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Stocks gain...PG&E shares fall...World Bank head to leave

January 7, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rising again as retailers and small companies rally after a report showed strong orders last month for services-sector companies, where most Americans work. Technology and health care companies also rose.

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares in California’s largest power company are getting battered on reports that it’s considering bankruptcy protection in the face of potentially crippling liability damages from a spate of wildfires. No cause has been determined for the source of California’s Camp Fire, but PG&E reported an outage around the time and place the fire was ignited. Another transmission line malfunctioned a short time later, possibly sparking a second fire.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. service firms grew at a slower pace in December, a possible indication that various headwinds from turbulent markets to trade tensions could be having an impact on economic activity. The Institute for Supply Management, which is composed of purchasing managers, says that its service index fell to 57.6 percent last month, down from a November reading of 60.7 percent. Any reading above 50 signals growth.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, says he is resigning at the end of January. Kim’s unexpected departure, nearly three years before his term was set to expire, is likely to set off a fierce battle between the Trump administration and other countries who have complained about the influence the United States exerts over the World Bank.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seems likely to side with drugmaker Merck in a dispute over the warning label on its bone-strengthening drug Fosamax. During arguments in a lawsuit against the New Jersey-based company, only two justices seemed inclined to rule against Merck. A trial court initially threw out claims against Merck. An appeals court revived them.

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