Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asia shares mixed

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets have been mixed today amid investor concern about U.S. stimulus spending and a trade agreement with Beijing.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3% while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 0.3%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.6%.

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The S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney fell 0.5% while Seoul’s Kospi gained 1.1%.

India’s Sensex opened up 1%. New Zealand and Bangkok retreated while Singapore and Jakarta gained.

Yesterday on Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index gained 0.4% to 3,306.51 as a rally eased. The index is within 2.4% of its February record high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.6% to 26,828.47. The Nasdaq composite added 0.4% to a record 10,941.17.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-CONGRESS

Progress slow as urgency grows on virus relief legislation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest negotiating session on a coronavirus relief bill has wrapped with modest concessions being made by both sides.

Top Democrats emerged from a 90-minute meeting with Trump administration officials Tuesday saying progress was made.

The Trump team agreed with that assessment and highlighted their offer to extend a moratorium on evictions from federally subsidized housing through the end of the year. But a final agreement appears far off. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the two sides set a goal of reaching an agreement by the end of the week to permit a vote next week.

KODAK LOAN

Questions being raised after Kodak’s stock has a big moment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eastman Kodak’s potentially lucrative deal to help the U.S. government make more generic drugs domestically is threatening to turn into a regulatory headache for the fallen photography giant.

Kodak’s depressed stock price surged last week before the company announced its plans to work with President Donald Trump’s administration in exchange for a $765 million loan. That prompted Sen. Elizabeth Warren to send a Monday letter asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether insider trading laws have been broken. The Wall Street Journal reports the SEC is now in the early stages of a probe. The SEC declined to comment on the report.

VIRGIN ATLANTIC-BANKRUPTCY

Virgin Atlantic airline files for US bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK (AP) — Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic airline is seeking protection from creditors as it tries to survive the pandemic that is slamming air travel.

The U.K.-based airline filed for help Tuesday in U.S. federal bankruptcy court in New York. A spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic cast the Chapter 15 bankruptcy filing as part of a court process to carry out a restructuring plan that the airline announced last month.

The airline hopes to emerge from the restructuring in September.

Virgin Atlantic is the latest airline to wind up in court because of the financial harm from the coronavirus outbreak.

AUSTRALIA-VIRGIN

Virgin Australia plans to shed staff under new US owners

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Virgin Australia plans to scale down its operations under new U.S. owners and shed a third of its staff as the airline adjusts to the pandemic.

Australia’s second-largest carrier in April became the world’s largest airline to seek bankruptcy protection after the coronavirus pandemic virtually grounded the aviation industry.

Virgin’s administrator Deloitte’s has entered into a binding agreement to sell the airline to Boston-based investment firm Bain Capital. The deal will go within weeks for final approval to a meeting of Virgin creditors who are owed 7 billion Australian dollars ($5 billion). The Virgin Australia Group chief executive and managing director Paul Scurrah announced plans to cut 3,000 jobs.

WAYMO-UBER-PRISON SENTENCE

Ex-Google exec sent to prison for stealing robocar secrets

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — A former Google engineer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing trade secrets before joining Uber’s effort to build robotic vehicles for its ride-hailing service.

The sentence handed down Tuesday by U.S. District Judge William Alsup came more than four months after former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski reached a plea agreement with the federal prosecutors who brought a criminal case against him last August.

Levandowski, who helped steer Google’s self-driving car project before landing at Uber, was also ordered to pay more than $850,000.

PEBBLE MINE-TRUMP JR.

Trump Jr. expresses opposition to Alaska mine project

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — President Donald Trump’s eldest son agreed Tuesday with calls to block a proposed copper and gold mine near the headwaters of a major U.S. salmon fishery in southwest Alaska.

Donald Trump Jr. responded to a tweet by Nick Ayers, a former aide to Vice President Mike Pence and a senior adviser to the Trump campaign.

Ayers, in his tweet, said he hoped the president would direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to block the proposed Pebble Mine. This comes as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers weighs a key permitting decision for the project, which is being pursued by the Pebble Limited Partnership. The Pebble partnership is owned by Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.

NBCUNIVERSAL-LAYOFFS

NBCUniversal laying off workers amid pandemic pain

UNDATED (AP) — Comcast’s NBCUniversal is having company-wide layoffs.

The layoffs affect less than 10% of the company’s employees, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited unidentified people familiar with the matter. NBCUniversal has 35,000 full-time employees.

The coronavirus is hurting NBC’s business. In its most recent quarter, revenue slid 25% to $6.1 billion as the coronavirus pandemic shut down Hollywood and live sports. Advertisers have pulled back from TV, movies are delayed as theaters are largely shut down and theme parks were closed for most of the quarter. NBC reopened two of its parks, Universal Studios Japan and its Universal park in Orlando, Florida, in early June.

NIELSENS-FOX-LEWIS FUNERAL

Fox News Channel viewers tune out for John Lewis’ funeral

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel viewers are usually a loyal bunch, but thousands looked for the “off” switch during last week’s telecast of civil rights icon John Lewis’ funeral.

Fox News, like the broadcast and other cable news networks, aired Lewis’ funeral last Thursday, when former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama spoke.

According to the Nielsen company, during the hour before the funeral’s start, Fox averaged 1.67 million viewers. In the same hour, MSNBC had 1.28 million viewers and CNN had 1.25 million. Once the funeral started, half of Fox’s viewers slipped away while the audience increased for its rivals.

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