NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are climbing in early afternoon trading on Wall Street. Makers of consumer staples and health-care companies are among the biggest advancers. Wal-Mart rose 2 percent after the retail giant announced a new checking account program in collaboration with Green Dot. The news sent Green Dot shares soaring 20 percent. Health care stocks rebounded after taking a beating to start the week on news that the U.S. was tightening rules on a tax-saving maneuver called "inversion."
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge in New Orleans says BP has to stick by its agreement with companies it compensated for business losses due to the 2010 Gulf oil spill. The oil giant had argued that a flawed funding formula in their settlement with alleged victims of the spill enabled many businesses to collect on questionable claims, and that they should be forced to return the money. The judge agreed several weeks ago to change the formula for any future payments, but he ruled today that a deal is a deal when it comes to money already paid out.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration has approved new labeling on Pfizer's drug Chantix. The revised wording suggests the anti-smoking medication may not carry the risks of suicidal behavior that earned it the government's strongest warning more than five years ago. It cites a number of recent studies that found little or no evidence of psychiatric problems or suicidal tendencies in patients taking the tablet. Pfizer had requested the change.
TORONTO (AP) — BlackBerry has launched a new smartphone as the embattled Canadian company tries for a comeback. Chief executive John Chen unveiled a large-screen, square sized phone called the Passport to a Toronto audience today. London and Dubai also hosted launch events. Chen says the Passport will be available in the U.S. on A&T on an exclusive basis by the end of the year. It's also available for $599 for a limited time on Amazon.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) — Hasbro has wrestled the rights for dolls from Disney's hit movie "Frozen" away from its rival Mattel. Hasbro says its new deal with Disney will give it global rights to develop dolls based on "Frozen" everywhere but Japan. Disney Consumer Products says the rights for the "Frozen" dolls will shift from Mattel to Hasbro in the spring of 2016. Hasbro will also make dolls based on Disney Princess stories and characters including Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast and The Little Mermaid.