US stocks falling … Volvo to restart production in Sweden … Philips hospital-related orders up 23%
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are falling in early trading on Wall Street, as energy stocks get hammered by the latest collapse in the price of oil. At 10:43 a.m. EDT, the S&P 500 was down 29 points, to 2,846. The Dow was down 329 points, to 23,912. And the Nasdaq was down 22 points, to 8,628. This morning’s losses have eaten into some of the big gains the market has made since late March, driven lately by investors looking ahead to parts of the economy possibly reopening as COVID-19 infections level off in hard-hit areas.
NEW YORK (AP) – Benchmark U.S. crude oil for June delivery plunged 9% to $22.75 per barrel, as of 9:45 a.m. Eastern time. Oil for delivery in May cratered by an even wider margin, down 34% to just $12.00. Earlier in the morning, it touched its lowest price since 1998. The contract for oil delivery in May is close to expiring, so trading is much more active in the June contract.
UNDATED (AP) – Volvo Cars is restarting production at its suburban Goteborg plant in Sweden today after talks with trade unions. The company also is reopening a plant in Ghent, Belgium, today but “at reduced production output.” Denmark took another small step toward reopening society when hair salons, dentists, physiotherapists, tattoo parlors and driving schools, among others, were allowed to reopen. Some shops are reopening in much of Germany
UNDATED (AP) – Dutch health care equipment maker Philips says orders at its unit that makes machines such as ventilators and patient monitors jumped 23% in the first quarter. However, the company’s net profit was hit hard as demand for other items, like personal health care products, slumped. Philips is investing more than 100 million euros ($108 million) to “steeply ramp up our production volumes” of the machines that are vital in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Ten years ago today, a well blew under a BP oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven workers. The blast touched off the nation’s worst offshore oil spill, spewing millions of gallons of crude into the blue water of the gulf. Miles of coastline from Texas to Florida were marred, animals were coated in oil and economies took years to start to recover.