US stocks slightly higher…Existing home sales plunge
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks opened broadly lower on Wall Street, but are moving into positive territory. At 10:36 a.m. Eastern time, the S&P 500 was up 3 points, to 3,000. The Dow was up 2 points, to 25,877. And the Nasdaq was up 33 points, to 9,979. European markets have been trading lower today, and Asian markets fell overnight.
WASHINGTON (AP) – US existing home sales plunged 9.7% in May. It was the third straight monthly decline and further evidence of the harm the virus pandemic has done to the housing market. The National Association of Realtors says that the May decline pushed sales down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.91 million, the slowest pace since a home buyers tax credit expired in October 2010. Sales were down in all parts of the country with the biggest decline coming in the Northeast.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court has preserved an important tool used by securities regulators to recoup ill-gotten gains in fraud cases. The justices said by an 8-1 vote today that the Securities and Exchange Commission can seek to recover the money through a process called disgorgement. Last year, the SEC obtained $3.2 billion in repayment of profits from people who have been found to violate securities law. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court that the award must be limited to no more than “a wrongdoer’s net profits.” Justice Clarence Thomas dissented.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s government says Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should “stop making irresponsible remarks” after he said Beijing’s decision to charge two Canadians with spying was linked to Canada’s arrest of a Chinese tech executive. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman says the spying charges are “completely different” from the case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. Meng was arrested on U.S. charges connected to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran. Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in what was widely seen as an attempt to pressure their government after Meng’s December 2018 arrest in Vancouver. Trudeau said Chinese authorities “directly linked” the cases. He called on Beijing to end their “arbitrary detention.”
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The head of the World Health Organization is warning that the coronavirus pandemic “is still accelerating” around the globe. The WHO director-general (Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus) notes that 1 million cases of the virus have been reported in just the last eight days alone. It took the world three months to see its first 1 million infections. The WHO head also warns against the “politicization” of the pandemic, likely referring to President Donald Trump’s criticism of the WHO and China over the virus’ spread.