Global Glance: Yellen to speak after Fed officials hint rate hike is near; EPA withdraws Obama-era request for data on oil, natural gas

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

Yellen to speak after Fed officials hint rate hike is near

WASHINGTON (AP) — One by one, several Federal Reserve officials have signaled in recent days that the Fed is ready to resume raising interest rates as soon as this month. The question is whether the official who matters most – Chair Janet Yellen – will add her own voice to that impression. When Yellen speaks Friday in Chicago on the topic of the Fed’s economic outlook, investors will parse her words for any hint of how likely the central bank is to raise its key short-term rate after it next meets March 14-15. Already, though, traders in futures markets have put the probability of a rate hike at 75 percent, according to data tracked by the CME Group. Just last week, that probability had been pegged at well below 50 percent. Read more

EPA withdraws Obama-era request for data on oil, natural gas

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday it is withdrawing an Obama-era request that oil and natural gas companies provide information on methane emissions at oil and gas operations. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the withdrawal is effective immediately, adding that he wants to assess the need for the information the agency has been collecting under a directive issued in November. Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and eight other states had questioned the reporting request as overly burdensome. Read more

The bump isn’t just Trump: What’s driving the stock market rally

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is hitting new heights, and yes, excitement about President Trump’s policies is part of the reason for it. But it’s not the only one, analysts say. Even if Donald Trump had lost the election, many professional investors and analysts say they still would have expected stocks to rise, just perhaps not to the same degree. The Standard & Poor’s index has leapt 11.3 percent since Election Day, packing more gains into four months than it’s had in four of the last six full years. It dipped a bit Thursday, but it’s still close to its record set a day earlier. Read more

Caterpillar offices raided in probe related to Swiss unit

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal law enforcement officials raided three central Illinois facilities of manufacturer Caterpillar on Thursday as part of an investigation the company said may be related to business with its Swiss subsidiary CSARL. Officials from three federal agencies, some wearing jackets that said “police, federal agent”, searched the Peoria, Illinois, headquarters of Caterpillar, one of the world’s largest makers of construction and other heavy equipment. Facilities in East Peoria and Morton, Illinois, also were raided under a federal warrant, U.S. Attorney’s office spokeswoman Sharon Paul said. Read more

High school makes $24 million from Snap IPO

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California high school has made millions of dollars from the initial public offering of shares in Snap Inc., the company behind the Snapchat photo messaging application. The board of the Saint Francis high school in Mountain View agreed to invest $15,000 in seed money in Snap in 2012, when the company was just getting started. They had been invited to do so by one of the student’s parents, a venture capital investor, the high school president says in a letter issued to the school community Thursday. Read more

UK considers intervening in Sky merger with 21st Century Fox

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Culture Secretary says she is considering intervening in the proposed merger of Sky and Twenty-First Century Fox. Karen Bradley said Friday she is “minded to” issue a European Intervention Notice because of concerns about the proposed merger. She said she has not made a final decision and is inviting both parties to make written representations. She said she aims to decide within ten working days. Read more

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