US stocks in positive territory…Chinese hackers accused of stealing info from Equifax … Schick ends bid to acquire Harry’s
NEW YORK (AP) – Wall Street stocks have moved into positive territory after wobbling between small gains and losses earlier this morning. Markets have swung sharply in both directions in recent weeks as investors try to gauge how much damage a virus spreading from China will do to the global economy. At 10:22 a.m. Eastern Time, the Dow was up 74 points, to 29,177. The S&P 500 was up 9 points, to 3,367. And the Nasdaq was up 45 points, to 9,565.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department says four Chinese military hackers have been charged with breaking into the computer networks of the Equifax credit reporting agency and stealing the personal information of tens of millions of Americans. Law enforcement officials say the four are also accused of stealing the company’s trade secrets. The defendants are all members of the People’s Liberation Army, an arm of the Chinese military.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Swedish automaker Volvo Cars and its owner Chinese automaker Geely Holding say they are considering combining their businesses to create what they call “a strong global group” that “would accelerate financial and technological synergies between the two companies.” The companies say the combined group would be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but the companies’ distinct identities would be preserved. Geely has owned Volvo since 2010.
SHELTON, Conn. (AP) – The owner of Schick is ending its $1.37 billion acquisition deal for upstart shaving company Harry’s after the Federal Trade Commission sued to block the sale. The FTC had argued that a combination of Schick maker Edgewell and Harry’s would hurt competition. Schick is the No. 2 razor maker in the U.S., behind Gillette. Both brands were forced to slash prices and overhaul their marketing strategies in recent years in response to the rise of Harry’s and rival Dollar Shave Club, which both started as direct-to-consumer digital brands.
UNDATED (AP) – The Simon Property Group will buy mall operator Taubman Realty in a deal valued at around $3.6 billion as those properties continue to struggle along with their retail tenants. Taubman Realty owns, manages or leases 26 shopping centers in the U.S. and Asia, including The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey, and Waterside Shops in Naples, Florida. The deal is expected to close by the middle of the year.