Update on the latest in business:

FINANCAL MARKETS

Asian stocks follow Wall Street lower amid virus worries

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks have followed Wall Street lower as surging coronavirus infections in the United States and some other countries tempered investor optimism about development of possible vaccines.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul declined.

Rising virus case numbers have prompted some U.S. states and European governments to reimpose curbs on travel and business, setting back an economic recovery.

On Monday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.2% as health care, finance and energy stocks declined.

CONSUMER BORROWING

US credit card balances fall, though overall borrowing rises

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. consumers took out more auto and student loans in October, but cut back on credit card borrowing, a sign that they remain cautious about spending amid a spike in virus cases.

The Federal Reserve said Monday that consumer borrowing rose 2.1% in October to $4.16 trillion, pushed higher by a 4.8% jump in a category mostly made up of student and auto loans. Credit card borrowing fell 6.7%.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-FRAUD

Company offering pandemic stock tips accused of $137M fraud

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Federal regulators have filed a lawsuit that accuses operators of an online stock trading services company of defrauding consumers out of more than $137 million.

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday sued RagingBull.com LLC and the company’s co-founders, Jeffrey Bishop and Jason Bond, in Maryland. FTC attorneys are seeking federal court orders freezing company assets, halting the alleged fraud scheme and awarding refunds and restitution to customers.

The FTC says bank records show the company is bilking consumers, many of whom are retirees or immigrants, out of millions of dollars each month.

GHOST-GUN-LAWSUIT

Families of shooting victims sue sellers of ‘ghost guns’

LOS ANGELES (AP ) — Families of those killed and wounded in a California shooting rampage three years ago are suing manufacturers and sellers of “ghost gun” kits that provide easy-to-assemble firearm parts that make it difficult to track or regulate owners.

Two wrongful death lawsuits accuse 13 defendants of negligence, public nuisance and violation of business codes. The cases were brought by Brady United, the nonprofit that advocates against gun violence.

One of the defendants calls the suits an attempt to to “frustrate the lawful purpose of making your own firearms.” The other defendants didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

CHINA-JD-HEALTH-IPO

Shares in online platform JD Health up 50% in trading debut

BEIJING (AP) — Shares in China’s biggest online health care platform have risen 50% in their Hong Kong stock market debut, reflecting investor enthusiasm for the fledgling industry as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

JD Health, an arm of JD.Com Inc., China’s biggest online retailer, sells medications, hospital care packages and online consultations with doctors. Chinese internet companies increasingly offer health services in a society where hospitals are crowded and distribution of drugs and medical supplies outside major cities is uneven.

Online consulting with Chinese-speaking physicians is popular with families from China who live in the West or other developing countries.

INTERNET DEVICES-VULNERABILITIES

Research: Millions of smart devices vulnerable to hacking

BOSTON (AP) — Researchers at a cybersecurity firm say they have identified vulnerabilities in software widely used by millions of connected devices — flaws that could be exploited by hackers to penetrate business and home computer networks and disrupt them.

There is no evidence of any intrusions that made use of the vulnerabilities. But their existence in data-communications software central to internet-connected devices prompted the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to flag the issue in a bulletin.

Potentially affected devices from an estimated 150 manufacturers range from networked thermometers to “smart” plugs and printers to office routers and healthcare appliances to components of industrial control systems.

AUSTRALIA-DIGITAL PLATFORMS

Australia to reveal laws to make Google and FB pay for news

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s government will soon reveal in Parliament legislation that would make Facebook and Google pay for journalism.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the legislation to create the News Media Bargaining Code will be scrutinized by a parliamentary committee following its introduction on Wednesday and before lawmakers vote on it next year.

The legislation differs from draft proposals that were released in July after consultations with the social media platforms as well as Australian media organizations. Media executive Michael Miller described the draft legislation as a “significant step forward in the decade-long campaign to achieve fairness in the relationship between Australian news media companies and the global tech giants.”

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