Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 2.6 percent after it closed at its lowest price in more than a year Friday.
GM to close Canadian plant, but that’s just the beginning
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will lay off 14,700 factory and white-collar workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure as it restructures to cut costs and focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles.
The reduction includes 8,100 white-collar workers, some of whom will take buyouts and others who will be laid off. Most of the affected factories build cars that won’t be sold in the U.S. after next year. They could close or they could get different vehicles to build. They will be part of contract talks with the United Auto Workers union next year.
Plants without products include assembly plants in Detroit; Lordstown, Ohio; and Oshawa, Ontario. Also affected are transmission factories in Warren, Michigan, as well as Baltimore.
More than 6,000 factory workers could lose jobs in the U.S. and Canada, although some could transfer to truck and SUV plants.
CVS, Aetna draw closer to closing $69B combination
UNDATED (AP) — Shares of CVS Health and Aetna are rising with the companies now saying they expect to close their $69 billion tie-up later this week.
The companies say in regulatory filings that they have the final regulatory approval needed and expect to close on or around Wednesday.
CVS Health Corp. had told investors earlier this month that it expected to close the deal for the nation’s third-largest health insurer before Thanksgiving. But its shares slipped last week after the drugstore chain and pharmacy benefit manager said it still lacked approval from two states.
The companies plan to dive deeper into providing care with help from CVS’s nearly 10,000 locations.
Shares of CVS Health advanced nearly 4 percent, while Aetna Inc. climbed more than 2 percent in morning trading.
IMPLANT FILES-FDA REACTION
US FDA plans overhaul of decades-old medical device system
WASHINGTON (AP) — US health officials say they plan to overhaul the nation’s decades-old system for approving most medical devices, which experts have long criticized for failing to catch problems with risky implants and medical instruments.
The Food and Drug Administration has announced plans aimed at making sure new medical devices reflect up-to-date safety and effectiveness features. The system targeted by the actions generally allows manufacturers to launch new products based on similarities to decades-old products, not new clinical testing.
The FDA’s pledge came one day after the publication of a global investigation into medical device safety by more than 50 media organizations, including The Associated Press. The probe, led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, analyzed more than 8 million device-related health records, including death and injury reports and recalls.
On Cyber Monday, pope urges generosity, not consumerism
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says the “sickness of consumerism” is the enemy of generosity as he called for the faithful to give a little something to the poor.
Francis made the comments during his morning homily Monday, so-called Cyber Monday when online retailers woo shoppers with bargains ahead of Christmas.
Francis made no mention of Christmas shopping — in Italy, the official season begins Dec. 8 — but his plea for generosity will likely be repeated in coming weeks.
Francis said giving away clothes, shoes or groceries can help the poor: “How many pairs of shoes do I have? One, two, three, four, 15, 20? … If you have so many, give away half.”
He said: “We can make miracles with generosity of little things.”
FRANCE-GAS PRICE PROTESTS
Macron’s government stands tough against violent protesters
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron’s government is vowing an “uncompromising” stance toward troublemakers who use protests over rising fuel taxes to damage businesses and clash with police — including in the heart of Paris, on the glittering Champs-Elysees.
Pressure is mounting on Macron after a second weekend of sometimes violent demonstrations by angry drivers. He promised to explain on Tuesday his plans for weaning France off fossil fuels via small tax hikes that are at the heart of the protests.
Scattered actions continued today as drivers blocked roads from the Pyrenees to Brittany. Tense clashes Saturday reached Paris’ high-end Champs-Elysees, with store windows smashed and police firing volleys of tear gas and chasing troublemakers through streets filled with smoke from flares and bonfires.
The government unveiled today a planned bill to invest 13.4 billion euros ($15.2 billion) by 2022 aimed to develop the rail network, car-pooling, electric cars and unmanned shuttles.
Court awards $1.3 billion to Ukrainian bank
MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine’s biggest state-run bank says an arbitration court in Paris has ruled that Russia must pay $1.3 billion in damages for property seized in the annexation of Crimea.
The press service of Oshchadbank says the court ruled in the bank’s favor, and the bank will now take “all possible measures” to get the money back from Russia.
That could include seizing Russian assets around the world, the bank said.
The announcement came amid new tensions between the neighbors over Ukrainian naval ships seized by Russia near Crimea.
Bank official Andriy Pyshnoho encouraged other Ukrainian companies to seek international arbitration “to restore justice” over property seized in Crimea.
Russia did not immediately respond to the ruling.
Fox begins digital service for people who want more opinion
NEW YORK (AP) — The new streaming service Fox Nation that launches Tuesday is aimed at people who don’t think Fox News Channel offers enough opinion.
Fox is becoming the latest television news operation to stake out digital turf. Its new subscription-based service is designed to roll out most of its new offerings in daytime hours, after “Fox & Friends” and before the prime-time lineup of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.
Besides the known Fox personalities, Fox Nation will feature conservative firebrand Tomi Lahren and a show called “UN-PC” hosted by Britt McHenry and Tyus.
Fox is hoping that its loyal fans will pay six dollars a month to keep the opinions flowing.
Delaware attorney general moves to shut down Backpage LLCs
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware’s attorney general has moved to dissolve the limited liability companies behind Backpage.com, a classified ad website whose listings included sexual services.
The News Journal reports Matt Denn’s office filed a petition last week asking for the cancellation of the four LLCs’ certificates of formation.
The lawsuit is new territory for his office. In June, the Delaware General Assembly passed a bill amending the state’s corporate law to permit seeking court orders requiring the dissolution of select legal entities registered in the nation’s incorporation capital.
Backpage had been shielded by its lack of physical presence in Delaware and its technical “good standing” ensured by paying its $300 annual franchise tax.
Federal authorities took down the site in April, and its CEO has pleaded guilty to prostitution and money laundering.
Venezuela holds onto prized US refineries amid legal battle
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela will hold onto its U.S.-based Citgo refineries, settling a lawsuit that threw ownership of the struggling country’s prized assets into peril.
Court papers show that Venezuela on Friday began paying off $1.4 billion that a panel said was owed to the Canadian mining firm Crystallex, following a disputed takeover of the company by the late-President Hugo Chavez.
To recoup its losses, Crystallex had targeted Citgo refineries, potentially forcing Venezuela to sell off its most valuable foreign asset.
Papers filed in a Canadian court say Venezuela recently paid Crystallex $425 million, while agreeing to make good on the rest by 2021. That enables them to hold onto their refineries.
Russ Dallen of Miami-based Caracas Capital Markets says the payment shows Venezuela’s changing tactics — from fighting creditors to striking deals.