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Stocks hold gains...GM to invest $1.3 billion...Closing arguments in BP case

Monday - 12/16/2013, 3:18pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks have broken through a slump, and have posted some strong gains today. The advance is powered by two big corporate deals, and a report suggesting the economy is getting stronger. The Dow is now ahead for a second straight trading day, reducing some of the losses from last week.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Two major deals have the attention of investors today. Chipmaker Avago Technologies is buying LSI Corp. for $6.6 billion. And AIG is selling its aircraft leasing business for about $5.4 billion to a Dutch leasing company, AerCap.

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors says it will invest $1.3 billion at five factories in three states so they can build higher-quality trucks and more fuel-efficient engines and transmissions. About $600 million will go to the Flint, Mich., assembly plant for a new paint shop. The plant makes full-size pickup trucks. An engine plant in Romulus, Mich., near Detroit will get $493 million to build a new V-6 engine and 10-speed automatic transmissions.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Jurors in New Orleans have heard closing arguments in the trial of a former BP engineer charged with deleting text messages about the company's response to the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Kurt Mix didn't testify at his trial on two counts of obstruction of justice. A prosecutor says he deliberately deleted messages to stymie a grand jury investigation. But a defense lawyer says the charges are "unfair and baseless."

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Two men have been sentenced in Rhode Island in a $46 million investment fraud that preyed on terminally ill people. Joseph Caramadre (kah-rah-MAH'-dray) was sentenced to six years in prison by a judge who said he didn't seem to recognize the harm he caused. Raymour Radhakrishnan (RAY'-mohr rad-ah-KRISH'-nahn) was ordered to spend a year and a day in prison.

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