Global stocks higher…Problems with J&J supplier
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets have followed Wall Street higher after Japan and South Korea reported unexpectedly strong economic data and President Joe Biden announced a $2.3 trillion infrastructure spending plan. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.6%, the DAX in Frankfurt added 0.5% and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.2%. In Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.7% higher, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced 0.7% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong climbed 1.9%. On Wall Street, Dow and S&P futures are both higher.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Congressional committees were laying the groundwork for a major public works investment even before President Joe Biden unveiled his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan. They’ve been holding hearings to listen to experts in the field and top-ranking administration officials and introducing scores of bills. And now the hard part begins, cobbling together something that can pass such a closely divided House and Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has cited July 4 as the date she would like to have an infrastructure bill passed. But Republicans are skeptical and sharply critical of the plan, especially Biden’s effort to increase corporate taxes to help pay for the measure.
UNDATED (AP) – The company at the center of quality problems that led Johnson & Johnson to discard a batch of its coronavirus vaccine has a string of citations from U.S. health officials for quality control problems. The little-known pharmaceutical company, Emergent BioSolutons, was a key to Johnson & Johnson’s plan to deliver 100 million doses of its vaccine to the U.S. by the end of May. But records obtained by The Associated Press show it has been cited repeatedly by the Food and Drug Administration for problems ranging from poorly trained employees to cracked vials and mold around one of its facilities.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Major Taiwan computer chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. says it plans to invest $100 billion in the next three years in expanding its manufacturing capacity and supporting research and development. TSMC says the company anticipates faster growth thanks to long-term trends like the introduction of 5G next-generation telecommunications and high-performance computing. The coronavirus pandemic, meanwhile has revved up demand for electronic devices as the world relies increasingly on digitalization. The company says earlier that it’s planning to build a large factory in North Phoenix, Arizona.
TOKYO (AP) – A closely watched economic survey by the Bank of Japan shows growing optimism over the outlook for the world’s third-largest economy. The quarterly “tankan” survey’s headline index for big manufacturers’ sentiment stood at plus 5 in March, a considerable improvement over the minus 10 marked in December, and more positive than the forecast of plus 4. The survey’s results highlight a steady recovery over the last three quarters to levels before COVID-19 began. Sentiment among large nonmanufacturers improved to minus 1, as the services sector recovers more slowly amid efforts to contain outbreaks of the new coronavirus.