Global markets advance…US jobless…Eurozone jobless
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets and Wall Street futures rose today as hopes for development of a coronavirus vaccine competed with concerns about rising U.S. infections. London and Frankfurt opened higher. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Australia also advanced. On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 0.7% and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – With the viral outbreak worsening and unemployment at Depression-era levels, the government today will issue what will almost surely be another remarkable jobs report. Hiring in June might have reached the highest monthly total on record – 3 million. Yet so deep were the layoffs this spring that a gain that large would still leave tens of millions of Americans out of work and the unemployment rate in double digits. And even a jobless rate above 10% wouldn’t fully capture the scope of the pandemic’s damage to the job market and economy. A nascent recovery, evident in some recently improved data, may be stalling.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – The unemployment rate in the 19 countries that use the euro currency inched higher to 7.4 % in May from 7.3% in April as governments used active labor market support programs to cushion the impact of the virus outbreak on workers. European governments have held down the rise in unemployment due to the shutdowns through programs that pay part of workers salaries in return for companies not laying them off. The U.S. jobless rate has risen to 13.3% in May from 3.5 % in February. New US figures on the jobless rate and first-time unemployment claims were due out later today.
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico is celebrating the implementation of a new free trade agreement with Canada and the United States that it hopes will lead to more investment in its struggling economy. The supply chains are deeply intertwined. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was pressure from the U.S. government to allow some Mexican assembly plants to quickly reopen or remain open to cause less interruption. Mexico’s President will travel to Washington July 8-9 to meet with President Donald Trump to recognize the achievement of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada accord.
NEW YORK (AP) – Federal authorities say Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp. will pay $678 million to the U.S. government and various states to settle a lawsuit over a sham speaker program to induce doctors to prescribe its products. Novartis Pharmaceuticals is part of Swiss drug manufacturer Novartis International AG. The settlement resolves a 2011 lawsuit accusing Novartis of violating the federal False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute. The lawsuit said the company provided doctors with cash, lavish meals, and expensive alcohol to induce them to prescribe Novartis cardiovascular and diabetes drugs. Those drugs were reimbursed by federal healthcare programs. The company said it has already changed its culture.