Update on the latest in business:


Stocks mostly higher in choppy trading

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes are mostly higher in choppy trading on Wall Street Monday after a three-week winning streak. The S&P 500 is up 0.3% after being down 0.3% in the early going.

Gains in the technology sector and companies that rely on consumer spending outweighed losses among industrial stocks, household goods makers and elsewhere in the market. Noble Energy climbed after the company agreed to be acquired by Chevron for $5 billion.

Investors are looking ahead to a busy week of earnings reports from major U.S. companies including IBM, Coca-Cola and Microsoft. European markets were mostly higher and Asian markets ended mixed.


Stirring in the oil patch, Chevron buys Noble for $5 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Chevron will take over Noble Energy for $5 billion in the first big deal announced since the coronavirus pandemic shook the energy sector.

Chevron has been shopping for assets since last year and with crude prices down more than 30% this year, it jumped Monday with its all-stock offering for the independent Houston oil and gas driller.

Energy companies had been taking on enormous debt even before the pandemic with energy prices bouncing all over the place, and Noble is no exception.

The total enterprise value of the deal is $13 billion, with Chevron assuming Noble’s debt.


Trump meets with GOP congressional leaders

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump met with top Republican congressional leaders Monday at the White House on the next COVID-19 aid package.

As the virus worsens and aid is expiring Congress is considering what to do next. Trump said “good things” were happening. But the administration is stiffening its opposition to more testing money and interjecting other priorities, and that could complicate quick passage.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is prepared to roll out the $1 trillion package in a matter of days. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already passed a sweeping $3 trillion measure from Democrats.

Congress is returning to session as the coronavirus crisis many had hoped would have improved shows now signs of easing.


Insults, flaring tempers mark marathon EU summit on budget

BRUSSELS (AP) — Weary European Union leaders are expressing cautious optimism that a deal is in sight on their fourth day of wrangling over an unprecedented $2.1 trillion budget and coronavirus recovery fund. That follows a weekend of walkouts, flaring tempers and insults.

It took an emotional dinner speech by European Council President Charles Michel about leaders not failing their union, French President Emmanuel Macron slamming his fist in anger on a table, and a new set of budget numbers to send the marathon summit onward. Macron said there were “extremely tense moments” but that things have moved forward.

The two-day summit was supposed to end Saturday but was forced into overtime by deep ideological differences among the 27 leaders.


UK coronavirus vaccine prompts immune response in early test

LONDON (AP) — Scientists at Oxford University say their experimental coronavirus vaccine has been shown in an early trial to prompt a protective immune response in hundreds of people who got the shot.

British researchers first began testing the vaccine in April in about 1,000 people, half of whom got the experimental vaccine. Such early trials are designed to evaluate safety and see what kind of immune response was provoked, but can’t tell if the vaccine truly protects.

In research published Monday, scientists said that they found their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people who got the shot.


Size mattered: Big companies got coronavirus loans first

NEW YORK (AP) — Ever since the U.S. government launched its emergency lending program for small businesses on April 3, there have been complaints that bigger companies had their loans approved and disbursed more quickly. There is now evidence to back up those complaints.

An Associated Press analysis of Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program shows that nearly a third of the loans approved in the program’s first week ranged from $150,000 to $10 million, the maximum allowed.

In a second round of funding that began April 27, such loans made up just 7.4% of the total.


Sizing up: As pandemic surges, so do waistlines

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are heading back to clothing stores with a new size as they either turned to stress-eating or stepped up the exercise out of boredom during pandemic lockdowns.

Brands from Levi Strauss & Co. to high end lingerie label Cosabella are taking note. So are body measuring technology companies, which report that shoppers are changing their measurements in their online profiles.

The trend could be good for clothing companies since new sizes mean that customers’ wardrobes need to be updated. But they also face some pain with an increase in costly returns as shoppers try to figure out their new sizes.


Alibaba-backed Ant Group to go public in Shanghai, Hong Kong

HONG KONG (AP) — Ant Group, the online payments arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has announced plans for an initial public stock offering that could become the world’s biggest since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Ant was valued at $150 billion after a 2018 private fundraising round. It gave no indication how much money it hopes to raise in the joint offering in Hong Kong and Shanghai. But the offering will test investor willingness to look beyond the pandemic and worsening global economy.

Ant Group has invested heavily in payments providers in regions including Southeast Asia and Europe as it looks to offer financial services to more users around the world. With its partners, Ant Group serves over 1 billion users globally.

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