Global stocks down…Almond industry threatened
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets are declining amid turmoil in Afghanistan and unease about China’s economic outlook after July activity was weaker than expected. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London was down less than 0.1%, the DAX in Frankfurt declined 0.3% and the CAC 40 in Paris sank 0.5%. In Asian trading, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 2% lower, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 1.6% and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo slipped 0.4%. The Kospi in Seoul retreated 0.9%. On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 0.4%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. health experts are expected to recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received their second dose of the shot. The goal is to ensure lasting protection against the coronavirus as the delta variant spreads across the country. That’s according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. An announcement Is expected as soon as this week, with doses beginning to be administered widely once the Food and Drug Administration formally approves the vaccines.
UNDATED (AP) – Home Depot’s sales continued to rise in its fiscal second quarter, thanks to a housing market that remains hot. For the three months ended August 1, sales climbed to $41.12 billion from $38.05 billion. Chairman and CEO Craig Menea says this was the first time in its history that the chain surpassed sales of more than $40 billion in a quarter.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The Dutch government’s statistician says there were more job vacancies in the Netherlands in the second quarter of the year than there were people seeking employment. Statistics Netherlands also reports that the economy grew by 3.1% compared with the previous quarter. It marks the first time openings have outstripped unemployment since the statistics office began measuring what it calls tension in the employment market in 2003. For every 100 unemployed people, there were 106 jobs available.
FIREBAUGH, Calif. (AP) – A deepening drought is threatening California’s $6 billion almond industry, which produces about 80% of the world’s almonds. As water becomes scarce and expensive, some growers have stopped irrigating their orchards and plan to tear them out years earlier than planned. After decades of expansion in California’s agricultural Central Valley, almond production is expected to decline, which could lead to higher prices for consumers that have embraced the popular nut.