Businesses showing discontent with Trump’s trade policies
WASHINGTON (AP) — Business groups, already uncomfortable with Trump’s attempts to stem immigration, are struggling to figure out where to stand in the fast-shifting political climate. They have happily supported Trump’s corporate tax cuts and moves to loosen environmental and other regulations. But Trump’s use of tariffs has proved alarming.
Watchdog: Abuse and neglect in nursing facilities unreported
WASHINGTON (AP) — A government watchdog finds that nursing facilities have failed to report thousands of serious cases of potential neglect and abuse of seniors on Medicare even though it’s a federal requirement for them to do so. The Health and Human Services inspector general’s office scoured Medicare billing records, drilling down on episodes in which a patient was taken from a nursing facility to the emergency room. Investigators found more than 6,600 unreported cases, or 18% of the total.
Renault chief frustrated by French state over botched merger
PARIS (AP) — Renault’s chairman has expressed his frustration with the French government, a majority shareholder, which he says resisted a merger deal proposed by Fiat Chrysler. Jean-Dominique Senard told a shareholders’ meeting in Paris on Wednesday that “I have rarely seen a merger proposal that could give so much positive synergy.”
US consumer prices edged up 0.1% in May
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices increased a slight 0.1% in May, as inflation was tempered by lower costs for gasoline, electricity and used cars. The Labor Department said Wednesday that the consumer price index rose 1.8% during the past year. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices rose 0.1% in May and 2% from a year ago.
Back-and-forth trade moves leave businesses uncertain, wary
NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s unpredictable trade moves are making some small businesses increasingly uncertain about foreign trade. Even the prospect of tariffs like those on Mexican goods Trump announced and rescinded last week has made owners and investors reluctant to pursue deals. Importers afraid of getting caught in the middle of trade disputes have searched for manufacturing alternatives in countries that aren’t at odds with the U.S. Some companies are rethinking whether to export at all.
EU asks Italy to better explain debt or face legal action
BRUSSELS (AP) — Europe’s economy commissioner is urging Italy to quickly provide any new information it might have to explain its high debt levels and or face the prospect of imminent legal action. The EU supervises budget plans in the 28 member states and says Italy’s public debt was more than double the bloc’s limit last year and is forecast to grow. EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Wednesday “let’s not waste time.” Italy’s economy minister says any clash would damage both his country and the EU.
France’s Dassault to acquire Medidata for $5.8 billion
French software company Dassault Systems will buy U.S.-based Medidata for $5.8 billion in cash. Dassault said Wednesday that it was offering of $92.25 for each share of Medidata, slightly less than its $94.75 closing price on Tuesday.
Facebook’s Zuckerberg is the focus of latest doctored video
NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Zuckerberg is getting a taste of his own medicine, just weeks after Facebook declined to remove a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A fake video circulating on Instagram shows Zuckerberg gloating over his one-man domination of the world. It’s the latest flap over doctored videos as Facebook and other social media sites try to stop the spread of misinformation and “fake news” while also respecting free speech.
BB&T, SunTrust to become Truist in merger
NEW YORK (AP) — The name of the nation’s newest mega bank is Truist Bank. Southern regional banking giants BB&T and SunTrust said Wednesday that the two would adopt the name for their merged institution. The two banks announced their merger earlier this year creating the nation’s sixth-largest bank by assets at $440 billion. The banks also announced Truist will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.
France pledges to reform economy, boost competitiveness
PARIS (AP) — France’s prime minister says that the government of President Emmanuel Macron plans to keep reforming the economy to boost its competitiveness, with changes to unemployment benefits and the pension system and plans to help out middle-class workers with tax cuts. Addressing the lower house of parliament, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe laid out the government’s upcoming priorities after two years in office.
Banks and tech stocks drag market to 2nd straight loss
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed modestly lower on Wall Street Wednesday, handing the market its second straight loss. Banks and technology companies accounted for much of the slide as investors shifted money into U.S. bonds, precious metals and other holdings considered safe havens after more than a week of aggressive buying. Energy stocks took the heaviest losses after a 4% drop in the price of U.S. crude oil. The market decline followed a broad drop in stocks that ended a five-day winning streak.
The S&P 500 index lost 5.88 points, or 0.2%, to 2,879.84. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 43.68 points, or 0.2%, to 26,004.83. The technology heavy Nasdaq composite index dropped 29.85 points, or 0.4%, to 7,792.72. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gained 0.68 of a point, or less than 0.1%, to 1,519.79.