Banks, energy companies lead stocks higher
NEW YORK (AP) – Banks and energy companies are helping to lead stocks higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street, lifting the benchmark S&P 500 to a gain for the week. The S&P 500 index was up 0.5%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5% and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.2%. Bond yields rose and lifted banks. Energy companies rose as the price of oil climbed more than 3% due to production disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico. Casino stocks were lower following reports of a possible crackdown on the gambling industry in the former Portuguese colony of Macau. Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands fell.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Influential government advisers will debate Friday whether there’s enough proof that a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective – the first step toward deciding which Americans need one and when. The Food and Drug Administration today posted much of the evidence its advisory panel will consider. The agency struck a decidedly neutral tone on the rationale for boosters – an unusual and careful approach that’s all the more striking after President Joe Biden and his top health advisers trumpeted a booster campaign they hoped to begin next week.
POINT COMFORT, Texas (AP) – The Justice Department says a Texas plastics company has agreed to pay nearly $3 million in civil penalties for violating the Clean Air Act. It says Formosa Plastics Corporation also agreed to improve its risk management program at its petrochemical plant in Point Comfort, Texas. An investigation was launched into Formosa after a series of fires, explosions and accidental releases at the plant along the Texas Gulf Coast. The DOJ says workers suffered burns and inhaled chlorine as a result of those accidents, which happened from 2013 to 2016. Formosa says it’s added a team of health and safety professionals to help ensure similar accidents don’t happen in the future.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The path is now clear for Canadian Pacific’s $31 billion acquisition of Kansas City Southern railroad to move forward after Canadian National dropped out of the bidding war today. The deal could still face tough scrutiny from regulators at the federal Surface Transportation Board, which hasn’t approved any major railroad mergers since the 1990s, but KCS shareholders will be set to get paid once shareholders of both companies and Mexican regulators approve regardless of what the STB ultimately decides. Canadian Pacific triumphed in the bidding war even though it offered less federal regulators rejected part of CN’s plan. Canadian National will receive $1.4 billion in breakup fees for its trouble.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) – Cabbage Patch Kids touched off the first big holiday toy craze nearly 40 years ago. Now the dolls are among 12 finalists vying for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The finalists were announced today at The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, which houses the hall. The finalists also include five games: Battleship, Risk, The Settlers of Catan, Mahjong and billiards. Rounding out the list are the pinata, sand, toy fire truck, American Girl Dolls, Masters of the Universe and Fisher-Price Corn Popper. Three will be inducted in November. Fans are invited to weigh in as part of a “Player’s Choice” ballot that closes Sept. 22.