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Credit rater warns on Mississippi, citing economy and taxes

Another credit rating agency is warning that the financial outlook for Mississippi government finances is weakening. Standard & Poor’s Financial Services on Tuesday downgraded its outlook for state government credit rating to negative from stable. S&P didn’t actually cut Mississippi’s debt ratings, but warned that it could later, saying it expects a budget squeeze to continue because of slow economic ...

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Stocks tick higher, S&P 500 flirts with record

Stock indexes ticked higher on Wednesday, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index flirted with its record high, as the White House unveiled a broad outline of its plan to cut tax rates. The market has sprinted higher since November, due in large part to expectations that lower taxes and looser regulations for businesses are on the way. White House ...

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Healthy profits push stocks higher yet; Nasdaq crosses 6,000

Profits are climbing for companies, and so are their stock prices. More big businesses joined the earnings parade Tuesday, saying their profits were even larger in the first three months of the year than analysts were expecting, including Caterpillar and McDonald’s. The encouraging reports pushed U.S. indexes to their second straight day of big gains, placing them either close to ...

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US stocks follow global markets higher after French election

U.S. stocks joined a worldwide rally Monday morning after election results in France over the weekend raised expectations that the European Union and euro currency will remain intact. A candidate seen as pro-business won the most votes in Sunday’s vote, and many investors expect him to win a runoff election against the remaining anti-EU candidate, which is set for May ...

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US stock indexes slide in afternoon trading; oil rebounds

U.S. stocks edged lower in late-afternoon trading Tuesday, led by declines in banks and technology companies. Real estate stocks notched the biggest gains. Bond yields fell and the price of gold rose as investors monitored heightened geopolitical tensions. Oil prices recovered after an early slide. KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to ...

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Split results for stocks on Syria strike and weak jobs gains

Following a somewhat disappointing jobs report and U.S. missile strikes against Syria, stocks aren’t much changed Friday as investors buy gold and high-dividend stocks and sell banks and other assets. Defense contractors are making substantial gains and the price of oil is rising. KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 held steady at 2,356 at noon Eastern time. The Dow ...

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Stocks head higher as energy, banks, retailers recover

U.S. stocks are broadly higher Thursday after a sharp drop late in the previous day. Energy companies are rising with the price of oil and retailers are up after a series of strong sales reports. Banks are also climbing as bond yields rise. KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,361 as ...

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State finally has good month of collections

By BOBBY HARRISON / Daily Journal State revenue collections, which have been sluggish for more than a year, spiked in March even as the Legislature was ending the 2017 session by making major budget cuts because of those ongoing revenue woes. Collections for the month of March were $52.4 million or 12.5 percent above the official estimate, according to information ...

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READY FOR RISK? With market soaring, tapping IRA is tempting

By BECKY GILLETTE Investors with IRAs and 401(k)s may have dreams of taking a cruise or buying a new car with the gains they have seen in their retirement accounts since Donald Trump was elected president. The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a record high of 20,000 in late January, and since then has continued to climb reaching 20,686 by ...

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US stocks surge early after strong private payroll report

U.S. stocks are jumping Wednesday morning after a survey of private businesses showed that hiring was very strong last month. Panera Bread is climbing after the sandwich and soup chain agreed to be bought by European conglomerate JAB for more than $7 billion. Companies that are tightly linked to the performance of the economy, including transportation companies and smaller domestic ...

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