Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks mostly higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes are trading mostly higher on Wall Street, despite deepening unrest across the U.S., as investors hope that the gradual lifting of lockdown provisions will help economies recover from the damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4% in afternoon trading Tuesday. The gains were led by stocks that would stand to benefit the most from a growing economy, including banks and industrial companies.

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The price of crude oil rose again, which helped energy companies.

Markets in Europe and Asia also rose. Bond yields rose slightly, another sign that pessimism was ebbing among investors. 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-TRACING APP

France launches official contact-tracing app

PARIS (AP) — France is rolling out an official coronavirus contact-tracing app aimed at containing fresh outbreaks as lockdown restrictions gradually ease.

It is the first major European country to deploy the smartphone technology amid simmering debate over privacy fears. The French were able to start downloading the app today, as they are once again be allowed to go to restaurants and cafes, parks and beaches and museums and monuments.

Neighbors including the U.K., Germany, Italy, and Switzerland are developing their own apps, though they’re using different technical protocols, raising questions about compatibility across Europe’s borders.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ECONOMY-US TRAVEL INDUSTRY

Virus leaves the US travel industry struggling to recover

UNDATED (AP) — Few pockets of the economy have U.S. endured as much devastation from the coronavirus as the travel business.

Economists and company executives say it will take years for the industry to regenerate the revenue it produced last year, potentially leaving airlines, hotels, rental car companies, restaurants and convention centers in peril. And as long as travel remains depressed, the U.S. economy as a whole could struggle to accelerate.

About 10% of all jobs flow from the travel sector. Industry-wide unemployment now tops 50%, a level that could presage bankruptcies and business closures.

EUROPE-ECONOMY

The European Central Bank could soon be ramping up its campaign against the pandemic to more than a trillion euros

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank could soon be ramping up its campaign against the pandemic to more than a trillion euros.

Analysts say that the monetary authority for the 19 euro countries could add 500 billion euros in stimulus at its policy meeting Thursday. That would bring bond purchases aimed at preventing a financial crisis to 1.25 trillion euros, or $1.4 trillion.

Some think the bank might do a smaller amount or wait until a meeting in July. In any case there’s a clear case for stimulus as Europe plunges into recession.

Efforts from the central bank would join stimulus efforts from individual governments and available credits from the EU’s bailout fund. 

ASTRONAUTS-NASDAQ

Astronauts launched by SpaceX join in ringing Nasdaq bell

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The astronauts launched into orbit by SpaceX have joined in the ringing of the opening bell for Nasdaq.

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken took part in the ceremony from the International Space Station, three days after their historic launch on a rocket built and owned by Elon Musk’s company. They floated alongside space station commander Chris Cassidy as he rang a ship’s bell to open trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

Nasdaq President Adena Friedman says it’s a “pivotal moment in the development of the space economy.” With Saturday’s launch, SpaceX became the first private company to send astronauts into orbit.

HELICOPTER-BLACK BOXES

Federal safety investigators urge helicopter makers to install black boxes

UNDATED (AP) — Federal safety investigators are going over the heads of aviation regulators by urging leading helicopter manufacturers to install so-called black boxes that would help determine the cause of crashes like the one that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant.

The National Transportation Safety Board appealed directly to six manufacturers after the Federal Aviation Administration failed to act on the board’s recommendations to require the devices on most helicopters.

The safety board says flight-data and cockpit-voice recorders can help investigators determine the cause of a crash and prevent future accidents.

The helicopter that carried Bryant and crashed in January in Southern California did not have recorders.

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