Stocks higher … California bullet train funding
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are higher in morning trading on Wall Street Friday, keeping the S&P 500 on track for its third weekly gain in a row. Banks and industrial companies were doing the best in the early going, while health care companies were lagging behind. Dave & Buster’s jumped 7.6% after reporting much better quarterly results than analysts were expecting, the latest encouraging signal that the economy is continuing to reopen. European markets were broadly higher and Asian markets ended mostly higher. Bond prices were lower.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The federal government has reached an agreement to restore nearly $1 billion in funding for California’s troubled bullet train. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last night that the U.S. Department of Transportation finalized settlement negotiations to restore money for the high-speed rail project that the Trump administration revoked in 2019. California voters in 2008 approved nearly $10 billion in bond money to build the high-speed rail line connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco. It was supposed to be running by 2020 but the project has been plagued by cost overruns and delays.
LONDON (AP) – The European Medicines Agency has approved a new manufacturing site for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, in a move that could substantially boost production for the European Union. The EU drug regulator says it had approved a site in Monts, France, operated by Recipharm. In addition, the EMA authorized several other sites to conduct batch control and testing. Earlier this month, two locations in the U.S. were approved for production of vaccines destined for the 27-nation EU bloc.
LONDON (AP) – Google is promising to give U.K. regulators a role overseeing its plan to phase out existing ad-tracking technology from its Chrome browser. The U.K. competition watchdog has been investigating Google’s proposals to remove so-called third-party cookies over concerns they would undermine digital ad competition and entrench the company’s market power. To address the concerns, Google is also promising not to discriminate against rivals in favor of its own ad businesses and to limit how it will use and combine individual user data.
BERLIN (AP) – German lawmakers have approved legislation meant to ensure that big companies see that human rights are respected throughout their supply chains. The plan is set to take effect from 2023. It will apply initially to companies with 3,000 or more employees, and from 2024 to companies with 1,000 employees. Companies are supposed to keep an eye on their delivery chains and, when they find evidence of abuses, work to remedy them. The legislation will require companies to put in place an internal complaints procedure allowing people affected by their or an associate’s activities, or those of an indirect supplier, to register concerns.