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Stocks drop...Farm bill signed...Johnson &Johnson court setback

December 20, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — After another brutal trading day, stocks are on track for their worst month in a decade. The Dow dove 464 points Thursday, bringing its losses to more than 1,700 points since Friday. The S&P has slumped 10.6 percent this month and is almost 16 percent below the peak it reached in late September. Wall Street’s bumpy ride comes even as this year’s economy is expanding at the fastest pace in 13 years.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed a massive $867 billion farm bill that reauthorizes agriculture and conservation programs without any cuts to the food stamp program. Trump signed the bill Thursday after the Agriculture Department announced plans to tighten work requirements for recipients of food aid. Negotiations over the bill had stalled for months in Congress over a provision by the House to cut the food stamp program and the Senate’s unwillingness to go along.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is acknowledging its plan to open Alaska’s pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development would affect polar bears, tribal hunters and many others. The administration released its environmental impact statement Thursday for its plan to sell oil and gas leases in the refuge. The release moves the administration a step closer to realizing the plan.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri judge has denied Johnson & Johnson’s bid to overturn a $4.7 billion jury verdict awarded to 22 women who said the company’s talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer. The judge cited evidence of what he called “particularly reprehensible conduct” by Johnson & Johnson. The company says it will appeal.

BERLIN (AP) — A court in Germany has sided with chipmaker Qualcomm in a patent dispute with Apple that could see sales of older iPhone models halted. The Munich regional court ruled Thursday that Apple and its subsidiaries had breached a European patent held by San Diego-based Qualcomm.

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