Stocks slip…Drugmaker ships possible vaccine for testing…Opioid settlement
NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks are slipping in early trading on Wall Street Tuesday, a day after the market’s biggest drop in more than two years. The steep sell-off on Monday erased all of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s gains for the year.áEnergy companies fell as crude oil prices moved lower.áTechnology companies rose, reversing course from a day earlier. Intuit climbed after reporting strong results and announcing that it would buy Credit Karma. U.S. government bond prices rose, sending yields even lower.
UNDATED (AP) – Drugmaker Moderna says it has shipped its first batch of a possible coronavirus vaccine for humans to government researchers for testing. Shares of the biotech company are soaring Tuesday, a day after the company said it sent vials to an arm of the National Institutes of Health for early-stage testing in the United States. More than 80,000 people have been infected globally from the viral outbreak that began late last year in China. A total of 35 cases have been reported in the United States. The virus has killed more than 2,700 people globally.
UNDATED (AP) – The generic drugmaker Mallinckrodt has announced a $1.6 billion deal to settle lawsuits it faces over its role in a national opioid crisis. The company announced the deal Tuesday, saying it has agreement with most states and lawyers representing local governments suing it. The English company was one of the highest-volume opioid producers in the U.S. and is seeking bankruptcy protection as part of the deal. The deal comes as more disputes have become public in some other companies’ efforts to settle opioid suits.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer confidence improved slightly in February, rising to a reading of 130.7, the highest point since August. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its measure of consumer sentiment is up from a revised reading of 130.4 in January. Consumers views on the present situation for business and labor market conditions fell this month, but their expectations for the future rose. Conference Board economist Lynn Franco said that consumers continue to view the outlook as favorable and when this is combined with solid employment growth, it should be enough to support continued spending and economic growth in the near term. Consumer spending has been the driving force in the current economic expansion, now in its 11th year.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose at a faster pace in December as mortgage rates remained low and a falling supply of available properties set off bidding wars between buyers. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 2.9% in December from a year earlier after posting a 2.5% gain in November. Prices rose in all 20 cities, led by increases of 6.5% in Phoenix, 5.3% in Charlotte, North Carolina and 5.2% in Tampa, Florida. Prices rose just 1% in Chicago and New York.