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US hiring slower but steady as employers add 155K jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers pulled back on hiring in November, adding just 155,000 jobs. That's below this year's average monthly gains but enough to suggest that the economy is expanding at a solid pace despite sharp gyrations in the stock market. The Labor Department says that the unemployment rate remained 3.7%, nearly a five-decade low, for the third straight month. Average hourly pay rose 3.1% from a year ago, matching the previous month's figure, which was the best since 2009.

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Chinese executive facing US extradition appears in court

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — A prominent Chinese telecommunications executive facing possible extradition to the United States appears in court Friday as she seeks bail in a case that has rattled markets and raised doubts about the U.S. being able to reach a truce in its trade war with China.

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Meng Wanzhou's rise through the ranks at Huawei

NEW YORK (AP) — Before her dramatic arrest in Canada, few in the U.S. had heard of Meng Wanzhou. She's the chief financial officer and deputy chairwoman of the board of Chinese telecom company Huawei. She started there in 1993 and has risen up the ranks with the growth of the company, which is founded by her father.

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Stocks drop 4 percent in rocky week on trade, growth worries

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street capped a turbulent week of trading Friday with the biggest weekly loss for the U.S. stock market since March. The latest wave of selling erased more than 550 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, bringing its three-day loss to 1,400. Worries that the U.S.-China trade dispute and rising interest rates will pump the brakes on global economic and corporate earnings growth next year has made investors uneasy, leading to volatile swings in the market from one day to the next.

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Oil producers join forces and cut production again

VIENNA (AP) — Oil prices spiked sharply higher Friday as major oil producers, including the OPEC cartel, agreed to cut global oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day to reduce oversupply. Following two days of meetings, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that includes the likes of Saudi Arabia and Iraq said they would cut 800,000 barrels per day for six months from January, though some countries such as Iran, have been given an exemption.

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Marlboro maker places $1.8 billion bet on marijuana

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the world's biggest tobacco companies is diving into the cannabis market with a $1.8 billion buy-in. Marlboro maker Altria is taking a 45 percent stake in Cronos Group, the Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider, which said that the investment could grow. According to terms released Friday, Altria's investment would be similar to that of Corona maker Constellation Brands, which invested about $4 billion in another pot company earlier this year.

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Australia anti-encryption law rushed to passage

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A new law rushed through Australia's parliament will compel technology companies including Apple, Facebook and Google to help police catch terrorists and other criminals by disabling encryption protections. Cybersecurity experts say the law will instead be a boon to the criminal underworld by undermining the internet's technical integrity, weakening digital security and privacy.

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France girds for weekend protests, fearing more violence

PARIS (AP) — Anticipating a fourth straight weekend of violent protests, France is mobilizing thousands of police, cordoning off Paris' broad boulevards and making plans to shut down tourist sites like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. The heavy security will put central Paris in a virtual lockdown Saturday against what the interior minister called "radicalized and rebellious people," who authorities believe will join members of the "yellow vest" movement that has been holding anti-government demonstrations.

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Foie gras off Amazon's offerings in California in settlement

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California prosecutors say Amazon has agreed not to sell foie gras in the state from birds that have been force-fed. State lawmakers banned that form of the fatty duck and goose liver delicacy nearly 15 years ago. Prosecutors said Friday a state judge approved a settlement between the online retailer, her office and district attorneys in Monterey and Santa Clara counties. Amazon said the company is not commenting.

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The S&P 500 index fell 62.87 points, or 2.3 percent, to 2,633.08. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 558.72 points, or 2.2 percent, to 24,388.95. The Nasdaq composite slid 219.01 points, or 3 percent, to 6,969.25. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks gave up 29.32 points, or 2 percent, to 1,448.09.

U.S. benchmark crude rose 2.2 percent to $52.61 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 2.7 percent to $61.67 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline climbed 3.7 percent to $1.49 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1.5 percent to $1.89 a gallon. Natural gas gained 3.7 percent to $4.49 per 1,000 cubic feet.