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Stocks edge lower...Cause of pipeline blasts sought...Lobster industry pinched by tariffs

September 14, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes have been moving between slight gains and losses, as financial companies climb but retailers and big-dividend stocks slide. Investors were encouraged to see a pickup in industrial production in August, which helped send bond yields higher. Higher bond yields can mean higher profits for banks and other lenders. But retailers were weak after the Commerce Department reported that Americans slowed down their spending in August.

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — Investigators are trying to pinpoint the cause of a series of natural gas explosions that rocked three Massachusetts towns yesterday. The blasts north of Boston killed a teenager who had just gotten his driver’s license and was sitting in his car. At least 25 people were injured, about 8,000 were displaced and dozens of homes were left in smoldering ruins. The National Transportation Safety Board says the safety record of the pipeline operator is among the things investigators will look into.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The American lobster industry is starting to feel the pinch of China’s tariff on U.S. seafood as exporters and dealers report sagging prices and financial pressure. China is a major buyer of lobsters, and the country imposed a heavy tariff on exports from the U.S. in early July amid trade hostilities between the two superpowers. Exporters in the U.S. say their business in China has dried up since then. Wholesale prices also have dipped a bit as dealers lost markets. At least one company in Maine has resorted to layoffs because of shrinking business.

NEW YORK (AP) — A leading cancer doctor has resigned from New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center over his reported failure to disclose millions of dollars in payments from pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Jose Baselga resigned yesterday after The New York Times and ProPublica reported that he had not disclosed his financial ties to companies including the Swiss drugmaker Roche in dozens of articles he wrote for medical journals. Baselga said his failed disclosures were unintentional and should not reflect on the value of his research.

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook and other companies routinely track your online surfing habits to better target ads at you. Two web browsers now want to help you fight back. New protections in Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers aim to prevent companies from turning “cookie” data files used to store sign-in details and preferences into broader trackers. Safari makes these protections automatic in upcoming updates for iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. With Firefox, they’re automatic only on Apple’s mobile devices, not on Android or personal computers.

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