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Stocks mostly lower...Tesla shares fall...Trump asks SEC to look into practicality of corporate reports

August 17, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are mostly lower in early trading on Wall Street as chipmakers slide, leading losses for technology companies. Applied Materials and Nvidia both fell sharply after warning of weaker results ahead. Farm equipment maker Deere fell after warning of higher costs. Energy companies are rising with oil prices.

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.

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 today, Trump said he’s asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to determine whether shifting to a six-month reporting regimen would make more sense. Preparing the reports are expensive, and some observers think executives make decisions based on short-term thinking to satisfy the market at the expense of the long-term viability of their companies.

HOPKINS, S.C. (AP) — Federal regulators say the Westinghouse Electric Company has no plans to clean uranium leaks at a nuclear fuel plant despite evidence that it could reach South Carolina’s water supply. Instead, Westinghouse wants a new 40-year extension from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, even though there’s nearly a decade left on its current license. The nuclear plume is under the plant and can’t be cleaned until the fuel factory closes. A new license would delay cleanup until 2058 or later.

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 European Union certified it last year.

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