Shares mixed…Trump supporter contract…Sony profits
UNDATED (AP) – Shares are mixed in early European trading today after a strong day of gains in Asia. Benchmarks slipped in London and Frankfurt today, but rose in Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Investors appeared to be shrugging off surging coronavirus caseloads in dozens of countries after the S&P 500 started off August by closing within 3% of the record high it set in February. Dow and S&P futures are lower.
HOUSTON (AP) – A construction company whose CEO has made direct appeals on Fox News to build President Donald Trump’s border wall won another major contract Monday, this time for nearly $300 million of new barriers in South Texas. Fisher Industries was awarded a $289 million contract for 17 miles in Laredo, Texas, a border city of 250,000 people next to the Rio Grande, the river separating Texas and Mexico. The North Dakota-based company had already received $1.7 billion in two contracts elsewhere on the border.
LONDON (AP) – BP plc says it plans to slash dividends as the global oil company prepares for declining sales of fossil fuels by boosting investment in alternative energy projects. London-based BP says it plans to increase spending on low-carbon technology, including renewable energy projects, 10-fold to $5 billion a year over the next decade. The company expects oil and gas production to drop by about 40% over the same period. BP announces the shift as it reports a second-quarter operating loss of $6.68 billion as the COVID-19 pandemic cuts oil prices and demand for energy.
UNDATED (AP) – Federal regulators on Monday outlined a list of design changes they will require in the Boeing 737 Max to fix safety issues that were discovered after two deadly crashes that led to the worldwide grounding of the plane. The Federal Aviation Administration proposed software changes to a flight-control system implicated in the crashes. It also plans to require a warning light to pilots that wasn’t working on the planes that crashed, changes to on-board computers, and the rerouting of some wiring.
TOKYO (AP) – Japanese electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. says its April-June profit jumped 53% as its video game and other online businesses thrived with people staying home amid the coronavirus pandemic. Sony says its profit was $2.2 billion in the last quarter. Quarterly sales edged up 2%. Sony has music and movies divisions under its wing and makes digital cameras, TVs and PlayStation 4 consoles, among other devices. Sony warns that its movies division will likely suffer for two or three years due to delays in film projects and limits to theater seating because of the pandemic.