Stocks mixed…Japan’s PM meets with Pfizer CEO
BANGKOK (AP) – European markets opened higher today after a mixed day of trading in Asia, amid persisting worries that the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19 will dent recoveries from the pandemic. In early trading in Europe, Germany’s DAX added 0.6%. In Paris, the CAC 40 also rose 0.6%, Britain’s FTSE 100 surged 0.7%. In Seoul, the Kospi closed 0.1% higher. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.5% and the Shanghai Composite index gave up 0.7%. On Wall Street, Dow futures are 0.3% higher and S&P 500 futures are 0.4% higher.
TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s prime minister has met with Pfizer’s CEO in an unusually high-profile setting to make sure the drugmaker would deliver COVID-19 vaccine it has promised to the nation. CEO Albert Bourla is in Tokyo to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics later today. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met him over breakfast at a palace usually used to welcome heads of state.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California has changed how it will pay unemployment benefits. The Employment Development Department says it will continue to pay some people even while it investigates their eligibility. Previously, the state would suspend payments until these investigations were complete. But the state has been overwhelmed by millions of claims during the pandemic, causing lengthy delays. The announcement is part of a lawsuit settlement between the state and the advocacy group Center for Workers’ Rights.
DETROIT (AP) – General Motors says it will feature its expanded Super Cruise hands-free driver-assisted technology on six vehicles next year. The automaker says the system will able to perform lane changes while following signaling protocols. Drivers of the Super Cruise assisted vehicles will also be able to go hands free while pulling a trailer. The features will be available on model year 2022 Super Cruise enabled vehicles, including the Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac CT4, Cadillac CT5, Chevrolet Silverado2, GMC Hummer EV Pickup and GMC Sierra2.
BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s national railway operator estimates that last week’s flooding caused damage worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) to its network. The figure offers another glimpse of the extent of the devastation. Authorities are still working to determine the overall cost of the floods that did their worst damage in western Germany and eastern Belgium. At least 177 people died in Germany in the flooding and a further 31 deaths were reported in Belgium, taking the overall death toll to 208.