Update on the latest in business:


Banks, energy companies lead stocks higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Banks and energy companies helped lead stocks higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street, lifting the benchmark S&P 500 to a gain for the week. The S&P 500 index was up 0.5%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5% and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.2%. Bond yields rose and lifted banks. Energy companies rose as the price of oil climbed more than 3% due to production disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico. Casino stocks were lower following reports of a possible crackdown on the gambling industry in the former Portuguese colony of Macau. Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands fell.


After Ida hits, August industrial output gains slow to 0.4%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production slowed to a 0.4% gain in August as shutdowns of petroleum refineries and petrochemical plants caused by Hurricane Ida curbed manufacturing activity. Plant closures long the Gulf Coast as well as lost oil production during last month’s hurricane shaved 0.3 percentage points from output, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday. Industrial output had risen a revised 0.8% in July. Industrial production covers manufacturing, utilities and mining. For just manufacturing, factory output slowed to a tiny 0.2% gain, reflecting the hurricane impact and continued supply chain troubles.


Biden, CEOs, biz leaders meet on COVID-19 vaccine mandates

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has invited CEOs and business leaders to the White House to discuss COVID-19 mandates. The meeting Wednesday follows Biden’s announcement last week that the Labor Department is working to require that businesses with 100 or more employees order their workers to be fully vaccinated or submit a negative COVID-19 test at least weekly. Biden said 100 million workers would be subject to the requirement. Biden announced the new mandate and several other steps last week as part of a new effort by the administration to curb the surging delta variant of the coronavirus.


Most states have cut back public health powers amid pandemic

UNDATED (AP) — A review of hundreds of pieces of legislation across the United States shows that Republican legislators in more than half of the states are taking away the powers state and local officials use to protect the public against infectious diseases. The review conducted by Kaiser Health News, or KHN, also found that in all 50 states, legislators have proposed bills to curb such public health powers since the COVID-19 pandemic began. While some governors vetoed bills that passed, at least 26 states pushed through laws that permanently weaken government authority to protect public health.


Biden: Nearly 3M get health coverage during COVID-19 sign-up

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says nearly 3 million consumers took advantage of a special six-month period to sign up for subsidized health insurance coverage made more affordable by his COVID-19 relief law. He calls that number encouraging and is urging Congress to help keep the trend going by extending the more generous financial assistance. Right now, it’s available only through the end of next year. Biden had ordered the HealthCare.gov marketplace to reopen Feb. 15 for six months to give people the opportunity to buy private coverage for themselves and their families during the pandemic. New census numbers show that about 28 million people were uninsured last year.


Maverick Dem senators meeting with Biden on spending plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to meet with two moderate Democratic senators whose objections to the size of a proposed, huge package of social and environment initiatives has thrown serious obstacles in its path. Biden was scheduled to have separate meetings Wednesday with Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and later with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. The legislation represents the heart of the president’s domestic agenda. And the stakes are high for Biden and his party for finding a pathway to push the measure through the closely divided Congress. Democrats will need all of their votes in the 50-50 Senate to move the legislation through the Senate.


DoorDash sues New York City over rights to customer data

UNDATED (AP) — DoorDash is suing New York City over a new law that requires delivery companies to share customer data with restaurants. The San Francisco company says the law that passed the New York City Council in late July is unconstitutional and violates customer privacy. The law requires delivery companies to share data on customers, including names, addresses and phone numbers, with any restaurant that requests that information. Customers can opt out of allowing delivery companies to keep such data, but only on an order-by-order basis. The NYC Hospitality Alliance supported the measure, saying it gives restaurants more leverage and the ability to market directly to customers.


Texas company to pay nearly $3M for Clean Air Act violations

POINT COMFORT, Texas (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice says a Texas plastics company has agreed to pay nearly $3 million in civil penalties for violating the Clean Air Act. The DOJ says Formosa Plastics Corporation also agreed to improve its risk management program at its petrochemical plant in Point Comfort, Texas. An investigation was launched into Formosa after a series of fires, explosions and accidental releases at the plant along the Texas Gulf Coast. The DOJ says workers suffered burns and inhaled chlorine as a result of those accidents, which happened from 2013 to 2016. Formosa says it’s added a team of health and safety professionals to help ensure similar accidents don’t happen in the future.


Canadian Pacific’s acquisition of KCS railroad back on track

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The path is now clear for Canadian Pacific’s $31 billion acquisition of Kansas City Southern railroad to move forward after Canadian National dropped out of the bidding war Wednesday. The deal could still face tough scrutiny from regulators at the federal Surface Transportation Board, which hasn’t approved any major railroad mergers since the 1990s, but KCS shareholders will be set to get paid once shareholders of both companies and Mexican regulators approve regardless of what the STB ultimately decides. Canadian Pacific triumphed in the bidding war even though it offered less federal regulators rejected part of CN’s plan. Canadian National will receive $1.4 billion in breakup fees for its trouble.


Sand, Catan, piñatas lead Toy Hall of Fame finalists

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Cabbage Patch Kids touched off the first big holiday toy craze nearly 40 years ago. Now the dolls are among 12 finalists vying for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The finalists were announced Wednesday at The Strong Museum in Rochester, which houses the hall. The finalists also include five games: Battleship, Risk, The Settlers of Catan, Mahjong and billiards. Rounding out the list are the pinata, sand, toy fire truck, American Girl Dolls, Masters of the Universe and Fisher-Price Corn Popper. Three will be inducted in November. Fans are invited to weigh in as part of a “Player’s Choice” ballot that closes Sept. 22.

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