Stocks drop again…New-home sales slump… EU parliament backs plastics ban
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are declining in early trading on Wall Street, adding to yesterday’s losses. Technology and internet services companies are falling, outweighing gains in retailers and other consumer-focused companies. Energy stocks rose as oil prices rebounded from a steep drop yesterday.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Sales of new homes have fallen for the fourth straight month. The Commerce Department says newly built homes plunged 5.5 percent in September. The annual rate has dropped 15.3 percent since May. There is a 7.1-month supply of new homes on the market, the highest level since March 2011.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – A court in Stuttgart, Germany has ruled that Volkswagen’s parent company must pay $54 million in damages to investors for not making a timely disclosure of its scandal over cars rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests. The dpa news agency reports that the court announced the verdict today against Porsche SE, which holds 52 percent of the voting rights in Volkswagen. News of the scandal broke in September 2015 but the plaintiffs argued that Volkswagen’s top management knew about the troubles earlier.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Parliament has overwhelmingly backed a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics to counter pollution in seas, fields and waterways. The ban would affect a range of products for which valid alternatives are available – from plastic straws to earbuds and plates – as of 2021, and would make sure that plastic bottles are 90 percent recycled by 2025. Under the plan, fishing nets, which are now a key pollutant in the EU’s Mediterranean sea and Atlantic ocean, will have to be produced differently, too.
LONDON (AP) – Britain’s National Audit Office says smugglers and other organized criminals are likely to exploit gaps in border enforcement if the country leaves the European Union without an agreement because necessary preparations may not be completed in time. The watchdog says political uncertainty and delays in negotiations with the EU have hampered preparations, and the government is now racing to bolster computer systems, increase border staffing and build new infrastructure to track goods.