European stocks lower…House Dems plan budget vote next wk
BEIJING (AP) – European stock markets opened lower while Asia advanced as investors await an update from the Federal Reserve on possible plans to reduce U.S. stimulus. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London fell 0.3%. Germany’s DAX lost 0.3% and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.4%. In Asian trading, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.1% and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.6%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was 0.5% higher and the Kospi in South Korea advanced 0.5%. On Wall Street, S&P 500 futures are off less than 0.1% while Dow futures are down 0.2%.
UNDATED (AP) – In energy markets Tuesday, benchmark U.S. crude gained 24 cents to $66.83 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 70 cents to $66.59. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, advanced 31 cents to $69.34 per barrel in London. It fell 48 cents the previous session to $69.03 a barrel.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Top Democrats are planning House votes next week on a budget resolution that would clear a path for future passage of the party’s ambitious plans for social and environment programs. And that suggests a showdown ahead with rebellious party moderates. Nine centrist Democrats have said they’ll vote against their own party’s budget blueprint. That’s enough to defeat it in the closely divided House. They want the chamber to first approve a separate $1 trillion infrastructure bill. But Democratic leaders want to wait on the infrastructure vote until a separate $3.5 trillion social and environment bill is ready. Moderates will have to decide what they’ll do.
UNDATED (AP) – Pope Francis is adding his voice to a global campaign to overcome vaccine skepticism. He appears in a public service announcement insisting that vaccines are safe, effective and an “act of love.” The video message is directed especially at the Americas and features six cardinals and archbishops from North, Central and South America as well as the Argentine-born pope. It was produced by the Vatican and the Ad Council, which has produced a series of pro-vaccine ads.
GRIZZLY FLATS, Calif. (AP) – Pacific Gas & Electric says it’s shutting off power to about 51,000 customers in 18 Northern California counties to prevent wildfires. The utility says it’s a precaution to prevent gusting winds from damaging power lines and sparking blazes in a tinder-dry region that already is struggling with a series of wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of homes. In the Sierra Nevada, the Caldor Fire has exploded to nearly 50 square miles (129 square kilometers), injured two people and devastated the town of Grizzly Flats. The nearby Dixie Fire has burned more than 600 homes.