Business / Financial News:
Stocks climb on Wall Street, adding to gains made last week
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose in morning trading on Wall Street Monday, gaining more ground following the market’s first weekly gain in five weeks. Technology stocks were posting some of the biggest gains, and energy stocks rose along with crude oil prices. Macy’s sank after tempering its sales forecast for its current quarter late Friday. Later this week big U.S. companies will start reporting their results for the last three months of the year, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and UnitedHealth. The S&P 500 was up 0.9% in morning trading Monday. The Nasdaq and the Dow also gained ground.
Pfizer’s Paxlovid not included in China’s national insurance
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China will not include Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment drug in a national reimbursement list that would have allowed patients to get it at a cheaper price, saying it was too expensive. The oral medicine Paxlovid developed by New York-based drugmaker Pfizer has been widely sought after in China since the country began phasing out its “zero-COVID” restrictions and infections started surging. China will include two other domestic COVID-19 drugs in the reimbursement list. Policymakers can leverage bulk purchases to lower prices in negotiations with pharmaceutical companies that, in turn, can net a steady source of revenue. A drug must be included on the reimbursement list to be covered by the national insurance scheme.
Ukraine school spurns Russian claim of troops killed there
KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (AP) — Officials at a vocational school in an eastern Ukraine city are dismissing claims by Russia that hundreds of Ukrainian troops were killed in a missile strike there. Officials said Monday that a rocket merely blew out windows and damaged classrooms. Russia specifically named the vocational school in Kramatorsk as the target of an attack. The Russian Defense Ministry said its missiles hit two temporary bases housing 1,300 Ukrainian troops in the city, killing 600 of them, late Saturday. Associated Press reporters visiting the scene Monday saw a four-story concrete building with most of its windows blown out. Inside, locals were cleaning up debris. There were no signs of a Ukrainian military presence nor any casualties.
Feds reviewing Musk tweet about disabling driver monitoring
DETROIT (AP) — A tweet from Elon Musk indicating that Tesla might allow some owners who are testing a “Full Self-Driving” system to disable an alert that reminds them to keep their hands on the steering wheel has drawn attention from U.S. safety regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it asked Tesla for more information about the tweet. Last week, the agency said the issue is now part of a broader investigation into Teslas using the Autopilot driver assist system that have crashed into emergency vehicles. Tesla has been beta testing “Full Self-Driving” using untrained owners since 2021. Earlier this year the company said 160,000 were participating. Tesla didn’t respond to a message seeking comment.
CEO of Booking.com parent talks about travel, leadership
Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel talks about the travel rebound, what’s ahead in 2023, and whether consumers have the financial firepower to keep spending on vacations. Fogel recently sat down and talked about those subjects and more with The Associated Press. Booking Holdings owns its namesake website, Booking.com, plus Priceline, Kayak and others. It dabbled in dining with Open Table. The company recently posted record quarterly earnings, and Wall Street expects it to make even more money this year.
Donors offer over $9B for Pakistan after devastating floods
GENEVA (AP) — Dozens of countries and international institutions pledged more than $9 billion to help Pakistan recover and rebuild from this summer’s devastating floods, with the sum set to balloon further at a U.N.-backed conference to help the country through what the U.N. chief called “a climate disaster of monumental scale.” The flooding killed more than 1,700 people, destroyed more than 2 million homes, and covered as much as one-third of the country at one point, causing damage totaling more than $30 billion, officials say. Large swaths of the country remain under water, with millions living near contaminated or stagnant waters, the U.N. says.
New guidance: Use drugs, surgery early for obesity in kids
New guidelines suggest children struggling with obesity should be evaluated and treated early and aggressively. The American Academy of Pediatrics says treatments can include medication for kids as young as 12 and surgery for those as young as 13. The group said Monday delaying treatment to see whether children and teens outgrow or overcome obesity only makes things worse. Left untreated, obesity can lead to lifelong health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and depression. Nearly nearly 20% of kids and teens in the U.S. are obese.
UK government meeting unions in bid to end wave of strikes
LONDON (AP) — British government ministers are meeting trade union leaders in a bid to end a wave of strikes that has hobbled the U.K.’s rail network and overburdened health system. Health Secretary Steve Barclay is holding talks with health care unions. Other ministers are meeting with railway unions who have staged months of strikes, and teaching unions that are considering classroom walkouts. A breakthrough on Monday appear unlikely and unions say the talks will not prevent a new nurses’ strike this week. Britain is going through its biggest strike wave for decades, with airport baggage handlers, border staff, driving instructors, bus drivers and postal workers among those who have walked off their jobs to demand higher pay.
Nurses go on strike at 2 big New York City hospitals
NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of striking nurses are chanting, waving signs and singing outside two large New York City hospitals. Walkouts at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx began Monday morning after a deal wasn’t reached in disputes over pay and staffing levels. The strike involves as many as 3,500 nurses at Montefiore and about 3,600 at Mount Sinai. The union says nurses are being forced to strike because of chronic understaffing that compromises safety. Patients are likely to see disruptions in emergency room visits and childbirth. The hospitals are assigning managers and others not represented by the union to cover shifts.
SEC charges former McDonald’s CEO with misleading investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission is charging McDonald’s former CEO Stephen Easterbrook with making false and misleading statements to investors about the circumstances leading to his firing in November 2019. Easterbrook was ousted for engaging in an inappropriate personal relationship with a McDonald’s employee in violation of company policy, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in its order Monday, but the separation agreement with McDonald’s concluded that his termination was without cause, which allowed him to keep substantial equity compensation that otherwise would have been forfeited.