Stocks react to Italy’s turmoil…Bayer agrees to antitrust demand…Wilmington Trust agrees to settlement
NEW YORK (AP) – Political upheaval in Italy is helping to send stocks lower on Wall Street, which is following the lead of European markets. Bond prices are climbing and yields are plunging, while the euro fell to its lowest level against the dollar in almost a year. Banks and technology companies led the way lower on Wall Street. Safe-play stocks like utilities rose.
WASHINGTON (AP) – German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG has agreed to the U.S. government’s demand that it sell about $9 billion in agriculture businesses. The sale is a condition for acquiring Monsanto Co., a U.S. seed and weed-killer maker. Antitrust regulators at the Justice Department say it’s the biggest divestiture ever required for a merger.
DOVER, Del. (AP) – Wilmington Trust has agreed to a $210 million cash settlement in a shareholder lawsuit alleging the bank fraudulently concealed billions of dollars in bad loans. Plaintiffs’ attorneys filed court papers late last week asking a federal judge to approve the proposed settlement, which calls for Wilmington Trust to pay $200 million and auditing firm KPMG to pay $10 million.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – The developer of the Keystone XL pipeline is showering Nebraska public officials with campaign cash as it fights for regulatory approval in a state that is one of the last lines of resistance for the $8 billion project. A political action committee for TransCanada has donated more than $65,000 to campaigns within the last year, mostly to Republican state lawmakers, the Nebraska GOP and Gov. Pete Ricketts. That’s according to an Associated Press review of campaign disclosure records.
NEW YORK (AP) – Independent bookstores continue to bounce back. The American Booksellers Association tells The Associated Press that trade group membership grew over the past year from 1,757 to 1,835, and the actual number of store locations from 2,321 to 2,470. In the first four months of 2018, sales from the roughly 650 to 750 independent stores reporting numbers have increased more than 5 percent from the same time the year before.