Stocks fall…Wholesale prices shoot up…Trump meets with Merkel
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are falling in early trading on Wall Street after the Trump administration released a list of $200 billion in goods that could be hit with tariffs and China said it would to retaliate. The list includes vacuum cleaners, furniture and car and bicycle parts but not U.S.-branded smartphones and laptops. Industrial companies and basic materials makers are taking some of the worst losses. Chipmakers, which make large portions of their sales in China, are also down.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Labor Department says wholesale prices increased 0.3 percent in June, a slight slowing from May. But the 12-month gain was the fastest in more than six years, adding to evidence that inflation is beginning to rise after years of weak price gains. Wholesale prices over the past 12 months have risen 3.4 percent. That’s the largest 12-month gain since a 3.7 percent rise in the 12 months ending in November 2011.
BRUSSELS (AP) – President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN’-geh-lah MEHR’-kuhl) have met after Trump publicly lambasted the longtime ally over its spending on national defense and a Russian oil pipeline. Sitting down in Brussels, where both are attending a NATO summit, Trump described it as a “great meeting.” He says they discussed defense investment and trade, adding: “We have a tremendous relationship with Germany.” Merkel said she raised issues of migration and economic development with Trump.
LONDON (AP) – Media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has increased its bid to take full control of Sky in its prolonged battle with Comcast for the lucrative pay TV service. Fox increased its bid to $18.58 a share (14 pounds) as it seeks the 61 percent of Sky not already under its control. The company says this is 12 percent higher than the last bid from U.S.-based Comcast. The new bid values Sky at $32.5 billion. Fox has increased its bid by just over 30 percent since its first offer in December 2016.
WASHINGTON (AP) – For the second time in days, the Trump administration is taking action to undercut the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced steep funding cuts for sign-up assistance through state-based programs called “navigators.” Financing for the 2019 enrollment season is being cut to $10 million from $36 million. The program was also cut last year. Last weekend, the administration announced it is freezing payments by an ACA program meant to stabilize premiums.