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Stocks edge higher...Pay climbs for top CEOs...FDA approves most expensive medicine

May 24, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) _ Technology companies are rallying in afternoon trading on Wall Street, helping stocks bounce back from an early slide, though the market remains on track for its third straight weekly loss. The market has swung between gains and losses all week as investors face the prospect that the trade war between the U.S. and China will drag on. Tech companies have borne the brunt of the downturn as they face the possibility of restricted sales to Chinese companies.

UNDATED (AP) _ Pay for CEOs at the biggest U.S. companies climbed 7% last year, widening the chasm between the top executives and their workers, according to data analyzed by Equilar for The Associated Press. Chief executives at S&P 500 companies earned a median of $12 million last year, roughly $800,000 more than the same group of CEOs made the year before. The median raise for the typical worker at these companies, meanwhile, was 3% last year, less than half the bump for their bosses.

UNDATED (AP) _ The few women who are CEOs of the largest U.S. companies typically make more money than their male counterparts but aren’t close to the top of the leaderboard for pay packages. The median pay package for female CEOs in the 2018 fiscal year was $12.7 million, versus $11.2 million for men, according to an analysis of executive compensation data. However, there is not a single woman on the overall list of the top 20 most highly paid CEOs.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Food and Drug Administration has approved the most expensive medicine ever, a gene therapy meant to cure a disorder that rapidly destroys a baby’s muscle control and kills most within a couple years. The one-time gene therapy developed by Novartis will cost more than $2 million. It treats a rare condition called spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, which strikes about 400 babies born in the U.S. each year.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A new Trump administration rule would roll back sex discrimination protection for transgender people in health services. In the rule proposed Friday, the Health and Human Services Department says laws banning sex discrimination in health care don’t apply to people’s “gender identity.” That would reverse the policy of the Obama administration, which had found that sex discrimination laws do protect transgender people. The rule faces a 60-day comment period and court challenges are expected.

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