ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis jury has ruled that Ford Motor Co. and other companies must pay $6 million to a Missouri family over claims that a woman’s death was caused by asbestos exposure, including from dust generated during brake repairs. Linda Behling of Springfield died of mesothelioma at age 70 in 2019. Her family’s lawsuit cited years of work by Behling and her husband at manufacturing companies in the Springfield area. Jurors sided with the Behling family Monday night. Lawyers for the family alleged that Ford failed to warn the public that asbestos was present in dust created during brake repairs. Attorneys for Ford say the family failed to prove the brake dust contributed to her illness.
Ships sail after Russia exits grain deal but future in doubt
LONDON (AP) — Ships loaded with grain have departed Ukraine despite Russia suspending its participation in a U.N.-brokered deal that ensures safe wartime passage of critical food supplies. The U.N. said Tuesday that three ships carrying corn, wheat and sunflower meal left through a humanitarian sea corridor set up in July. A total of 14 ships also sailed Monday following Russia’s weekend exit from the grain deal. But future shipments are in doubt after the U.N. said vessels wouldn’t move Wednesday. Turkey is trying to broker a resolution. Analysts say Russia is likely using it’s withdrawal as a bargaining chip to get what wants from the deal, such as easing the way for its fertilizer exports.
Political spat over climate risks in investments gets hotter
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The political fight is only getting fiercer over whether it’s financially wise or “woke” folly to consider a company’s impact on climate change, workers’ rights and other issues when making investments. Republicans from North Dakota to Texas are ramping up their criticism of what’s called “ESG investing,” a fast-growing movement that says it can pay dividends to consider environmental, social and corporate-governance issues when deciding where to invest pension and other public funds. At the same time, Democrats in traditionally blue states like Minnesota are considering whether to make ESG principles an even bigger part of their investment strategies.
Strong RSV vaccine data lifts hopes after years of futility
A new study suggests vaccinating pregnant women protects their newborns from the common but scary respiratory virus called RSV. The virus is a nuisance for most healthy people but it can be severe for babies and older adults. Efforts to create a vaccine have failed for decades but some recent promising studies are raising hopes that one might finally be getting close. Pfizer reported preliminary results of its pregnancy vaccine Tuesday, a shot it also tested successfully in older adults. Rival GSK also has reported success with its vaccine version in seniors.
Job openings hit 10.7M despite Fed attempts to cool economy
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. job openings rose unexpectedly in September, suggesting that the American labor market is not cooling as fast as the inflation fighters at the Federal Reserve hoped. Employers posted 10.7 million job vacancies in September, up from 10.2 million in August, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Economists had expected the number of job openings to drop below 10 million. For the past two years, as the economy rebounded from 2020′s COVID-19 recession, employers have complained they can’t find enough workers
Key issue as Fed meets this week: When to slow rate hikes?
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve may reach a turning point this week as it announces what’s expected to be another substantial three-quarter-point hike in its key interest rate — its fourth straight. Fed officials will likely engage in a fraught debate over whether it may soon be time to slow its rate hikes, which are intended to cool the worst inflation in four decades but are also raising the risk of a recession. At a news conference Wednesday after the Fed’s latest meeting, Chair Jerome Powell could signal a forthcoming shift to smaller rate increases. Doing so would give officials time to assess the impact of the hikes.
Musk floats paid Twitter verification, fires board
Billionaire Elon Musk is already floating major changes for Twitter as he begins his first week as owner of the social-media platform. One proposal would make some users pay if they want to keep a blue check mark on their profile. Twitter has historically used the mark to verify higher-profile accounts, including Musk’s, so that other users know it’s really them. Critics have derided the mark as an elite status symbol. Musk has invited a group of tech-world friends and investors to help guide the San Francisco-based company’s transformation, which is likely to include a shakeup of its staff.
Uber sees few signs of customer pullback despite inflation
Shares of Uber are surging after the company said there is little evidence that Americans are pulling back on hailing rides or ordering food deliveries despite soaring inflation. The company said Tuesday that it expects fourth-quarter gross bookings to rise 23% to 27% from last year. Shares of Uber, down almost 30% this year, jumped 15%. In the most recent quarter, gross bookings increased 26% to $29.1 billion. The San Francisco ride-hailing service struggled during the pandemic amid lockdowns, but has thrived with the rollout of vaccinations as Americans head back to the office, go out on the town, or stay home and order dinner from a restaurant.
Airbnb posts $1.2 billion profit in 3Q as revenue jumps 29%
Airbnb is reporting a $1.2 billion profit for the third quarter but giving a cautious outlook for the fourth quarter. The short-term rental company said Tuesday that demand for short-term rentals remains strong despite economic uncertainty. Airbnb shares have been under pressure this year, dropping more than 30% since January despite the recovery in travel. Airbnb’s challenges include consumers cutting back on discretionary spending like travel due to higher prices for food and gas. Its users are also complaining more about Airbnb’s high fees. The CEO says redesigning Airbnb’s pricing structure is a top priority.
The S&P 500 fell 15.88 points, or 0.4%, to 3,856.10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.75 points, or 0.2%, to 32,653.20. The Nasdaq fell 97.30 points, or 0.9%, to 10,890.85. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 4.53 points, or 0.2%, to 1,851.39.