Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Wall Street drifts as earnings roll in, natural gas soars

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are drifting in mixed trading, as worries about rising interest rates and high inflation keep a lid on Wall Street despite some better-than-expected profit reports from banks.

The S&P 500 was 0.1% lower in midday trading, while the Dow and Nasdaq likewise flipped between small gains and losses through the morning.

Stocks have struggled this year...

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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Wall Street drifts as earnings roll in, natural gas soars

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are drifting in mixed trading, as worries about rising interest rates and high inflation keep a lid on Wall Street despite some better-than-expected profit reports from banks.

The S&P 500 was 0.1% lower in midday trading, while the Dow and Nasdaq likewise flipped between small gains and losses through the morning.

Stocks have struggled this year as the highest inflation in generations forces the Federal Reserve into a U-turn on the low-interest-rate policies that helped markets soar and the economy to rev in recent years.

The price of U.S. natural gas jumped more than 7% and is close to its highest since 2008.

MUSK-TWITTER

Twitter says poison pill makes ‘coercive’ takeover difficult

DETROIT (AP) — Twitter’s board of directors says it adopted a so-called “poison pill” defense in order to protect the social media platform from coercive or unfair takeover tactics. The company disclosed new details about the move in a regulatory filing early Monday.

Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made an offer to buy the company for $43 billion, or $54.20 per share.

In the filing, Twitter’s board says the shareholder rights agreement would impose a “significant penalty” on any person or group of investors who acquire 15% or more of the company’s shares without board approval. Musk currently holds about 9% of Twitter’s shares.

BIDEN-BUY AMERICAN

Biden to require US-made steel, iron for infrastructure

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is taking a key step to ensure federal dollars will support U.S. manufacturing.

New guidance issued today will require material for projects like bridges, highways and broadband internet funded by last year’s infrastructure package be produced in the U.S. Waivers can be granted if the material costs too much or cannot be sufficiently provided by domestic factories.

Ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, President Joe Biden hopes to create more jobs, ease supply chain strains and reduce the reliance on China. He’s betting that more domestic production will ultimately reduce price pressures to blunt Republican attacks that his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package triggered higher prices.

INFOWARS-BANKRUPTCY

Alex Jones’ Infowars files for bankruptcy protection

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Infowars filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the website’s founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones faces defamation lawsuits over his comments that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax.

The bankruptcy filing in Texas puts civil litigation on hold while the business reorganizes its finances.

In the court filing Sunday, Infowars says it has estimated assets of $50,000 or less and estimated liabilities of $1 million to $10 million. Creditors listed in the bankruptcy filing include relatives of some of the 20 children and six educators killed in the 2012 school massacre in Connecticut.

Jones has since conceded that the shooting did happen, but a lawyer for Sandy Hook families in a Connecticut lawsuit says Jones is trying to avoid being held accountable.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR-GERMANY-ENERGY

German bosses, unions jointly oppose boycott of Russian gas

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s employers and trade unions have joined together in opposing an immediate European Union ban on natural gas imports from Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. They say a ban on Russian gas would lead to factory shutdowns and the loss of jobs in Germany, the bloc’s biggest economy.

The joint statement was issued by Rainer Dulger, head of the country’s BDA employer’s group, and Reiner Hoffmann, chairman of the DGB trade union federation. The comments come as European leaders are discussing possible new energy sanctions against Russia, following a decision to bar Russian coal imports beginning in August.

Ukraine’s leaders say revenues from Russia’s energy exports are financing Moscow’s destructive war on Ukraine.

BANK OF AMERICA-RESULTS

Bank of America Q1 profits fall 12%, much less than rivals

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America posted a 12% decline in first-quarter profits from a year earlier, a decline that was much less than the ones its rivals had reported the previous week.

The nation’s second-largest bank was helped by higher net interest income and modest exposure to Russian assets.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said it earned of $7.1 billion, or 80 cents a share, compared with $8.05 billion, or 86 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. The results were better than what analysts had forecasted, according to FactSet.

NATURAL GAS PIPELINE

Natural gas pipeline future in doubt after SCOTUS rejection

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear a St. Louis-based natural gas company’s appeal of a lower court’s decision that could close a pipeline that runs through parts of Illinois and Missouri. The court rejected Spire Inc.’s appeal today without comment. Spire President Scott Smith pledged to fight to keep the pipeline operational.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted approval for the pipeline in 2018 and it became fully operational in 2019. The pipeline connects with another pipeline in western Illinois and carries natural gas to the St. Louis region.

A 2020 lawsuit filed by the Environmental Defense Fund called the pipeline unnecessary and harmful to land in its path.

SUPREME COURT-TAX OVERHAUL-LAWSUIT

Justices reject states’ appeal over cap on tax deductibility

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland to the 2017 tax law that capped federal tax deductions for state and local taxes. The lawsuit had previously been dismissed by lower courts. The suit argued that the Republican-led tax law, signed by then-President Donald Trump, unfairly singled out high-tax states in which Democrats predominate.

The law caps a deduction for state and local taxes, known as SALT, at $10,000. The lawsuit claimed lawmakers crafted the provision to target Democratic states, interfering with the states’ constitutionally granted taxing authority.

Legislation to raise the cap has passed the House but not the Senate.

OPIOID TRIAL-WEST VIRGINIA

J&J’s Janssen settles with WVa for $99M in opioid lawsuit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia will receive $99 million in a settlement finalized with Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. The state filed a lawsuit accusing the drugmaker of contributing to the opioid crisis in the state that’s led the nation in overdose deaths.

State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says he believes West Virginia’s settlement with Janssen is the largest in the country per capita. The settlement was announced at the start of the third week of the trial against Janssen, Teva Pharmaceuticals Inc., AbbVie Inc.’s Allergan and their family of companies.

A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson says the settlement is not an “admission of liability or wrongdoing.”

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