Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian shares slip as global rally eases off the accelerator

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares have been mostly lower today in Asia after another day of wobbly trading on Wall Street as markets eased off the accelerator following their big rally.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.4% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong also fell 0.4%. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.5%.

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The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.2% after the central bank reportedly conducted market operations to inject cash ahead of mid-year settlements.

India’s Sensex edged 0.2% higher and shares also rose in Taiwan but fell in Southeast Asia.

Yesterday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 dipped 0.4% to break a three-day winning streak, closing at 3,113.49. Roughly seven out of every 10 stocks in the index declined. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.6% to 26,119.61, while the Nasdaq composite edged 0.1% higher, to 9,910.53.

CONGRESS-FAA

Lawmakers rip FAA for not disclosing documents on Boeing Max

UNDATED (AP) — Key senators say the Federal Aviation Administration is stonewalling their attempt to get documents that might explain how the agency approved the Boeing 737 Max, which remains grounded more than a year after two deadly crashes.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi, said Wednesday that the FAA has failed to respond to more than half of his committee’s requests for documents. Wicker says it’s hard to believe that the FAA isn’t deliberately keeping Congress in the dark.

Hours later, the FAA said it has given Wicker’s committee 7,400 pages of documents and responded to many of his questions but couldn’t answer others because that could interfere with ongoing investigations by several federal agencies.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-JOBS

Job losses continue, suburbs appealing to homebuyers

UNDATED (AP) — AT&T has told the Communications Workers of America union that it plans to cut more than 3,400 technician and clerical jobs across the country over the next few weeks.

Groupon furloughed or initiated exits with approximately 2,700 employees during the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Realtor.com says that in May, online listing views for its website grew by 13% in suburban zip codes, nearly doubling the pace of growth of urban areas.

Many white-collar workers at Ford in the U.S. and elsewhere won’t return to the office until next year, and some may work remotely forever.

J.C. PENNEY-BANRUPTCY

J.C. Penney starts going-out-of-business sales

UNDATED (AP) — — J.C. Penney said it started running going out of business sales at 136 stores on Wednesday. Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, making it the biggest retailer to do so since the coronavirus pandemic forced non-essential stores to be shut down temporarily.

As part of its bankruptcy reorganization, Penney has said it plans to permanently close nearly a third of its 846 stores in the next two years.

That would leave it with just over 600 locations.

BANKS-PROFITS

Bank profits fell in Q1, Deposits soared

BANKS: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp says that profits for banks fell about 70% in the first quarter because of COVID-19, and they quadrupled money set aside against expected losses.

Net income totaled $18.5 billion in first quarter 2020, according to the FDIC. That’s a decline of $42.2 billion from a year ago.

Deposits soared to about $1.24 trillion in the first quarter, up from about $258 billion in the previous quarter as many people decided to exit the stock market.

MITSUBISHI-PAY CUTS

Top execs take pay cuts

TOKYO (AP) — Mitsubishi Motors’ top executives are taking pay cuts to take responsibility for the Japanese automaker’s financial losses.

Like other automakers, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has seen its sales plunge amid the coronavirus pandemic. It reported a $241 million loss for the fiscal year ended in March.

The Chief Executive told shareholders at the annual meeting today that there will be no dividends but asked for their understanding. The Tokyo-based maker of the Outlander sport utility vehicle and i-MiEV electric car has not given a projection for the current fiscal year because of uncertainties about the virus outbreak.

The shareholders’ meeting was streamed online. Investors were asked to stay home to curb the outbreak.

HONG KONG-JD.COM

JD.com stock jumps 6% in Hong Kong debut amid annual sale

HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com’s stock jumped nearly 6% in its debut in Hong Kong today after the firm raised $3.9 billion in a share sale.

JD.com, which is already listed on the Nasdaq in New York, opened at $239 Hong Kong dollars per share today, up from its offer price of $226 Hong Kong dollars.

A growing number of Chinese technology companies are choosing to list in Hong Kong as relations between the U.S. and China worsen.

JD.com’s debut in Hong Kong coincided with its annual “618” sale, or June 18 online shopping extravaganza, has tallied over $33 billion in transactions since it kicked off on June 1. It ends at midnight, Beijing time. 

COPA-US-VENEZUELA

Feds fine Panama’s Copa for flights between US, Venezuela

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is fining Panama-based Copa Airlines $450,000 for operating flights between the U.S. and Venezuela despite a Trump administration ban on flights to the South American country. The Transportation Department said Wednesday that half of the civil penalty will be dropped if Copa pays $225,000 and avoids violating the ban for a year. The department says that in the weeks after the May 2019 ban took effect, Copa carried more than 15,000 passengers between the two countries by using stopover points.

Copa says the violations were not intentional, and it notes that the Transportation Department order didn’t list Copa as an airline serving Venezuela. In a consent order, the airline says it understands the seriousness of the matter and has taken steps to avoid future violations.

The administration banned air links with Venezuela over security concerns amid a political crisis in the South American nation. Many airlines had already stopped flying there because of concern over the safety of crew members.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES-UTILITY COMPANY

Families of California wildfire victims slam PG&E for crimes

UNDATED (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric is being vilified as a greedy, corrupt and reckless company in a court hearing with victims of the 2018 wildfire that killed 85 people in Northern California.

Families of those who died were in court Wednesday telling heartbreaking stories of the pain caused by the utility’s crimes. It was the second day of an extraordinary court hearing that will culminate in PG&E being sentenced for 85 felony counts stemming from the November 2018 wildfire that wiped out Paradise, California.

As a corporation, PG&E can’t go to jail for its crimes. Instead, it will pay a maximum fine of $4 million, including $500,000 for the investigation costs.

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