Update on the latest in business:


Stocks rise broadly following dismal week

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising broadly on Wall Street as the market regains a more solid footing following its biggest weekly drop since June.

The S&P 500 added 0.1% in the early going, with banks and energy companies posting some of the biggest gains.

Oil and gas prices were also moving higher. Benchmark U.S. crude added 0.8%, crossing back above $70. It hasn’t closed above that level since early August.

TransUnion fell 2.6% following a report that it was nearing a deal to buy data services company Neustar.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.32%.


Democrats seek corporate, wealthy tax hikes for $3.5T plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are unveiling a sweeping proposal for tax hikes on big corporations and the wealthy to fund President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion rebuilding plan.

The House released details as Congress speeds ahead to shape the far-reaching package touches almost all aspects of domestic life.

The proposed top tax rate would revert to 39.6% on couples earning more than $400,000, and there would be a 3% tax on wealthier Americans making beyond $5 million a year. For big businesses, the proposal would lift the 21% corporate tax rate to 26.5% on incomes beyond $5 million. The tax hikes are in line with Biden’s own proposals.


Study: Pentagon reliance on contractors hurt US in 9/11 wars

UNDATED (AP) — A new study says up to half of the $14 trillion spent by the Pentagon since 9/11 went to for-profit defense contractors. While much of this money went to weapons suppliers, the research is the latest to point to the dependence on contractors for war-zone duties as contributing to mission failures in Afghanistan in particular.

In the post-9/11 wars, U.S. corporations contracted by the Defense Department not only handled logistics like running fuel convoys and staffing chow lines but performed mission-crucial work like training and equipping Afghan security forces. Those security forces collapsed last month as the Taliban swept the country.

The study by Brown University’s Costs of War project and the Center for International Policy was released Monday.


UK approves vaccines for 12-15s, aims to avoid lockdowns

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s chief medical officers say children ages 12 to 15 should be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The decision comes despite a ruling by the government’s vaccine advisors that the step would have only marginal health benefits.

England Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, said Monday that the age group should be given a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. They have yet to decide on a second dose.

The government has said it is highly likely to follow the medical officers’ recommendations. Expanded vaccinations are expected to be part of a “tool kit” to control COVID-19 infections this fall and winter that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to announce Tuesday.


Britain ends contract with French startup for vaccines

LONDON (AP) — The U.K. government has canceled an agreement to buy at least 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the French pharmaceutical startup Valneva after alleging that the company breached its contract obligations. That claim was denied by the company.

Valneva shares plummeted on the news from Britain, the only country that had made a firm commitment to buy the company’s vaccine. The stock was down 40% at 12.02 euros in midday trading in Europe, after falling as low as 11 euros.

Britain was an early backer of the Valneva project, agreeing to invest millions of pounds in a production facility in Scotland as part of deal announced last September.


US will give aircraft companies $482 million for pandemic

UNDATED (AP) — The Biden administration says it will give $482 million to aviation manufacturers to help save jobs at companies that are still struggling because of the pandemic. The Transportation Department says companies getting the money must not lay off workers or cut their pay. The government says the money will protect up to 22,500 jobs.

The pandemic caused a sharp drop in air travel that reduced demand for new planes. An estimated 100,000 aerospace jobs have been lost since the start of the pandemic.


Canadian National railroad facing more investor pressure

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A day after being spurned by Kansas City Southern, Canadian National railroad is facing additional pressure from a major investor who wants CN to abandon its effort to buy the U.S. railroad.

The London-based investment firm TCI Fund says it’s calling for a special CN shareholder meeting where it plans to nominate four new directors. TCI has said it thinks CN should get a new CEO and focus its efforts on improving its own operations.

Canadian National officials didn’t immediately respond, but the railroad said Sunday that it would evaluate all of its strategic options after Kansas City Southern picked Canadian Pacific’s $31 billion offer over CN’s higher bid.


NTSB chief: focus on road safety must shift to entire system

DETROIT (AP) — The new chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board wants to change the way governments and businesses look at highway safety to consider the whole system rather than individual driver behavior.

Jennifer Homendy says such an approach worked in aviation, where there were no U.S. fatalities last year. On the roads, there were 38,680 deaths nationwide, the highest number since 2007. At the same time, vehicle miles traveled declined.

Homendy says in a speech that the current approach that favors automobiles and punishes only drivers for crashes is not working. She is pushing a “Safe System Approach” to road safety. Rather than focusing solely on drivers, she says the whole system should be studied including highway design, speed limits and how fast cars can travel.


Tech verifications show big jump in bets as football begins

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A company that most of the legal U.S. sports betting industry uses to verify that its customers are where they say they are reports a record number of transactions over the first weekend of the NFL season. That indicates a big increase in the level of online betting as football season got under way in a nation with many more places to bet.

GeoComply Solutions, the Vancouver, Canada-based tech company, recorded over 58 million geolocation transactions across 18 states and Washington, D.C. from Thursday night, when the NFL season began, through Sunday evening. That represents a 126% increase from the same period of the 2020 NFL season.


Dutch court: Uber drivers covered by taxi labor agreement

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A court in Amsterdam has ruled that Uber drivers fall under the Dutch taxi drivers’ collective labor agreement. That means they are entitled to the same employment benefits as taxi drivers. Uber said it would appeal the ruling.

The Amsterdam civil court said in a statement Monday that the legal relationship between Uber and its drivers “conforms to all the characteristics of an employment contract.” The Dutch workers’ organization that brought the case called the decision a major victory for Uber drivers. Uber has 4,000 drivers in Amsterdam and the company decried the ruling as a blow to the gig economy model.

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