Wall Street rises again, joins worldwide upswell for markets
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is joining a worldwide upswell for markets, as stocks push higher on hopes that the economy can continue its turnaround despite all the challenges ahead of it.
The S&P 500 was 1.4% higher in midday trading, following up on similar gains in Europe and Asia. Dealmaking helped lift shares of Uber and Berkshire Hathaway, while Treasury yields climbed after economic reports showed improvements in the United States and Europe.
They’re the latest buoyant moves for markets, where investors are focusing more on recent improvements and all the stimulus that central banks are supplying than on how damaged the economy remains.
Uber buys Postmates, ups delivery game in $2.65 billion deal
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Uber has acquired Postmates in a $2.65 billion all-stock deal, expanding its footprint in the fiercely competitive delivery market.
The acquisition enables the ride-hailing giant to increase its delivery offerings at a time when the global pandemic has suppressed customers’ desire for rides while boosting home delivery needs.
Postmates delivers a wide array of goods including groceries, pharmacy items, alcoholic drinks and party supplies.
Uber recently lost out in a bid for Grubhub, which would have made it the dominant U.S. food delivery service. But Amsterdam-based Just Eat Takeaway.com nabbed Chicago-based Grubhub in a $7.3 billion deal.
Activity in services sector shows record rebound in June
WASHINGTON (AP) — Activity in the U.S. services sector showed a record rebound in June but future improvement could be jeopardized by the resurgence of coronavirus cases in many parts of the country.
The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its service sector index rose to 57.1 in June, up from a reading of 45.4 in May. Any reading above 50 means that the service sector, where the majority of Americans work, is expanding.
The report on activity in the services sector followed a report last week that the ISM manufacturing index rebounded in June to a reading of 52.6 after registering big declines in the two previous months.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLORIDA Restaurants, gyms in Miami area ordered closed
MIAMI (AP) — Florida’s most-populous county reversed course and has again ordered restaurants and gyms to close because of a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
The move in Miami-Dade County comes as the U.S. emerges from what public health officials say was a make-or-break Fourth of July weekend of picnics, pool parties and beach outings.
The see-saw effect of eased restrictions and then increases in cases is seeing a number of states reverse course and start to clamp down.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SMALL BUSINESS LOANS
Treasury identifies recipients of pandemic aid
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department released the names of more than 700,000 companies that received funds from the government’s small business lending program.
That program was put into place to support businesses as states shut down in April to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The Treasury to date had identified just a fraction of all borrowers, naming only those companies that received more than $150,000.
But those firms made up less than 15% of the nearly 5 million small companies that received loans.
Trump-connected lobbyists reap windfall in federal virus aid
WASHINGTON (AP) — Forty lobbyists with ties to President Donald Trump have helped their clients secure more than $10 billion in federal coronavirus aid. Among them are five former administration officials whose lobbying work potentially violates an ethics order Trump issued after taking office.
The findings were detailed in a report released Monday by the watchdog group Public Citizen.
Trump campaigned on a pledge to “drain the swamp.” Yet the report demonstrates how three years into his presidency, it’s mostly business as usual and lobbyists with ties to Trump and his administration are in high demand.
DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE
Judge orders Dakota Access pipeline shut down pending review
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the Dakota Access pipeline shut down pending a more thorough environmental review.
The ruling Monday hands a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe three years after the pipeline first began carrying oil following months of protests.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote that he was “mindful of the disruption” that shutting down the pipeline would cause, but that it must be done within 30 days.
Tribal Chairman Mike Faith called it a historic day for the Standing Rock Sioux. The tribe worries an oil spill could pollute the Missouri River.
Texas-based Energy Transfer has insisted its pipeline is safe.
Supreme Court upholds cellphone robocall ban
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has upheld a 1991 law that bars robocalls to cellphones.
The case was argued by telephone in May because of the coronavirus pandemic. It only arose after Congress in 2015 created an exception in the law that allows the automated calls for collection of government debt.
Political consultants and pollsters were among those asking the Supreme Court to strike down the 1991 law that bars them from making robocalls to cellphones as a violation of their free speech rights under the Constitution. The issue was whether, by allowing one kind of speech but not others, the exception made the whole law unconstitutional.
Jonathan Sackler, co-owner of Purdue Pharma, dies
STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — Jonathan Sackler, one of the co-owners of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, has died at 65. His death was noted in a legal filing and confirmed by the company.
The Connecticut-based drug company is seeking bankruptcy protection as a means to settle thousands of lawsuits claiming the Connecticut-based company helped spark an opioid addiction epidemic that has been linked to more than 430,000 Americans since 2000.
The company’s settlement plan calls for the family, which has been listed among America’s wealthiest, to pay at least $3 billion and give up ownership of Purdue.
Second executive arrested in Wirecard scandal in Germany
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German prosecutors say a second executive with bankrupt payments company Wirecard has been arrested on suspicion of serious fraud. The executive headed a company subsidiary in Dubai and voluntarily gave himself up to face proceedings.
The arrest comes after former CEO Markus Braun was taken into custody last month and release on bail.
The company based near Munich declared bankruptcy after revealing that $2.1 billion, listed on its balance sheet actually didn’t exist. The accounting scandal has led Germany’s finance minister to say regulators need more authority to probe into companies’ financial reporting.
French drug company accused of favoring profits over lives
PARIS (AP) — French pharmaceutical company Servier Laboratories is facing millions of euros in potential fines after a massive trial around a diabetes drug used as a diet pill. The popular drug, called Mediator, became one of France’s biggest modern health scandals.
The trial is wrapping up Monday after more than six months of exceptional proceedings targeting Servier and France’s medicines watchdog.
Servier says it didn’t know about the drug’s risks. A study said it was suspected in 1,000-2,000 deaths among millions who took it as an appetite suppressant over the 33 years it was on the market. Doctors linked it to heart and lung problems.