NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes are mixed in midday trading on Wall Street as a dip in bond yields sends high-dividend companies upward and strong sales from Deere help industrial companies.
Deere rose 3.1 percent, reversing an earlier loss. Other gainers include Nordstrom, which soared 11.8 percent after reporting strong quarterly results.
Chipmakers slid, weighing on the technology sector. Applied Materials lost 6.6 percent and Nvidia lost 4.5 percent. Both issued weak forecasts.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.85 percent.
Tesla shares fall as Musk says stress takes toll
NEW YORK (AP) —
Tesla shares are falling as investors deal with another surprising development surrounding CEO Elon Musk.
Musk admitted in an interview with The New York Times that stress is taking a heavy toll on him. The company has been under pressure to increase production of its Model 3 sedan, and Musk said that he was working up to 120 hours a week and sometimes takes Ambien to get to sleep.
Musk raised a ruckus last week when he tweeted that he might take Tesla private. The tweet reportedly has spurred an investigation by securities regulators.
Musk is known for odd behavior and controversial statements, but investors have stuck with him and driven Tesla to a higher market value than General Motors.
Trump asks SEC to look into practicality of corp. reports
NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump says he’s asking federal regulators to look into the effectiveness of the quarterly financial reports that publicly traded companies are required to file.
In a tweet early Friday, Trump said that after speaking with “some of the world’s top business leaders,” he’s asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to determine whether shifting to a six-month reporting regimen would make more sense.
The SEC requires such companies to share profit, revenue and other figures publicly every three months.
Some believe that executives are making decisions based on short-term thinking to satisfy the market at the expense of the long-term viability of their companies.
There are also tremendous expenses tied to preparing quarterly and annual reports.
US STEEL-GARY WORKS
US Steel to invest $750M in Gary Works plant in Indiana
GARY, Ind. (AP) — U.S. Steel plans to spend at least $750 million to upgrade a century-old steel mill along northwestern Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline.
Company and government officials said Thursday that the project will help preserve Gary Works’ nearly 3,900 steelworker jobs, and could help ensure the 112-year-old mill lasts another century.
The investment accounts for more than a third of U.S. Steel’s $2 billion asset revitalization program. The company had been criticized for not spending enough on equipment at mills such as Gary Works during the steel industry’s recent downturn. The lack of funding crippled the company’s production when the industry began rebounding, causing U.S. Steel to lose money.
Indiana is rewarding the company for its investment by giving up to $12 million in incentives, including tax breaks and worker training grants.
Italian mayor shuts down bridge as a precaution
GENOA, Italy (AP) — A mayor in southern Italy has ordered the closure of a bridge designed by the same architect who created the collapsed Genoa highway bridge.
The Italian news agency ANSA quoted Benevento Mayor Clemente Mastella as saying Friday about his precautionary measure that it is “better to have inconveniences than trouble” for bridge users.
On Wednesday, the day after Genoa’s Morandi Bridge collapsed, killing at least 38 people, Mastella asked experts to check his city’s San Nicola bridge, which was also designed by architect Riccardo Morandi. That bridge was built in 1955 and had been reinforced in 2016.
Genoa prosecutors are focusing their probe into the cause of the bridge collapse on a possible design flaw or inadequate maintenance.
Greek bailout ends, but Europe’s debt problem goes on
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Greece officially emerges from its bailout program on Monday, after eight years of cutbacks enforced in return for three massive loan infusions, and after suffering an economic collapse on the scale of the Great Depression.
The exit is a welcome milestone. But it offers little assurance that the 19-country euro currency union has left behind its problems with debt. The huge debt pile in Greece and an even bigger one in Italy will remain a lurking financial threat to Europe that could take a generation to defuse.
Several times over the last decade Europe’s debt problems have raised fears of a break-up in the euro, a worst-case scenario that would cause severe economic damage in the region and shake world financial markets and trade.
BIRTH CONTROL APP
Birth control app highlights emerging health tech market
LONDON (AP) — The condom, the pill and now, the smartphone?
Natural Cycles, a mobile fertility app, this month became the first ever digital contraceptive device to win FDA marketing approval. Women take their temperatures and track their menstrual cycle on the app, which uses an algorithm to determine when they’re fertile and should abstain from unprotected sex or use protection. In effect, it’s a form of the rhythm or calendar method.
The Swedish startup says it’s effective and lets women avoid side effects common with other methods like birth control pills. But reports of unwanted pregnancies and investigations by authorities in two countries in Europe, where it received EU certification in 2017, have raised questions about marketing what is essentially a health monitor as a contraceptive.
In a comeback season for Hollywood, a summer without bombs
NEW YORK (AP) — Have you noticed something oddly tranquil about this summer movie season? For the first time in recent memory, there hasn’t been one major bomb.
Usually by now, there would be blockbuster-sized craters left on the charred summer-movie battlefield, the inevitable toll of Hollywood’s most high-stakes season. But this year, summer-movie bomb-watching, long one of the most dependable spectator sports of the season, has gone entirely without the sight of a “Lone Ranger”-sized mushroom cloud.
After the cataclysmic, the-sky-is-falling summer of 2017, when overall grosses slid 14.6 percent from the year before, Hollywood has rebounded. Ticket sales in North America this summer are up 11.3 percent, according to comScore.
This weekend, “Crazy Rich Asians” appears poised to ride glowing reviews to no. 1 with approximately a five-day $25 million debut.