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Stocks give up morning gains ... PG&E shares sink amid fire accusations ... Border wall contract

November 14, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are lower in afternoon trading, giving up a modest early rally and extending the market’s losses from yesterday. Technology stocks and banks have been taking some of the heaviest losses, outweighing gains in industrial companies and other sectors.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Shares in PG&E are trading at their lowest level in more than a decade with some Californians who have lost homes saying that the power company is at fault for the state’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire. In a lawsuit filed this week, homeowners said a high voltage transmission line failed, sparking the fire. They accuse Pacific Gas & Electric Co. of failing to maintain infrastructure.

HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. government has awarded a $167 million contract to build 8 miles of border wall in south Texas. Construction will begin in February. U.S. Customs and Border Protection already announced a $145 million award for another 6 miles in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. The Galveston, Texas-based construction firm SLSCO won both contracts. CBP says it plans to install fence posts on the levee north of the Rio Grande, the river that separates the U.S. and Mexico in Texas, as well as lighting, patrol roads, and the clearing of vegetation. Environmental advocates warn that construction will damage sensitive areas and endanger wildlife.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nationwide intends to eliminate the jobs of about 1,100 employees across the country — around 3.6 percent of its workforce. The insurance and financial services company says about 80 workers in Des Moines and 350 in Columbus, Ohio, were told yesterday that their jobs would be eliminated by the end of March. The remaining workers affected will be informed in the coming weeks. The job cuts will occur mostly in information technology, marketing, property and casualty operations and bank organizations.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service is reporting a financial loss for the 12th straight year, citing declining mail volume as well as the costs of its pension and health care obligations. The loss of $3.9 billion for the budget year that ended Sept. 30 compares with a $2.7 billion loss in 2017. The Postal Service is awaiting a report ordered by President Donald Trump to address what he’s described as the agency’s “unsustainable financial path.”

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