Stocks turn lower…Avenatti is convicted of trying to extort Nike…United takes 737 Max off its summer schedule
NEW YORK (AP) – Energy companies are leading U.S. stock indexes lower in afternoon trading on Wall Street, erasing modest early gains. Industrial and financial sector stocks are also falling. Technology and real estate companies and utilities are gaining. Despite the market’s downward tilt, the S&P 500áindex is on track for a second straight weekly gain.
NEW YORK (AP) – A lawyer who gained fame by representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump has been convicted of trying to extort sportswear giant Nike. The verdict against Michael Avenatti was returned today by a federal jury in Manhattan. It followed a three-week trial in which prosecutors claimed Avenatti made threats to use his media access to hurt Nike’s reputation and stock price unless the apparel company paid him up to $25 million. Avenatti did not testify, but his lawyers said he was following the wishes of an amateur youth basketball league director who wanted him to fire corrupt executives and fix its culture.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A federal grand jury has charged two Japanese businessmen for their role in an alleged global conspiracy to fix prices for components used in computer hard disk drives. The Department of Justice says Hitoshi Hashimoto and Hiroyuki Tamura were indicted yeterday in in San Francisco. They are both former top sales executives at NHK Spring Co. The Japanese manufacturer last year pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced to pay a $28.5 million fine. Federal prosecutors say that for about eight years the men conspired with their competitors to fix the prices of suspension assemblies, which are used to store information.
MUNICH (AP) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appealed to an audience in Germany for countries to steer clear of Chinese tech giant Huawei as they build their next-generation cellular networks. She added her voice on Friday to pressure from the Trump administration. Pelosi said during an appearance at the Munich Security Conference that “nations cannot cede our telecommunication infrastructure to China for financial expediency.” She said that would be an “ill-conceived concession” that would embolden Chinese President Xi Jinping. Pelosi’s remarks underlined bipartisan suspicion of Huawei in the United States. The Trump administration is aggressively lobbying Western allies to bar the company from wireless, high-speed networks.
CHICAGO (AP) – United Airlines says it is removing the grounded Boeing 737 Max from its schedule until early September, forcing it to cancel thousands more flights. United, Southwest and American are bracing for a second straight summer without their Max planes, which have been grounded since last March after two crashes killed 346 people. The result will be fewer flights than the airlines had planned to offer during the peak summer-travel season. That could result in slightly higher fares.