Stocks mixed…PG&E reaches $11B deal over wildfires…Whole Foods trims health benefits
NEW YORK (AP) – Major stock indexes are mixed in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Solid gains in financial and industrial stocks are being offset by a slide in technology stocks, along with losses in consumer-focused and real estate companies. Bond yields rose sharply, helping to lift bank stocks.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Pacific Gas & Electric and a group of insurers say they have reached an $11 billion settlement to cover most of the claims from the 2017 and 2018 wildfires in California. The utility says the tentative agreement covers 85% of the insurance claims, including a fire that decimated the town of Paradise. A group of insurers says the settlement is well below the $20 billion the insurance companies had sought in bankruptcy court. PG&E sought bankruptcy protection in January because it said it could not afford an estimated $30 billion in damages.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department says United Parcel Service Inc. must pay $8.4 million to settle allegations that the company was overcharging the federal government for package deliveries. The Justice Department alleges UPS failed to abide by the terms of its contract with the General Services Administration and overcharged the government for services from 2007 until 2014. The government says its contract required UPS to provide the same lower prices that were offered to other customers.
NEW YORK (AP) – Whole Foods, the grocery chain owned by Amazon, is cutting health care benefits for its part-time workers, a move that could leave about 1,900 of its employees without medical coverage. Starting next year, Whole Foods employees have to work at least 30 hours a week to qualify for its health care benefits, up from the 20 hours a week it currently requires. The grocer, which has about 95,000 workers, says it’s making the change “to better meet the needs of our business and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model.”
DETROIT (AP) – A possible strike against General Motors is looming as contracts with the United Auto Workers and Detroit’s three automakers are about to expire. The union’s national agreements with GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler end at 11:59 p.m. tomorrow, and experts say both sides are far apart. The union has picked GM as its target company. It’s possible that contracts will be extended or an agreement is reached. But 49,200 UAW members also could walk out of GM plants next week.