Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks turn mixed

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have lost some momentum on Wall Street as investors continue to close out their positions for 2021. The slight declines come as the market gives up a little bit of Monday’s big gains. The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in afternoon trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2%, while the Nasdaq was down 0.5%. Technology and health care stocks moved lower, with vaccine makers Pfizer and Modern both down roughly 3%. Graphics chip maker Nvidia, which was one of the better performers on Monday, was down roughly 3% as well.

HOME PRICES

US home prices surge 18.4% in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices surged again in October as the housing market continues to boom in the wake of last year’s coronavirus recession. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, out Tuesday, climbed 18.4% in October from a year earlier. The gain marked a slight decleration from a 19.1% year-over-year increase in September but was about in line with what economists had been expecting. All 20 cities posted double-digit annual gains. The hottest markets were Phoenix (up 32.3%), Tampa (28.1%) and Miami (25.7%). Minneapolis and Chicago posted the smallest increases, 11.5% each.

PONZI SCHEME-FLORIDA

SEC: Payday loan scheme bilks investors out of millions

MIAMI (AP) — Federal regulators say the owner of a Miami-based payday loan company bilked hundreds of investors out of millions of dollars and repaid others with money he acquired from a Ponzi scheme. The Securities and Exchange Commission says in a complaint filed in September that Efrain Betancourt Jr. and Sky Group USA committed securities violations in a scheme that authorities described as “affinity fraud.” He has not been charged criminally. The Miami Herald reported the lawsuit on Tuesday. The SEC complaint says Betancourt spent much of the $66 million raised through promissory notes on his lavish lifestyle.

ESPORTS-RIOT GAMES LAWSUIT

Esports giant Riot settles discrimination case for $100M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Riot Games, the publisher behind esports giant “League of Legends,” agreed to pay $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging pay disparity, gender discrimination and sexual harassment. The suit was filed in November 2018 after gaming website Kotaku published a story detailing a sexist culture at Los Angeles-based Riot Games that included women being passed over for promotions, unwanted sexual advances and men questioning women about the legitimacy of their video game fandom. Other former employees later came forward with similar claims. The California Department of Fair Employment said the suit will remedy violations against more than 1,000 female employees and 1,300 female contract workers.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-EMIRATES

World’s fair in Dubai warns of possible closures over virus

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The multibillion-dollar world’s fair in Dubai has warned that some venues on site may shut down as coronavirus cases rapidly rise in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai’s Expo 2020 said that virus outbreaks among workers may force some parts of the fair to “close temporarily for deep cleaning and sanitization.” It did not elaborate. The UAE’s daily virus caseload has skyrocketed by a multiple of 35 in just the last three weeks after the arrival of the omicron variant. The vague statement from Dubai’s government-run media office on Monday underscores the daunting challenges of hosting among the world’s first major in-person events amid a still-raging pandemic.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-BELGIUM

BRUSSELS (AP) — An advisory body in Belgium has suspended a government-ordered closure of part of the cultural sector. The Council of State said Tuesday that new coronavirus restrictions imposed on theaters are unreasonable. Movie houses, concert halls and art centers were ordered to shut their doors under restrictions that entered force over the weekend. Some stayed open in protest. Health experts say that going to such places poses no extra risk to public health. But the Council of State ruled Tuesday that the measures were “not proportionate.” It says the government failed to provide enough motives to “understand why going to cultural sector performance venues was particularly dangerous for public health.” Thousands rallied on Sunday in protest against the move.

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