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Business Highlights

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm •  Published: October 22, 2014
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US consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices edged up slightly in September, with the overall increase held back by a third straight monthly decline in gasoline prices. The tiny gain was the latest evidence that inflation remains benign.

Consumer prices rose 0.1 percent after having falling 0.2 percent in August, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. Core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy, also climbed 0.1 percent after no gain in August.

Over the past 12 months, both overall and core prices are up 1.7 percent. The increases are well below the 2 percent target for inflation set by the Federal Reserve. The modest inflationary pressures have allowed the central bank to keep interest rates at record lows to boost the economy.

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Rules on bank risk in mortgage bonds being adopted

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are proceeding with new rules that ease guidelines for banks selling mortgage securities and could mean fewer borrowers will need to make hefty down payments.

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-2 Wednesday to adopt the rules, which six federal agencies have been working on since 2011. The SEC'S two Republican commissioners, Daniel Gallagher and Michael Piwowar, opposed adoption. The Federal Reserve governors approved the rules on a 5-0 vote later in the day. Three other agencies adopted the rules Tuesday.

With the financial crisis and subprime mortgage bust receding further into history, the regulators are looking to inject more life into the still-recovering housing market.

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Expert says Detroit bankruptcy plan feasible

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit's plan to get out of bankruptcy is feasible, a court-appointed expert testified Wednesday as the last witness in a historic trial to determine whether the largest city in U.S. history to file for Chapter 9 can get back on its feet.

Martha Kopacz, a Boston-based expert who has participated in hundreds of restructurings, expressed confidence that Mayor Mike Duggan and other officials can execute a long-term plan hatched by Detroit's emergency manager.

Detroit is shedding billions in debt, taking on new debt and cutting pensions by 4.5 percent, among many steps, in a city that has lost 27 percent of population since 2000. At the same time, the strategy calls for spending more than $1 billion to improve services over the next decade.

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Johnson & Johnson plans Ebola vaccine testing

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson will begin safety testing in early January on a vaccine combination that could protect people from a strain of the deadly Ebola virus.

The health care products maker said Wednesday that the vaccine being developed by its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies protects against an Ebola strain that is "highly similar" to the virus that has triggered the current outbreak in West Africa. Johnson & Johnson also plans to test whether its vaccine protects against the version causing the outbreak, which has killed more than 4,500 people.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey, company has committed up to $200 million to speed up and expand production of the vaccine program.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 153.49 points, or 0.9 percent, to 16,461.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 14.17 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,927.11. The Nasdaq composite fell 36.63 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,382.85.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $2.29 to close at $80.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $1.51 to close at $84.71 on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 5.7 cents to close at $2.156 a gallon. Heating oil fell 4.0 cents to close at $2.473 a gallon. Natural gas fell 5.2 cents to close at $3.659 per 1,000 cubic feet.