Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks turn higher ahead of Fed decision

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks turned higher in late morning trading as investors await Wednesday’s decision by the Federal Reserve on interest rates. The S&P 500 rose 0.8%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6% and the Nasdaq rose 0.3%.

The Fed is expected to raise its benchmark rate by twice the usual amount this week as it steps up its fight against inflation, which...

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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks turn higher ahead of Fed decision

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks turned higher in late morning trading as investors await Wednesday’s decision by the Federal Reserve on interest rates. The S&P 500 rose 0.8%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6% and the Nasdaq rose 0.3%.

The Fed is expected to raise its benchmark rate by twice the usual amount this week as it steps up its fight against inflation, which is at a four-decade high.

Technology stocks fell and weighed on the broader market. Energy stocks gained ground following solid earnings reports from BP and Devon Energy. Bond yields fell.

JOB OPENINGS

Employers post record 11.5 million job openings in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers posted a record 11.5 million job openings in March, meaning the United States now has an unprecedented two job openings for every person who is unemployed.

The latest data released by the the Bureau of Labor Statistics further reveals an extraordinarily tight labor market that has emboldened millions of Americans to seek better paying jobs, while also contributing to the biggest inflation surge in four decades. A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in March.

BRITAIN-EARNS-BP

Strong BP profit renews call for energy sector windfall tax

LONDON (AP) — BP posted its highest quarterly profit in more than a decade thanks to surging oil and gas prices. The earnings report renewed calls for a U.K. government tax on energy companies’ windfall earnings to help households struggling with rising energy bills.

The British energy giant said that underlying profit more than doubled in the first three months of the year to $6.2 billion. It reports a net loss of $23 billion after accounting for the write-off of its stake in Russian oil producer Rosneft over the Ukraine war.

Opposition parties are calling for the U.K. government to tax energy companies that make unexpectedly big profits to help people struggling to get by.

PFIZER-RESULTS

Pfizer profit soars in first quarter, revises 2022 forecast

UNDATED (AP) — Sales of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and treatment pushed the drugmaker well past expectations in the first quarter, as profit grew 61%. The coronavirus vaccine Comirnaty brought in more than $13 billion in sales, and the treatment Paxlovid added another $1.5 billion as company revenue swelled 77%.

Overall, Pfizer posted adjusted earnings of $1.62 per share in the first quarter, on $25.66 billion in revenue. FactSet says analysts expected, on average, first-quarter earnings of $1.49 per share on about $24.1 billion in sales.

Pfizer also said it was lowering its 2022 earnings forecast to reflect an accounting policy change.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE-PFIZER

Pfizer hopes to submit little-kid vaccine data by early June

UNDATED (AP) — Pfizer now hopes to tell U.S. regulators how well its COVID-19 vaccine works in the littlest kids by early June.

Currently only children ages 5 or older can be vaccinated in the U.S., using Pfizer’s vaccine. Rival Moderna hopes to be the first to offer vaccinations to the youngest children, and began filing its own data with the Food and Drug Administration last week.

The FDA has set tentative meetings in June to review data from one or both companies.

BIOGEN-ALZHEIMER’S DRUG

Change at the top for Biogen after Alzheimer’s drug flops

UNDATED (AP) — Biogen is looking for a new CEO less than a year after its launch of its Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm largely fizzled. The company says current CEO Michel Vounatsos will continue to lead the company until his successor is appointed.

Aduhelm hit the market as the first new Alzheimer’s medication in nearly two decades. But although the company slashed the price in half, Aduhelm’s rollout has been disastrous. Last month Medicare became the latest insurer to restrict coverage. Biogen said Tuesday it would essentially shutdown marketing of the drug to focus on more promising treatments.

HONG KONG-ECONOMY

Hong Kong economy shrinks 4% under anti-virus controls

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s economy shrank by 4% compared with a year earlier in the quarter ending in March after the Chinese territory shut restaurants and other businesses to fight a spike in coronavirus infections. Government data showed growth plunged from the previous quarter’s 4% expansion.

Hong Kong closed amusement parks and imposed curbs on restaurants and other businesses in response to an outbreak that infected 1.2 million of its 7.4 million people. The government eased restrictions in late April after the outbreak appeared to fade and ended a 2-year-old ban on non-resident visitors flying into the territory. But Hong Kong faces pressure due to weak global trade and a lack of visitors from China’s mainland.

TRUMP-INAUGURAL-PROBE

DC reaches $750K settlement in Trump inaugural lawsuit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s businesses and inaugural committee have reached a deal to pay Washington, D.C., $750,000 to resolve a lawsuit that alleged the committee overpaid for events at the Trump International Hotel and enriched the former president’s family in the process. That’s according to the District of Columbia’s attorney general.

Attorney General Karl Racine announced the settlement agreement in a tweet in the case against the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the Trump Organization and the Trump International Hotel in Washington. The document had not yet been signed by a judge.

In a statement, Trump blasted Racine and noted that the settlement includes no admission of guilt or liability.

APPEALS COURT-TRUMP FLAG

Minnesota appeals court: Trump flag protected free speech

BUFFALO, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has sided with a man who said he shouldn’t have been fined for flying a huge Donald Trump flag over his business, calling it a protected expression of free speech.

The Buffalo City Council had found the flag that Jay Johnson flew over his construction business in 2020 violated a local sign ordinance because of its size and because he didn’t have a permit. The flag read: “TRUMP 2020 Keep America Great.” The council fined Johnson $600.

The Star Tribune reports that the appeals court reversed the council’s decision Monday. The court says the ordinance doesn’t apply to noncommercial speech and “impermissibly creates a content-based regulation of speech.” It is unclear if the city will appeal to the state Supreme Court.

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