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Stocks rally on trade hopes…Gloomy forecast for British economy…PG&E expects big wildfire costs

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are broadly higher in early trading on Wall Street, pushing major indexes toward another set of records, after China said it agreed with the U.S. on a gradual pullback on tariffs if talks progress. The S&P 500 is heading for its second record-setting day this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq are on pace for their third day of record highs. Technology companies are leading the gains. Banks also rose after bond yields made a big jump.

LONDON (AP) — The Bank of England says the growth outlook for the British economy has deteriorated largely as a result of a gloomier global backdrop. It says the British economy will grow by around 1% less over the coming three years than it forecast just three months ago, due primarily to a weaker global economy in the wake of the ongoing U.S.-China trade spat. The bank said today that it is keeping its main interest rate on hold at 0.75%.

LONDON (AP) — Former British House of Commons speaker John Bercow says Brexit is a historic mistake and the country should not be bound by the close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Bercow retired last week after a decade overseeing the business and debates of Parliament. In that job he had to be neutral. But he now says that Brexit is the U.K.’s biggest foreign policy “blunder” since World War II and that it will leave the country weakened economically and in terms of global standing and influence.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric is reporting substantial losses for the third quarter driven by catastrophic wildfires. The company anticipates those costs could escalate to as much as $6.3 billion. California’s largest utility swung to a loss of $1.62 billion, after a profit of $564 million in the same period last year. The bankrupt company is facing criticism for blackouts intended to limit wildfires, but that have left millions without power.

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York company has been charged with illegally importing and selling Chinese-made surveillance and security equipment to U.S. government agencies and private customers. The U.S. attorney’s office for eastern New York says seven current or former employees of the company are also charged. The case involves a company on Long Island. Authorities did not divulge its name or those of the employees. Details are to be discussed at a news conference today.

Associated Press

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