Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks sink after Wall St pulls back from record

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets are lower after Wall Street pulled back from a record.

Investors are looking ahead to a Federal Reserve report for signs of when U.S. stimulus might be withdrawn. Traders also are uncertain how much further China’s regulatory crackdown on its internet giants might go.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index snapped a five-day winning streak and fell. U.S. investors turned cautious after disease-control authorities recommended even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas where the coronavirus’s more contagious delta variant is spreading.

BIDEN

Can Biden’s plans manufacture more US factory jobs?

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will be trying to connect with blue-collar workers when he travels to a truck factory in Pennsylvania today to advocate for government investments and clean energy as ways to strengthen U.S. manufacturing.

The president will tour the Lehigh Valley operations facility for Mack Trucks. It’s a chance to touch base with the plant’s 2,500 workers, a majority of whom are unionized.

Biden has made manufacturing jobs a priority and Democrats’ political future next year might hinge on whether he succeeds in reinvigorating a sector that has steadily lost jobs for more than four decades.

CONGRESS-INFRASTRUCTURE

Senators, White House in crunch time on infrastructure deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators and the White House are working furiously to salvage a bipartisan infrastructure deal. Pressure is intensifying on all sides to wrap up talks on President Joe Biden’s top priority.

Despite weeks of closed-door discussions, several issues are still unresolved. And a new dispute has flared over the regulation of broadband access. Patience is running thin as senators accuse one another of shifting the debate. Still, all sides sound upbeat that an accord is within reach. Biden met with a key Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, at the White House. Senators are bracing for a weekend session to finish the deal.

BIDEN-MILEAGE STANDARDS

Biden mileage rule to exceed Obama climate goal

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major step against climate change, President Joe Biden is proposing a return to aggressive Obama-era vehicle mileage standards over five years.

He’s then aiming for even tougher anti-pollution rules after that to forcefully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nudge 40% of U.S. drivers into electric vehicles by decade’s end. That’s according to proposed rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation that are expected to be released as early as next week. Industry and government officials who have been briefed on the plan tell The Associated Press the requirements would start for model year 2023.

HASLAMS-INVESTIGATION

Prosecutors won’t seek retrial in 3 Pilot Flying J cases

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal prosecutors are not pursuing a new trial against the former president of Pilot Flying J and two of his former employees after their 2018 convictions in a cheating scheme were overturned.

A motion made in U.S. District Court in Knoxville asks a judge to sign off on a request to drop the remaining charges against former Pilot President Mark Hazelwood, former Vice President Scott “Scooter” Wombold and former account representative Heather Jones. The three were convicted of running a rebate scheme to cheat trucking companies out of millions of dollars. In October, a federal appeals court panel vacated the convictions in a split decision.

PHILANTHROPHY-GIVING PARTICIPATION

Study: Only half of American households donate to charity

UNDATED (AP) — For the first time in nearly two decades, only half of U.S. households donated to a charity.

The findings come from an Indiana University study that confirm a trend worrying experts. Donations to charitable causes are reaching record highs, but it’s being driven by an increasingly smaller slice of the population. The study comes from a survey that has been tracking the giving patterns of more than 9,000 households since 2000. It shows giving participation rates for both religious and secular causes reached new lows in 2018, the latest year with comprehensive figures from those households.

NIELSENS

NBC’s Tokyo Olympics viewership gets off to rough start

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC Universal is still waiting to see if there will be a surge of interest in viewership for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

During each of the first three nights of coverage, viewership was down more than 30 percent compared to corresponding nights at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016. NBC’s audience this year was its largest on Sunday night, but that still represented a 43 percent drop from five years ago. Viewing habits for live television have changed dramatically in the past five years, so it’s difficult to determine how much NBC’s Olympics slump has to do with that, and how much with the underwhelming performance in Tokyo.

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