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Money & Markets

10 years after BP spill: Oil drilled deeper; rules relaxed

NEW ORLEANS — Ten years after an oil rig explosion killed 11 workers and unleashed an environmental nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico, companies are drilling in deeper and deeper waters, where payoffs can be huge but risks are greater than ever. Industry leaders and government officials say ...

Officials implore Tyson to close plant amid virus outbreak

DES MOINES — More than a dozen Iowa elected officials on Friday implored Tyson Fresh Meats to close their Waterloo pork processing plant, saying the coronavirus is spreading among workers and is endangering both employees and the surrounding community. Mayors, county officials and state ...

China says no plans to limit export of anti-virus supplies

BEIJING — China won’t restrict exports of medical goods needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic, a government spokesman said, amid tension over scarce masks and ventilators. China, the biggest maker of surgical masks and other products, announced last week it would start inspecting ...

Banks brace for big loan defaults by US, global customers

NEW YORK — The major banks in the U.S. are anticipating a flood of loan defaults as households and business customers take a big financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs raised the funds set aside for bad loans ...

Major airlines line up to split $25 billion in payroll aid

The nation’s biggest airlines have tentatively agreed to terms for $25 billion in government aid to pay workers and avoid massive layoffs in an industry that has been slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. The assistance will include a mix of cash and loans, with the government getting ...

Lockdowns cut driving and crashes, bring insurance discounts

DETROIT — Interstates and city streets are empty and cars are quarantined in their owners’ garages, so consumer advocates argue that it only makes sense for auto insurance rates to reflect that. In the states of Washington and New York, the number of traffic crashes reported to state ...

Fears of ‘Wild West’ as COVID-19 blood tests hit the market

WASHINGTON — Blood tests for the coronavirus could play a key role in deciding whether millions of Americans can safely return to work and school. But public health officials warn that the current “Wild West” of unregulated tests is creating confusion that could ultimately slow the path ...

Federal spending makes more energy assistance available

Low-income residents who are sheltering in place will get more money to stay comfortable as temperatures transition to summer heat. The Trump administration released $37 million in home energy assistance funding that was replenished after being diverted to fight the coronavirus. And another ...

Disney World furloughing 43,000 more workers

ORLANDO, Fla. — Walt Disney World plans to stop paying wages to 43,000 workers in about a week while allowing them to keep their benefits for up to a year in what is the largest wave of furloughs since the theme park resort closed in mid-March because of the new coronavirus spread. ...

Apple, Google to harness phones for virus infection tracking

Apple and Google fueled hopes for digital technology’s promise against a fast-moving, invisible killer, announcing a joint effort to help public health agencies worldwide leverage smartphones to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New software the companies plan to add to phones would make it ...

US gig workers and self-employed face delays in jobless aid

WASHINGTON — After Rich Cruse saw about $3,000 in income for his photography business quickly disappear to the coronavirus, he tried to apply for unemployment benefits in California. But like many states, his isn’t yet accepting claims from the self-employed like him. That’s left ...

HHS: Federal stocks of protective equipment nearly depleted

WASHINGTON — The Strategic National Stockpile is nearly out of the N95 respirators, surgical masks, face, shields, gowns and other medical supplies desperately needed to protect front-line medical workers treating coronavirus patients. The Department of Health and Human Services told the ...

Wall Street leaps 7%, markets rally worldwide on virus hopes

NEW YORK — Investors grabbed hold of a few glimmers of hope Monday that the coronavirus pandemic could be slowing and sent stocks surging in a worldwide rally, capped by a 7% leap for the U.S. market. The number of new coronavirus cases is dropping in the European hotspots of Italy and ...

Chaos and scrambling in the US oil patch as prices plummet

NEW YORK — In Montana, a father and son running a small oil business are cutting their salaries in half. In New Mexico, an oil truck driver who supports his family just went a week without pay. And in Alaska, lawmakers have had to dip into the state’s savings as oil revenue dries up. ...

Grocery workers are key during the virus. And they’re afraid

AUSTIN, Texas — Every day, grocery workers are restocking toilet paper, eggs, produce and canned goods as fast as the items fly off the shelves. They disinfect keypads, freezer handles and checkout counters as hundreds of people weave around them, sometimes standing too close for comfort ...

Trump, 3M clash over order to produce more face masks for US

President Donald Trump said Friday his administration will try to stop “profiteers” from exporting medical protective gear, shortly after picking a fight with manufacturing giant 3M, a major producer and exporter of face masks used to protect health care workers from the coronavirus. 3M ...

Memo: Some in US may not get stimulus checks until August

WASHINGTON — The federal government expects to begin making payments to millions of Americans under the new stimulus law in mid-April, but some people without direct deposit information may not get checks until mid-August or later, according to a memo obtained Thursday by The Associated ...

Dairy farmers begin to flush away milk due to coronavirus

WEST BEND, Wis. — Many dairy processing plants across Wisconsin have more product than they can handle and that’s forced farmers to begin dumping their milk down the drain. That’s the case at Golden E Dairy near West Bend. Farmer Ryan Elbe told WISN-TV they are dumping about about ...

A guide to surviving financially as the bills come due

The coronavirus has dealt a financial blow to millions of Americans and now April’s bills are coming due. The good news is there is help available. Reach out immediately to your mortgage lender, student loan servicer or utility provider to see what’s available. Other assistance, such as ...

What you need to do to get your government stimulus check

The IRS and the Treasury Department say Americans will start receiving their economic impact checks in the next three weeks. The payments are part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package signed into law last week by President Donald Trump aimed at combating the economic ravages of the coronavirus ...