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Stocks broadly higher...Trump could let deadline slide...Job openings reach new high

Posted at 2:04 PM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-12 14:04:42-05

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks marched broadly higher in afternoon trading as lawmakers avoided another partial government shutdown and U.S.-China trade talks resumed. Technology companies and banks powered much of the rally, which had the market on track for its biggest gain this month and a three-day winning streak for the S&P 500 index. Markets in Europe and Asia are also broadly higher.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says if the United States and China are close to a trade deal, he might let slide a March 2 deadline to further boost tariffs on Chinese goods. Trump said today that he's not inclined to do that, but that if the two countries are nearing a deal, he might let the deadline "slide for a little while." Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-shin) and trade representative Robert Lighthizer are in Beijing for talks to resolve the costly trade war.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers posted the most open jobs in December in the nearly two decades that records have been kept, evidence that the job market is strong despite several challenges facing the economy. The Labor Department says job openings jumped 2.4 percent in December to 7.3 million. That is the most since records began in December 2000. It is also far greater than the number of unemployed, which stood at 6.3 million that month.

ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell does not feel the probability of a recession "is at all elevated," and that the country is continuing to see solid economic growth. But in a visit to a historically black university in the Mississippi Delta, Powell says that many rural areas have not benefited from the national prosperity. He says those areas need special support, such as access to affordable credit to start small businesses and high-quality education to train workers.

KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) — Bill and Melinda Gates are pushing back against a new wave of criticism about whether billionaire philanthropy is a force for good. The couple says they're not fazed by recent blowback against wealthy giving. The latest criticisms challenge whether their level of wealth is good for society and whether it's functional to rely on the generosity of the very rich to fix its problems.