Stocks wavering…Oklahoma drugmakers trial begins…Walmart hires tech veteran
NEW YORK (AP) – Investors turned cautious in afternoon trading as stocks gave back most of an early gain on Wall Street. Indexes are wavering as gains in communications and technology stocks offset losses in consumer staples, utilities and most other sectors. Financial companies are down as yields hit their lowest point in nearly two years, making loans less profitable.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) – The nation’s first state trial against drugmakers blamed for contributing to the opioid crisis is now underway in Oklahoma with a federal judge overseeing 1,500 consolidated lawsuits. Oklahoma’s Attorney General said powerful painkillers led to the “worst manmade public health crisis” in U.S. history. Drugmakers argue that much of the crisis is the result of illegal activity. The trial could bring to light documents and testimony that show what the companies knew, when they knew it and how they responded.
NEW YORK (AP) – Walmart has hired a tech veteran whose resume includes stints at Amazon, Microsoft and Google for a newly elevated position of chief technology officer and chief development officer. Suresh Kumar will report directly to Walmart’s CEO. The moves come as Walmart is trying to compete better with Amazon and other technology companies.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) – Beyond Meat is opening its first production facility outside the U.S. and is partnering with a Dutch meat producer that will make Beyond Meat products starting next year at a new facility in the Netherlands. Europe is seeing a growing demand for meat alternatives, but there could be headwinds from EU regulators who are considering banning plant-based meat producers from using words like “meat” and “burger.”
BERLIN (AP) – The International Energy Agency says the premature closure of nuclear power plants and failure to build new ones could make it harder to meet global targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Many environmental groups oppose nuclear power because of the risks from accidents and the disposal of spent nuclear fuel. But the IEA says there would need to be a drastic increase in wind and solar to counter the loss of 25% for advanced economies in nuclear capacity by 2025 and up to two thirds by 2040.