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Wires

  • NEW YORK, Jan 19- The New York Federal Reserve on Friday reduced its estimate on U.S. gross domestic product growth for the first quarter of 2018 as a steeper-than-forecast drop in homebuilding in December offset a stronger-than-expected increase in industrial production last month. The regional central bank's "Nowcast" model calculated the U.S. economy was...

  • Jan 19- The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq edged higher on Friday following positive brokerage recommendations on a bunch of consumer names, but the Dow was reined in by losses in IBM. "We've seen estimates being raised for 2018, so that provides some fundamental underpinnings for the strength we've in equity markets," said Bill Northey, senior vice president of U.S.

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 19- U.S. financial regulators have begun work to "streamline" the Volcker Rule banning banks from making risky bets with their own money, the country's top banking regulator said on Friday. Randal Quarles, vice chairman for supervision at the Federal Reserve, told a conference in Washington that the five agencies that oversee the rule were working...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 19- General Electric shares tumbled for a fifth straight session on Friday, flirting with their biggest weekly percentage drop since the financial crisis, after the company flagged a possible breakup and more than $11 billion in charges earlier in the week. Shares in the U.S. industrial conglomerate fell as low as $16.02, threatening to fall below...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 19- The U.S. dollar took a harsh beating in 2017, on the way to its nearly 10 percent fall, its worst annual performance since 2003. Moves by central banks around the world toward monetary policy normalization, increased political uncertainty in the United States and the dearth of volatility across markets have hurt the greenback.

  • HHS will issue a letter on Friday to state Medicaid offices that will rescind the Obama Administration's 2016 guidance, which was issued after states including Indiana had tried to defund abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. The Medicaid program, jointly funded by states and the federal government, provides healthcare services to the poor and...

  • Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Jan. 19, bringing. RIG-OL-USA- BHI> The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is much higher than a year ago when only 551 rigs were active after energy companies boosted spending in 2017 as crude started recovering from a two-year price crash. That compares with averages of $50.85 in 2017 and $43.47 in 2016.

  • NEW YORK, Jan 19- Fitch Ratings said on Friday its top AAA debt rating for the United States would not be directly impacted by a possible federal shutdown, which will begin on Saturday if lawmakers fail to clinch a deal to fund the government. On Friday, the U.S. Senate was racing to avert a government shutdown that will begin at midnight if it cannot reach an agreement...

  • OTTAWA, Jan 19- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit three major U.S. cities next month to bolster support for NAFTA as negotiators revising the trade pact tackle major differences, officials said on Friday. The timing of Trudeau's Feb. 7-10 trip is significant, since it comes after a sixth and penultimate round of talks in Montreal from Jan. 23-29...

  • HOUSTON Jan 19- Schlumberger on Friday posted a fourth quarter loss on charges but beat Wall Street forecasts and offered an upbeat outlook that included the first growth in its struggling international operations in four years. The world's largest oilfield services company reported $2.7 billion in charges including a $938 million write-down of its...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 19- Puerto Rico's federally appointed financial oversight board on Friday questioned island officials about how they planned to centralize financial control after the bankrupt U.S. territory discovered nearly $7 billion in previously unreported money. Puerto Rico is navigating at once the largest government bankruptcy in U.S. history, with...

  • CHICAGO, Jan 19- U.S. soybean futures rose for the fifth straight day on Friday, hitting their highest in 5-1/ 2 weeks as concerns about parched soil in Argentina underpinned prices, traders said. "Dryness in Argentina has provided enough fuel for soybean prices to find footing with multiday gains this week," Ben Potter of Farm Futures said in a note to clients.

  • Jan 19- President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress are racing to meet a midnight Friday deadline to pass a short-term bill to keep the U.S. government open and prevent agencies from shutting down. After previous government shutdowns, Congress passed measures to ensure that essential and nonessential employees received retroactive pay.

  • HHS will issue a letter on Friday to state Medicaid offices that will rescind the Obama Administration's 2016 guidance, which it had issued after states including Indiana had tried to defund abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. The Medicaid program is jointly funded by states and the federal government and provides healthcare services to the...

  • MILAN/ LONDON, Jan 19- European shares rose to highs not seen since 2008 as growing confidence in corporate earnings and in the strength of the global economy continued to fuel a bull market, which shrugged off fears of a possible U.S. government shutdown. "In 2017 we were in a catch-up phase and now we are going beyond," said Philippe Waechter, chief economist at...

  • *Coming Up: Baker Hughes U.S. oil rig count at 1 p.m./ 1800 GMT. Houston, Jan 19- Oil prices slid 1 percent on Friday and were on track for the biggest weekly falls since October as a bounce-back in U.S. production outweighed ongoing declines in crude inventories. Brent crude futures were trading 69 cents lower at $68.53 a barrel at 11:22 a.m. EST.

  • President Donald Trump postponed plans to leave Washington on Friday as a bill to fund the government through Feb. 16, approved on Thursday night by the House of Representatives, appeared on the verge of collapse in the Senate, where Democratic votes are needed to pass it. Congress has been struggling for months to agree on long-term government funding levels...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 19- Fitch Ratings said on Friday its top AAA debt rating for the United States would not be directly impacted by a possible federal shutdown, which will begin on Saturday if lawmakers fail to clinch a deal to fund the government.

  • Jan 19- Kansas City Southern, a U.S. railroad with extensive operations in Mexico, sought to ease investor fears on Friday over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement, touting forecasts of solid freight volumes and a stronger economy in 2018.. Uncertainty over NAFTA negotiations looms over the Kansas City, Missouri- based company, which dominates...

  • Jan 19- U.S. health officials on Friday said they were revoking legal guidance issued by the Obama Administration that had sought to discourage states from trying to defund organizations that provide abortion services, such as Planned Parenthood. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials also said the department is issuing a new regulation...