Stocks down … House committee unveils cybersecurity bill … Gender pay gap even in nursing

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mixed in early afternoon trading, as investors assess the latest news on consumer prices and some company earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average, Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Nasdaq composite all ticked down slightly. McCormick, a spice and seasoning company, was a top gainer after reporting better-than-expected earnings and revenue. The Labor Department said a modest rebound in gas costs and broad gains in other categories lifted February’s consumer prices for the first time in four months.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Intelligence Committee leaders have unveiled a bipartisan cybersecurity bill that would allow private companies to share with the government details of how they are hacked, without fear of being sued. The bill’s backers say the information sharing is badly needed so that government agencies can help the private sector defend itself against sophisticated cyberattacks. Many of those attacks are undertaken by intelligence agencies in countries such as Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

CHICAGO (AP) — A new study says that the gender pay gap exists even in nursing, an occupation dominated by women. The researchers found that among registered nurses, women’s salaries average about $5,000 less than men’s — A gap that hasn’t budged in more than 20 years. They say the findings are surprising, since about 90 percent of the nation’s more than 2 million registered nurses are women. The study is in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

DALLAS (AP) — Blue Bell is expanding the recall of some ice cream products because of possible exposure to the listeria bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration says Blue Bell is recalling 3-ounce cups of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream that have tab lids. Three people infected in Kansas died after eating Blue Bell products that were served in a hospital where they were patients.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court has ruled today that investors can’t sue companies for making misleading statements of opinion prior to a public stock offering just because those statements ultimately turn out to be wrong. But the ruling also said some opinions in registration documents might omit important facts that could mislead investors, giving them a right to sue for securities fraud. The narrow opinion offered a limited victory to nursing home pharmacy — Omnicare Inc. — which was sued by two pension funds that bought stock when the company went public in 2005.

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