Asian shares mixed as investors weigh virus risk, stimulus
BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed in Asia on today after Wall Street logged its biggest loss in May on worries about the downside of reopening the economy too soon.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.5% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong edged 0.1% higher.
The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.3% and South Korea’s Kospi jumped 0.1% after the government said it needed more time to assess recent outbreaks and would not immediately re-impose new restrictions to fight the virus.
Yesterday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 dropped 2.1% to 2,870.12 after spending much of the day drifting between small gains and losses, as investors debated whether the lifting of lockdowns across U.S. states and the world will drive an economic rebound or just more coronavirus infections.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.9% to 23,764.78, and the Nasdaq composite lost 2.1%, to 9,002.55. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks lost 45.70, or 3.5%, to 1,275.54.
Pelosi unveils $3T virus bill, warns inaction costs more
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a more than $3 trillion coronavirus aid package Tuesday, a sweeping effort with $1 trillion for states and cities, “hazard pay” for essential workers and a new round of cash payments to individuals.
The House is expected to vote on the package as soon as Friday. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said there is no “urgency.” The Senate will wait until after Memorial Day to consider options.
The bill would offer a fresh round of $1,200 direct cash aid to individuals, increased to up to $6,000 per household, and launch a $175 billion housing assistance fund to help pay rents and mortgages. There would also be $75 billion more for virus testing.
Dispute over reopening California Tesla factory may be over
DETROIT (AP) — It appears the dispute between Tesla and San Francisco Bay Area authorities over the reopening of a factory in the face of coronavirus shutdown orders is coming to an end.
The Alameda County Health Department announced on Twitter early today that the Fremont, California, plant will be able to go beyond basic operations this week and start making vehicles this coming Monday — as long as it delivers on worker safety precautions that it agreed to.
It’s not clear from the statement whether Tesla will face any punishment for reopening Monday in defiance of county orders. Messages were left early Wednesday seeking comment from health officials and Tesla.
The release says Fremont police will verify whether Tesla is holding up its part of the agreement.
Uber considers buying Grubhub, according to newspaper report
NEW YORK (AP) — Uber is considering acquiring Grubhub in a deal that would give the companies control over a majority of the U.S. food delivery business.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that ride-sharing and food delivery giant Uber Technologies Inc. approached Grubhub earlier this year with an all-stock takeover offer. The two companies are continuing to discuss the combination, and Uber’s board will consider it in the coming days.
Uber and Grubhub declined to comment on the report when contacted by The Associated Press.
Combined, Uber Eats and Grubhub would control 55% of the U.S. food delivery market, according to Dan Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. DoorDash, their chief competitor, controls around 35% of the market.
Facebook to pay moderators $52M for psychological damages
UNDATED (AP) — Facebook has agreed to pay $52 million to its content moderators whose job has them viewing graphic and disturbing posts and videos on its platforms.
In a 2018 lawsuit, third-party contractors for the company said that Facebook failed to properly protect them against severe psychological and other injuries that can result from repeated exposure to graphic material such as child sexual abuse, beheadings, terrorism, animal cruelty and other disturbing images.
The settlement grants U.S. moderators who were part of the class action lawsuit $1,000 each. Those who have been diagnosed with conditions related to their work will be able to get medical treatment and damages of up to $50,000, according to the preliminary settlement filed in the Superior Court of California for the County of San Mateo.
LAS VEGAS SHOOTING LAWSUIT
US judge asks Nevada high court if gun makers can be liable
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A U.S. judge is asking Nevada’s highest court to decide whether state law allows gun manufacturers and sellers to be held liable for deaths as he considers a lawsuit from the parents of a victim of the deadliest mass shooting in the nation’s modern history.
Federal law generally protects gun manufacturers and dealers when crimes are committed with their products. A negligence and wrongful death lawsuit filed last year in Las Vegas accuses eight firearms makers and several shops in Nevada and Utah of letting weapons be easily modified to fire like automatic weapons.
A shooter in 2017 outfitted weapons with “bump stock” attachments that let him fire in rapid succession from a Las Vegas high-rise hotel into an open-air concert crowd, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds of others.
Boeing goes another month without a single airliner order’
UNDATED (AP) — Boeing failed to sell a single commercial airplane but saw orders for 108 planes canceled in April as a sharp drop in air travel erased any demand among airlines for new jetliners.
It marked the second month this year in which Boeing received no orders, a fate that would have seemed impossible not long ago.
The COVID-19 outbreak has caused global air traffic to plummet and compounded a crisis at Boeing Co. that began with two fatal crashes and the grounding of its best-selling plane, the 737 Max.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-TUI JOB CUTS
German travel co. TUI to cut 1000s of jobs
BERLIN— Travel company TUI says it expects to cut thousands of jobs as it works to cut its costs amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Germany-based tour, travel and hotel operator says it is “prepared for a resumption of its operational activities” and its first hotels on the German coast will reopen in the coming days.
TUI was granted a German government-backed bridging loan of 1.8 billion euros ($1.95 billion) to help cushion the effects of shutdowns. The company says it will have to cut investments and costs in a globally weakened market and is aiming for a permanent 30% reduction in its overhead cost base.
CEO Fritz Joussen says in a statement that “this will have an impact on potentially 8,000 roles globally that will either not be recruited or reduced.” He says, “we must now implement the realignment quickly.”