Modest gains on Wall Street...US asks drilling firms for fracking information... Company: Fire is out, gas rig stable

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Associated Press

Posted on July 25, 2013 at 5:02 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Higher earnings from energy and chemical companies are nudging the stock market up, extending a pattern seen this week: Even with earnings news from big companies, the broader market has shuffled between minor gains and minor losses. The Dow edged up two points to 15,544. The S&P 500 rose four points and the Nasdaq composite rose nearly 20 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Optimism about the U.S. economy is helping to ease the minds of oil traders. As a result, the price of oil rose slightly today. Benchmark crude for September delivery climbed 10 cents to close at $105.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil fell as low as $104.08 before recovering. At the pump, the average price for a gallon of gasoline held at $3.66.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study says reversing more than $100 billion in automatic spending cuts hitting the economy this year and next would boost the economy by 0.7 percent and increase employment by 900,000 jobs. The Congressional Budget Office study is similar to prior estimates by the agency. The figures are its best estimate but the possible range of job growth is much wider.

HOUSTON (AP) — Federal officials have contacted Halliburton and Baker Hughes as part of an antitrust investigation into an oil and gas drilling process used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Neither of the drilling firms has given details about the information requested by the government. Fracking has helped spur oil and gas production but come under fire from environmentalists.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An official with the company that owns a Gulf of Mexico drilling rig that caught fire after a natural gas blowout says the rig appears stable now that the fire is out. Jim Noe (NOH' ee) of Hercules Offshore Inc. says there is no sign of an oil sheen on the water. Noe says the well became plugged with sand and sediment, essentially snuffing itself out, late yesterday

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