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Record highs on Wall Street ... Airlines-Irma ... Equifax-Cusgtomer Service

Posted September 11

— U.S. stocks rallied to record highs today as Hurricane Irma weakened without causing as much damage as many had feared. And a North Korean holiday passed without new missile launches. Financial and technology companies lead the way. The Standard & Poor's 500 index made its biggest gain since late April as it rose 26.68 points. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 259.58 points and the Nasdaq composite jumped 72.07 points.

With businesses disrupted, fuel and chemical refineries out of commission and consumers struggling to restore their lives, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will likely pack a tough double-whammy for the U.S. economy. Nearly one-fifth of the nation's oil refining capacity has been shut down because of Harvey, and fuel production has dropped sharply as a result, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Consumers will also spend less in the immediate aftermath of the storms.

Big airports in Florida remained closed today, and flight cancellations are spreading north along the track of Tropical Storm Irma. American Airlines said it won't resume flights in Miami until at least Tuesday, revising its plans to restart late today. An airline spokesman said the timetable depended on approval by federal aviation officials and the ability of security screeners and airport vendors to return to work. Terminal buildings at the Miami airport suffered significant damage, and ceiling tiles at gate areas fell down throughout the airport, according to spokesman Greg Chin.

Still dealing with the exposure of vital data about 143 million Americans, Equifax is trying to clarify language about people's right to sue. The company said today it has made other changes to address customer complaints. The company is trying to staff up its call centers more in order to handle the increased customer service calls. It also now says people will get randomly generated PINs when they try to put a security freeze in place. People had complained about PINs being based on the time and date requests were made.

Apple is expected to sell its fanciest iPhone yet for $1,000, crossing into a new financial frontier that will test how much consumers are willing to pay for a device that's become an indispensable part of modern life. The unveiling of a dramatically redesigned iPhone will likely be the marquee moment Tuesday when Apple hosts its first product event at its new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, California.

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