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Big day on Wall Street...Oil price climbs... AIG profit grows

Thursday - 8/1/2013, 6:40pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock indexes are back at record highs. Better economic news in China and the United States, as well as encouraging reports on jobs and company earnings, sent the market sharply higher today. The S&P 500 closed above 1,700 points for the first time. The index rose 21 points to 1,706. The Dow gained 128 points to 15,628. And the Nasdaq composite rose 49 points.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil is marching upward again. Oil rose $2.86 a barrel today, for a two-day gain of $4.81, or 4.7 percent. Positive signs on the global economy were the catalyst. Benchmark crude for September delivery gained 2.7 percent today to close at $107.89 a barrel in New York. At the gas pump, drivers paid an average of $3.63 today, down 3 cents from a week ago.

UNDATED (AP) -- American International Group says its profit grew 17 percent in the second quarter. The insurer benefited from higher net premiums, prices and investment income. AIG says net income rose to $2.7 billion, or $1.84 per share compared with $2.33 billion, or $1.33 per share, a year earlier. AIG also declared a quarterly dividend and announced board approval of a share buyback plan of up to $1 billion.

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) -- Two New York businessmen are free on bond following their arrests on charges they ran a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. Federal prosecutors say Brian R. Callahan and his brother-in-law, Adam J. Manson, siphoned investors' money in order to finance their ownership of an eastern Long Island resort. Attorneys for the pair entered not guilty pleas on their behalf.

UNDATED (AP) -- Supermarket chains Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo are recalling some ground beef because of the risk the meat has been contaminated with E. coli. The recall is part of a larger one issued by the National Beef Packing Company. The stores sold Fresh 93 Percent Lean Ground Beef in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina and Tennessee.

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