Stocks end higher...Oil futures drop... Wells Fargo CEO resigns

Posted October 12

— Stocks are mostly higher on Wall Street, led by high dividend payers including real estate companies and utilities. Consumer companies also rose today. The Dow Jones industrial average eked out a gain of over 15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,144. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,139. The Nasdaq composite fell more than 7 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,239.

Oil futures are down today. Benchmark U.S. crude slid 61 cents, or 1.2 percent, to close at $50.18 a barrel in New York. Meanwhile, Brent crude, the international standard, fell 60 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $51.81 a barrel in London.

John Stumpf is out as Wells Fargo's embattled CEO. He has resigned, effective immediately, as the nation's second-largest bank is roiled by a scandal over its sales practices. The bank says Stumpf will also relinquish his title as chairman. Its chief operating officer, Tim Sloan, will succeed Stumpf as CEO. Stumpf faced a lot of criticism after Wells Fargo was found to have opened millions of bank accounts without customers' permission.

The Federal Reserve last month kept a key interest rate unchanged but minutes of the Sept. 20-21 meeting show that many Fed officials saw the decision as a "close call." Many believe that the case for a rate hike has strengthened in recent months. A number of economists expect the Fed to keep rates unchanged at the next meeting in November but raise rates by a modest quarter-point in December.

A film production company has been fined $1.95 million over an accident on the set of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" that broke the leg of star Harrison Ford. The actor was struck by a hydraulic door on the set of the Millennium Falcon — his character Han Solo's spaceship — at Pinewood Studios near London in June 2014. A judge says that Walt Disney's Foodles Production (UK) Ltd. should have informed Ford of the risks.


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