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VOL. 39 | NO. 50 | Friday, December 11, 2015

Mining companies lead stocks lower in midday trading

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are sliding at midday Thursday after a big rally the day before. Mining companies fell along with the price of gold and copper, while a proposed Congressional budget deal sent solar power companies higher. Indexes jumped Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average declined 151 points, or 0.9 percent, to 17,597 as of 12:03 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 21 points, or 1 percent, to 2,052. The Nasdaq composite index lost 38 points, or 0.8 percent, to 5,032.

FED GAINS FADE: Stocks jumped Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, a long-expected vote of confidence in the U.S. economy. Investors were encouraged that the Fed emphasized that further increases will be gradual. The Fed hadn't raised interest rates since 2006. The S&P 500 finished the day 1.5 percent higher.

FEDEX DELIVERS: Shipping company FedEx said its quarterly profit grew as online shopping increased and costs in its express-delivery business came down. FedEx also said it thinks holiday shipments will rise by more than 12 percent from a year ago. FedEx rose $4.86, or 3.3 percent, to $153.69.

AVON GETS A CALL: Avon Products rose after the beauty products retailer said it will sell its North American business to Cerberus Capital Management for $170 million. Cerberus will also invest $435 million in the remaining Avon business. Avon gained 12 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $4.21.

MINERS SLIDE: The price of gold sank $24, or 2.2 percent, to $1,052.80 an ounce and copper fell 3 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $2.04 a pound. Those canceled out gains from Wednesday. Newmont Mining dropped $1.49, or 7.8 percent, to $17.59 and Freeport-McMoRan lost 50 cents, or 7.4 percent, to $6.19.

SOLAR POWER SHINES: Solar power stocks continued to rise after Congress agreed to extend a federal tax credit for commercial and residential solar products. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said a budget deal between Democrats and Republicans will extend the 30 percent credit through 2019.

SolarCity gained $3.41, or 6.8 percent, to $57.10 and Sunrun added 53 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $12.16. The stocks are up 54 percent and 55 percent this week, respectively.

PANDORA: Streaming music company Pandora Media surged. A panel of copyright judges raised the amount that streaming companies like Pandora have to pay to record labels, but less than many had expected. Pandora jumped $1.86, or 13.8 percent, to $15.30.

ORACLE: Business software maker Oracle slipped after the company reported a smaller quarterly profit. Its revenue also fell short of analyst forecasts. The shares declined $1.97, or 5.1 percent, to $36.94.

CURRENCIES: The dollar climbed. While the Fed is raising interest rates, central banks in Europe and Japan are planning to lower them. That will make the dollar even stronger. A strong dollar hurts U.S. exporters but makes imports cheaper.

The euro dropped to $1.0808 from $1.0970. The dollar rose to 122.74 yen from 121.85 yen.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 68 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $34.84 a barrel in New York. U.S. oil fell almost 5 percent on Wednesday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 12 cents to $37.27 a barrel in London. Natural gas, which has fallen to 16-year lows, rose 1 cent to $1.80 per 1,000 cubic feet.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.26 percent from 2.30 percent late Wednesday.

EUROPE: Germany's DAX rose 2.8 percent while the CAC-40 in France rose 1.7 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares rose 0.9 percent.

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