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Stocks edge up before Thanksgiving

Nov. 22, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- The stock market crept higher Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Major market indexes got a slight lift after news broke of a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The truce was announced by Egypt's foreign minister and confirmed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A week of fighting has killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 48.38 points to 12,836.89. Three of the most expensive stocks in the average -- Boeing, IBM and United Technologies -- each rose more than 60 cents. Higher-priced stocks in the Dow carry more weight.

The Labor Department said that first-time applications for unemployment benefits fell by 41,000 last week to 410,000. The figure remains temporarily high because of Superstorm Sandy and was in line with what economists had expected.

In other Wednesday trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3.22 points to 1,391.03. Utilities fell the most, while telecommunication companies rose the most, but no category moved more than 0.6 percent.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 9.87 points to 2,926.55. In the bond market, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note inched up to 1.68 percent.

Southern travel conf. heads to W.Va. in 2014

CHARLESTON -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and tourism officials say Charleston will host a Southern tourism conference in February 2014.

The Travel South Showcase is expected to attract more than 500 delegates to West Virginia's capital city over three days. Tomblin and Mayor Danny Jones announced the city's selection on Tuesday and described the conference as an invitation-only marketplace for Southern tourism organizations to connect with tour operators developing tours in the region.

Tomblin and Jones said the gathering will offer the city and the state an opportunity to showcase its own attractions.

Gasoline prices dip at pumps in West Virginia

CHARLESTON -- Gasoline prices have taken a slight dip in West Virginia over the past week.

AAA East Central says the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in the state is $3.53. That's less than a half cent lower than a week ago and 12 cents higher than a year ago.

Prices range from $3.75 in Martinsburg to $3.31 in Parkersburg.

Nationally, gas prices average $3.41 this week.

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