Stocks gain, oil prices fall as risk of Syria strike fades

Stocks rose and oil prices fell Tuesday as the threat that the U.S. would attack Syria appeared to fade.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index had its sixth straight gain, the longest winning streak since July.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 127.94 points, or 0.9 percent, to 15,191.06. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 12.28 points, or 0.73 percent, to 1,683.99, and the Nasdaq composite rose 22.84 points, or 0.62 percent, to 3,729.02.

Crude oil, which closed above $110 a barrel on Friday, lost $2.13, almost 2 percent, to close at $107.39 a barrel.

Three companies bumped, three added to Dow index

The Dow Jones industrial average is dropping Bank of America, Hewlett-Packard and Alcoa, its three-lowest priced stocks, as part of a six-company shakeup of the most widely known barometer of the U.S. stock market.

S&P Dow Jones Indices said Tuesday it will add Visa Inc., sneaker maker Nike Inc. and the investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in the first three-for-three company change to the index since April 8, 2004. The changes will take effect at the start of trading Sept. 23.

S&P Dow Jones Indices manages the average and said the changes won’t disrupt the level of the 30-company index. It said a push to diversify the sector and industry group representation of the index helped prompt the changes.

Google loses court appeal over Street View snooping

Attorneys suing Google for enabling its camera-carrying vehicles to collect emails and Internet passwords while photographing neighborhoods for the search giant’s popular “Street View” maps look forward to resuming their case now that a federal appeals court has ruled in their favor.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Tuesday that Google went far beyond listening to normally accessible radio communication when it drew information from inside people’s homes.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, called it a landmark decision for Internet privacy. “The court made clear that the federal privacy law applies to residential Wi-Fi networks,” he said.

Google has apologized and promised to stop the data-gathering, calling it inadvertent but not illegal.

Small-business owners expect increase in hiring

The percentage of small-business owners planning to hire more workers rose 7 percentage points last month to its highest level since 2007, before the Great Recession began, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

The jump came as the group’s overall small-business optimism index slipped 0.1 point to 94 in August from the previous month, and amid some other conflicting data on the state of the key economic sector.

– From news service reports


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