Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks continue pullback

NEW YORK (AP) — More sharp declines for big-tech stocks are dragging Wall Street toward a third straight loss. The S&P 500 was down 2.1% in midday trading, after dropping as much as 2.5% shortly after the U.S. market opened.

Big names that had been been the main reasons for Wall Street’s rocket ride back to record heights were among the heaviest weights, including Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.

The Nasdaq composite, which is full of many tech stocks, dropped 2.8% and is down 8.8% since Wednesday’s close.

Crude oil prices and Treasury yields were also falling.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE-PLEDGE

Companies testing vaccines pledge safety, high standards

UNDATED (AP) — Top executives of nine drugmakers likely to produce the first vaccines against the new coronavirus are taking the extraordinary step of promising they’ll be safe and effective.

The drugmakers’ chief executives said Tuesday that they’ll maintain the highest ethical and scientific standards in testing and manufacturing their vaccines. They also say they will make the well-being of those getting vaccinated their top priority.

The move is meant to boost public confidence. The announcement comes amid worries that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be under political pressure to approve a vaccine before tests to prove it is safe and effective are finished.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Michigan grad students strike over virus issues

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Graduate students who teach classes are on strike at the University of Michigan over in-person instruction during the coronavirus pandemic.

The strikers chanted and held umbrellas while marching in the rain. Surabhi Balachander wrote on Twitter about not wanting “my students and colleagues to get a chronic illness because this university decided it was most important to collect tuition.”

The Graduate Employees’ Organization, which represents more than 1,000 instructors, has called for a four-day strike. Most classes at the University of Michigan have shifted to online. But the union says the university isn’t doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald says the strike is illegal under state law.

BOEING-PLANES

Boeing finds new problem with 787 that will delay deliveries

UNDATED (AP) — Boeing is dealing with a new production problem involving its 787 jet, which the company calls the Dreamliner. Inspections have found flaws in the way that sections of the rear of the plane were joined together.

Boeing said Tuesday it’s not an immediate safety risk but could cause the planes to age prematurely. Boeing says inspections will slow down deliveries, which Boeing needs to generate cash.

The disclosure compounds Boeing’s problems in getting the grounded 737 Max back in flight, and dealing with the pandemic, which has undermined travel and left airlines with no need for new planes.

GM-NICOLA

GM to make electric vehicle, supply batteries for Nikola

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors has formed its second major electric vehicle partnership in less than a week, this time a $2 billion deal with startup Nikola.

GM will take an 11% ownership stake in the company and will engineer and build Nikola’s Badger hydrogen fuel cell and electric pickup truck. The Badger is expected to be in production by the end of 2022.

It’s the second major partnership announced by GM this month. On Thursday GM said it would join with Japanese automaker Honda to share the costs of building vehicles powered by batteries and internal combustion engines. GM also will get a seat on Nikola’s board.

UNIFOR-FORD

Canadian auto workers pick Ford as potential strike target

DETROIT (AP) — The union that represents Canadian auto workers has picked Ford to begin contract talks and be a potential strike target this year.

The Unifor union’s contracts with all three Detroit automakers expires at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 21.

Unifor President Jerry Dias said at a news conference Tuesday that the union wants product commitments for Ford’s assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario, near Toronto. Production of the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus SUVs ends at the plant in 2023.

Dias says Ford hasn’t made any future commitments for the future. He says the union is looking for job security and commitments including electric vehicles.

The basics of a three-year deal with Ford would then apply to Fiat Chrysler and General Motors.

EUROPE-GDP

Eurozone economic slide during pandemic revised to 11.8%

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The EU’s official statistics agency has revised its growth figure for the second quarter. And it’s still not pretty.

Eurostat said Tuesday that the economy shrank by 11.8% in the 19 countries that use the euro currency That is a bit less than the 12.1% plunge reported in the initial estimate from July 31. The second quarter lasting from April through June saw the worst of the lockdowns.

Economists say things won’t reach pre-virus levels until 2022 at the earliest.

BREXIT

As EU talks resume, UK says it could break international law

LONDON (AP) — The U.K. has indicated that it is prepared to break an international agreement as post-Brexit trade discussions with the European Union resumed on an increasingly acrimonious tone.

While the U.K. urged the EU to show “more realism” in the discussions, the 27-nation bloc noted that it was a “world power.”

The latest round of discussions kicked off in London on Tuesday amid an air of pessimism because of concerns that the British government is willing to violate international law by reneging on commitments made before the country’s departure from the bloc on Jan. 31. Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said planned legislation to be published Wednesday “does break international law in a very specific and limited way.”

BEYOND MEAT-CHINA

Beyond Meat signs production agreement in China

UNDATED (AP) — Beyond Meat will begin making plant-based meat in China later this year under an agreement announced Tuesday.

California-based Beyond Meat is building two facilities outside Shanghai. Production will begin later this year, with full production expected in early 2021.

Beyond Meat products made their Chinese debut in April at Starbucks, which sells the company’s imitation beef in lasagna, pasta and a spicy wrap. Beyond Meat burgers entered Chinese grocery stores in June through a partnership with Alibaba.

This is Beyond Meat’s second international expansion this year. It opened a manufacturing facility in the Netherlands in June.

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