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January 16, 2015 07:51 PM

Friday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Energy companies are fueling a rally that's snapped a five-day losing streak for the stock market. The surge in energy shares today followed a sharp rise in oil prices. The S&P 500 jumped nearly 27 points, or 1.3 percent, to finish at 2,019. The Dow Jones industrials gained 191 points, or 1.1 percent, to end at 17,511. The Nasdaq rose 63 1/2 points, or 1.4 percent, to 4,634.

  • Oil prices are up today. Benchmark U.S. crude jumped $2.44 to settle at $48.69 a barrel in New York trading. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, added 31 cents to $50.17 in London.
  • The government says foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in November following two months of declines, reflecting a big increase in purchases by Japan. The Treasury Department says foreign holdings increased 1 percent to a record $6.11 trillion in November following small declines in October and September.
  • Insurer Aetna is making new hepatitis C drugs from Gilead Sciences preferred treatments for customers with the liver-destroying virus. Aetna says it's reached a deal with Gilead bringing discounts for Sovaldi and Harvoni, which have list prices of about $84,000 and $94,000, respectively, for a course of treatment.
  • The largest lithium battery factory in the world is getting a new neighbor at an industrial park east of Reno, Nevada - the world's biggest data center. Las Vegas-based Switch plans to invest $1 billion in the 3 million square foot "supernap" center. It'll be built on 1,000 acres at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, where Tesla Motors is building its $5 billion gigafactory.
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