Stocks fall on tech slide, oil hits highest level since 2014
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are sliding again as Wall Street comes off its worst week since winter. The S&P 500 fell 1.4% in afternoon trading while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 2.3%. Technology and communications stocks fell.
The price of U.S. oil rose above $77 per barrel for the first time since 2014 as OPEC stuck to a plan for cautious production increases. Rising energy prices helped oil companies gain ground.
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Tesla rose 1.5% after the electric vehicle maker reported surprisingly good third-quarter deliveries.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.48% from 1.47% Friday.
Oil prices surge after OPEC decision
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — OPEC and allied oil producing countries have stayed with their cautious approach to restoring oil production slashed during the pandemic, agreeing to add 400,000 barrels per day in November.
The decision by the Vienna-based oil cartel tracks with its established schedule of adding back that amount of oil every month until the cuts made during the depth of the pandemic recession are restore. The decision comes amid tighter oil markets, as driving and flying pick up around the globe due to the easing of restrictions aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The price of a barrel of crude hit $78.38, the highest since 2014, then eased to trade 2% higher on the day at $77.87 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram suffer worldwide outage
UNDATED (AP) — Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms were down in parts of the world today. The company said it was “aware that some people are having trouble accessing Facebook app” and it was working on restoring access.
The company did not say what might be causing the outage, which began around 11:45 ET. Users reported being unable to access Facebook in California, New York and Europe.
Facebook is going through a major crisis after the whistleblower who was the source of The Wall Street Journal’s series of stories exposing the company’s awareness of internal research into the negative effects of its products went public on “60 Minutes” Sunday.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-RENTAL ASSISTANCE
Treasury to shift rental assistance to places with demand
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department has announced plans to start reallocating rental assistance money in a bid to get more cash into the hands of families facing eviction.
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The plans are a response to the slow pace of distribution in many parts of the country. A little more than 16.5% of the tens of billions of dollars in federal assistance reached tenants in August, compared with 11% a month earlier. Grantees that have struggled to get money out will have to submit plans by November 15 showing they will speed up distribution or face losing the money.
Lawmakers have approved $46.5 billion in spending on rental assistance.
SUPREME COURT-PENTAGON CONTRACT
High court rejects lawsuit over canceled Pentagon contract
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says it will not get involved in a lawsuit over a disputed Pentagon cloud computing contract, a decision that follows the contract’s cancellation earlier this year. The case was one of hundreds the high court said it would not hear today.
The Pentagon in July announced it was canceling its contract with Microsoft for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud computing project. At the time the Pentagon said it would instead pursue a deal with both Microsoft and Amazon and possibly other cloud service providers.
The Biden administration had told the high court that the case was moot.
Trial against pharmacy chains’ opioid sales set to begin
CLEVELAND (AP) — Opening statements are scheduled for this afternoon in Cleveland in a federal court trial to determine whether retail pharmacy chains created a public nuisance in how they dispensed addictive painkillers in two Ohio counties. One of the attorneys representing Lake and Trumbull counties outside Cleveland has said the cost of abating the ongoing crisis is $1 billion in both counties.
Attorneys for the pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Giant Eagle, say the companies didn’t manufacture the drugs and their pharmacies were filling prescriptions written by physicians for patients with a legitimate medical need.
Rite-Aid settled with the two counties for an undisclosed amount in August.
Ozy CEO: ‘premature’ to shut down after week of scandal
NEW YORK (AP) — The CEO of Ozy Media says it had been “premature” to shut down and that he wants the media company to keep operating.
Carlos Watson told CNBC this morning that he has been meeting with advertisers and investors over the weekend and that he wants Ozy to continue to be around.
The company did not answer emailed questions Monday about whether employees were still working or getting paid or how Ozy intended to stay open. Ozy’s board of directors on Friday said the company was ceasing operations after a potential case of securities fraud became public and amid questions about its audience size claims.
Newsy expands, bets on appetite for more news, less politics
NEW YORK (AP) — With an expansion and relaunch, the Scripps Networks service Newsy is betting that consumers have an interest in more news and less political talk.
Newsy has been primarily seen online and through streaming services but is debuting a free, over-the-air television service with the goal of around-the-clock newscasts. Scripps News boss Kate O’Brian says Newsy will have a more balanced, expansive view of news and won’t be looking at the world through the prism of red and blue states.
It’s hard to break in with something new in television news, but one expert says Newsy has its best opportunity in the streaming world.
UK pledges to hit all-renewable electricity by 2035
LONDON (AP) — The British government says all the country’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2035, a move that will help end the country’s reliance on imported fuel.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said “the only way to strengthen Britain’s energy security is zero carbon power that is generated in this country.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said he believed the U.K. could get to get to “complete clean energy production” by the middle of the next decade.
Britain gets a big chunk of its energy from renewable sources such as wind and sun but remains heavily reliant on natural gas.
Johnson is due to host a United Nations climate summit in Glasgow at the end of October.
Germany unveils synthetic kerosene plant
WERLTE, Germany (AP) — German officials have unveiled what they say is the world’s first commercial plant for making synthetic kerosene as part of an effort to reduce the climate impact of flying.
The facility near Germany’s northwestern border with the Netherlands will use water and electricity from nearby wind farms to produce just eight barrels of e-fuel each day. The organizations behind the project say its purpose is to show that the process is technologically feasible and economically viable once it is scaled up.
The project is led by Atmosfair, a German non-profit group that provides ways for individuals and companies to offset their carbon emissions. National carrier Lufthansa will be the first customer to use the synthetic kerosene.
US decides not to open formal probe of Tesla battery fires
DETROIT (AP) — U.S. automobile safety regulators have denied petition seeking an investigation into Tesla software updates, saying it’s unlikely a probe would show there’s a safety defect.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today denied the 2019 petition, which alleged that over-the-internet software updates cut battery range in response to battery fires across the globe. The agency says in documents posted in the Federal Register that it found a pattern of fires in China after the vehicles were charged up at Supercharger fast-charging stations. But no similar fires were identified in the U.S. The agency said tree noncrash fires outside of China that were cited in the petition either did not start in the battery or were not related to fast charging.
Volvo plans $2.9B IPO to fund electric vehicle ambitions
LONDON (AP) — Swedish automaker Volvo plans to raise at least $2.9 billion by selling shares to fund its electric vehicle transformation strategy. Volvo says it applied with its parent company, Chinese carmaker Geely, to hold an initial public offering on the Nasdaq Stockholm. The money raised from the IPO will help fund Volvo’s plan of becoming an all-electric car company and expanding further into online sales.
Volvo Cars is based in Goteborg, Sweden, but has been owned since 2010 by Geely, one of China’s biggest independent automakers. The company is moving ahead with the share sale even as a shortage of semiconductors has crimped global auto production.
Henrietta Lacks estate sues company using her ‘stolen’ cells
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — The estate of Henrietta Lacks is suing a biotechnology company, saying it’s been selling her cervical cells without her knowledge or consent. The cells were taken by doctors at Johns Hopkins from the terminally ill Black woman in 1951, and grown in the lab for use in countless scientific research studies since then.
The federal lawsuit filed Monday in Baltimore says Thermo Fisher Scientific knowingly mass-produced and sold the tissue obtained through what it calls “a racially unjust medical system.” The lawsuit wants a court to block their use without permission and force the $35 billion company to disgorge its profits from the HeLa cells.
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