rose 2.2 percent from a year ago for the second straight month.

VW posts record sales again in 2018

German automaker Volkswagen posted another annual sales record in 2018 as new SUV models boosted deliveries and the company managed to increase its share in China even as the car market there shrank for the first time in years.

The Wolfsburg-based maker of Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and other brand name cars sold 10.83 million vehicles, beating its 2017 record of 10.74 million cars by 0.9 percent.

Marketing head Christian Dahlheim said increasing sales in a global passenger car market that contracted by 1.2 percent last year was “a great result.”

Google eyes data center in Minnesota

Google is looking into building a $600 million data center in central Minnesota that would be powered by two wind farms.

Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy disclosed the data center project Thursday in a regulatory filing. The Google facility proposed in Becker would mark one of the largest private construction projects in recent state history and create about 50 full-time tech jobs.

Bud Light to add nutrition numbers

Beer drinkers can't claim blissful ignorance for much longer.

Starting next month, packages of Bud Light will have prominent labels showing the beer's calories and ingredients as well as the amount of fat, carbohydrates and protein in a serving.

Bud Light is likely the first of many to make the move. The labels aren't legally required, but major beer makers agreed in 2016 to voluntarily disclose nutrition facts on their products by 2020.