Stocks slip…Businesses try to staff up…Drug company changes its name
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are edging lower in early trading, giving up gains from a day earlier. Losses in technology, health care and other sectors outweighed gains in industrial companies and banks. Energy stocks also fell as oil prices declined ahead of an afternoon announcement by the White House on whether the U.S. will pull out of a landmark nuclear deal with Iran.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers advertised 6.6 million open jobs in March, the most on records dating back to December 2000, suggesting businesses want to staff up to meet strong demand. The Labor Department says that job openings rose 7.8 percent in March. Yet overall hiring slipped, while quits increased. The number of open jobs in March matched the number of unemployed. That’s unusual; typically there are more unemployed than openings. Employers are struggling to fill jobs from a dwindling supply of those out of work. That should be pushing up wages, yet paychecks are growing at only a modest pace.
NEW YORK (AP) – Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which came under heavy scrutiny for acquiring the rights to drugs and then drastically raising their prices, is changing its name. The Canadian company said today that it will now be called Bausch Health Companies. Valeant fell into the crosshairs of Washington after an extended acquisition spree of other companies, followed by triple-digit price hikes on critical heart drugs and other medicines.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Walmart is taking steps aimed at curbing opioid abuse and misuse. The retail giant announced on Monday that Walmart and Sam’s Club will restrict initial acute opioid prescriptions to no more than a seven-day supply within the next 60 days. It also will follow laws in states that require acute opioid prescriptions for less than seven days. Walmart says the policy aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for opioid use.
LONDON (AP) – Are foreigners trying to influence an election campaign on Facebook? That’s the concern in Ireland, where voters will decide this month whether to repeal a constitutional ban on abortion. Anti-abortion groups based in the United States are among those who’ve purchased ads online in Ireland during the campaign. Facebook now says it will ban foreign advertisements related to the abortion referendum. Ireland bars political donations from abroad, but the law does not apply to social media advertising.