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Stock market on the upswing... Oil prices go higher... US says it won't rush trans-Pacific trade pact talks

Saturday - 8/24/2013, 1:40pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Investors are a bit happier today after the stock market finished higher yesterday. A big jump in Microsoft helped lift the Dow Jones industrial average. The Dow closed up 46 ½ points. But the blue-chip index was still down 0.5 percent for the week. The S&P 500 index edged up 6 1/2 points yesterday and the Nasdaq composite rose 19.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The government's weak new home sales report for July is a sign that higher mortgage rates may interfere with the housing recovery. And oil traders think it could indicate the Federal Reserve may need to wait before slowing down its bond-buying program. Benchmark crude for October delivery gained $1.39 yesterday to close at $106.42 a barrel in New York.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration says it won't sacrifice the quality of a proposed trans-Pacific trade pact in the drive to complete negotiations by year's end. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is the key plank of a U.S. effort to boost exports to the fast-growing economies of the Asia-Pacific. The talks began more than 2 1/2 years ago and are said to be in their final stages.

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (AP) -- The head of the International Monetary Fund is cautioning the world's major central banks not to withdraw unconventional support for weak economies too soon. Speaking in Wyoming yesterday, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde says stimulative policies are still needed in key regions, especially Europe and Japan, which have struggled with prolonged weakness.

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A judge is granting permission for owners of the CityCenter development to demolish the flawed, half-built Harmon Hotel tower on the Las Vegas Strip. The decision comes after a fourth round of testing on the building. Inspectors found flaws in the steel reinforcements used in the concrete structure and consultants say the building could collapse in a strong earthquake.

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