US stocks fall in early trading … Oil prices surge … Disgraced movie mogul appears for trial
Eds: Resending to correctly change slug to Midday instead of Morning Business Minute.
LONDON (AP) – Stocks fell in early trading on Wall Street Monday and oil prices continued rising as investors worried that tensions between the U.S. and Iran would escalate. At 10:51 a.m. Eastern Time, the Dow was down 81 points, to 28,553. The S&P 500 was down 59 points, to 3,234. And the Nasdaq was up 11 points, to 9,032. Energy companies held up well as oil prices rose over fears that any conflict in the Middle East disrupt the flow of oil from the region. Hess rose 1%.
LONDON (AP) – The death of Iranian top general Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike has heightened geopolitical risks for financial markets, including concerns about potential disruptions to the global oil supply. Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at trading platform OANDA Europe, says “The escalation in the Middle East was both unexpected and unwelcome.” He says “Investors are now fully in defensive mode, hoping for the best but fearing the worst. Safe havens are naturally performing solidly while stocks and other risky assets take a pummeling.”
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union says it regrets planned steps by Iran to roll back its nuclear commitments. But the bloc says it still aims to keep the moribund deal alive. The EU says it will wait for the U.N. nuclear watchdog to rule on whether Tehran is complying with the pact. Iran’s announcement has triggered a flurry of diplomacy in Brussels. The country’s foreign minister has been invited for talks and Germany is pushing for emergency talks to discuss developments in the wake of the U.S. killing of Iran’s top general.
NEW YORK (AP) – Harvey Weinstein has arrived at a New York court where his lawyers and a judge are handling the final preparations for his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault. Jury selection is scheduled to start this week. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations that he raped one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006. The 67-year-old has pleaded not guilty and says any sexual activity was consensual.
PARIS (AP) – French President Emmanuel Macron says he want to reach a quick compromise in talks this week with unions over government plans to overhaul the pension system. Nationwide demonstrations and transport strikes continue as unions protest against the changes. According to a government spokeswoman,áMacron told a Cabinet meeting today that the new pension system must be financially sustainable. Talks with workers unions are to resume Tuesday. Macron’s plans include raising the eligibility age for full pensions from 62 to 64, the most criticized measure.