Stocks little changed…Productivity falls…Walmart, Tesla settle lawsuit over fiery solar panels
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks have been wobbling between small gains and losses in morning trading on Wall Street. The major indexes are hovering around record highs as investors digest the latest batch of corporate earnings. Health care stocks were the big winners in the early going. Drugstore operator CVS and kidney dialysis provider DaVita both made strong gains following solid earnings reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) – American workers were less efficient in the July-September quarter, pushing down productivity for the first time since late 2015. The Labor Department says productivity, a measure of economic output for each hour worked, fell 0.3% in the third quarter. The drop comes after two quarters of healthy gains. Greater productivity is a key ingredient in raising living standards. It enables companies to lift worker pay without raising prices on customers.
WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) – CVS Health is reporting a 36.5% revenue surge in the first reporting period that includes its acquisition of Aetna, one of the nation’s largest insurers. The drugstore chain and pharmacy benefits manager says net income ballooned to $1.53 billion, or $1.17 per share. When adjusted for one-time charges, per-share earnings were $1.84, easily topping the $1.77 that Wall Street had anticipated, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research. Revenue of $64.81 billion also breezed past projections of $63.03 billion.
NEW YORK (AP) – Walmart and Tesla have settled a lawsuit filed by the retail giant alleging that Tesla installed rooftop solar panels that caught fire. Lawyers for both sides filed documents in New York Supreme Court discontinuing the legal action. In the lawsuit filed in August, Walmart said Tesla installed solar panels that went up in flames on seven of its store rooftops from 2012 to 2018, causing millions of dollars in damage. Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Federal regulators have ordered the Keystone pipeline to remain shut down until its Canadian owner takes corrective action aimed at determining the cause of a breach that leaked an estimated 383,000 gallons of oil in northeastern North Dakota. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued the order to TC Energy a week after the pipeline leak was discovered. Regulators say about 252,000 gallons of crude oil has been recovered.