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Asian shares mixed after S&P 500 hits all-time high

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed in Asia and Chinese benchmarks fell today after the S&P 500 index closed at an all-time high.

Monday’s rally came at the beginning of a busy week of corporate earnings and economic reports and with investors expecting another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

Investors have been balancing worries over the impact that the costly trade war between the U.S. and China is having on corporate profits and the global economy against renewed optimism that negotiations that got underway this month could result in some kind of resolution in the conflict.

Today, Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.5% while the S&P ASX/200 edged 0.1% higher. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.4% and the Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.9%.

South Korea's Kospi lost 0.2%. Shares rose in Taiwan, Bangkok and Singapore but fell in Jakarta.


Stocks set another record. The champagne's still corked.

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are back at a record. Don't feel excited? Neither does Wall Street.

After a shaky few months, the stock market has pushed through worries about President Donald Trump's trade wars, weakening corporate profits and the slowing global economy to set another all-time high. The S&P closed Monday at 3,039.42, eclipsing the previous record set on July 26.

The resurgence belies how much caution still runs through markets, however. The strongest performers in recent months have been companies that pay big dividends and are more likely to hold up during downturns. Investors, meanwhile, remain hesitant to plow their money into stocks.


DOJ: Sanford to pay $20M to settle kickback allegations

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Sanford Health, one of the nation's largest health systems, has agreed to pay more than $20 million to resolve kickback allegations stemming from a whistleblower lawsuit filed by two Sanford doctors. That’s according to the Justice Department.

The lawsuit alleged that the health system, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, knowingly submitted false claims to federal health care programs for medically unnecessary spinal surgeries.

In a statement, Sanford chief operating officer Matt Hocks said the health system denies any liability or wrongdoing and settled because the $20.25 million amount is "far less” than litigation and “operational disruption.”


CEO will tell Congress that Boeing made mistakes on Max jet

WASHINGTON (AP) _ On the anniversary of the first of two deadly crashes involving 737 Max jets, Boeing's CEO will tell Congress that the aircraft company knows it made mistakes and is throwing everything into fixing the plane.

In comments prepared for delivery today, Dennis Mullenberg says Boeing is “still learning” from the accidents and concedes that the firm “made mistakes and got some things wrong.”

A key lawmaker said Monday that Boeing should have gotten things right the first time, before the Max began carrying passengers.

Mullenburg is scheduled to testify today and Wednesday.

His appearances come as Boeing faces congressional investigations and a criminal probe by the Justice Department. It is also being sued by families of some of the 346 people who died in the crashes of a Max off the coast of Indonesia on Oct. 29, 2018, and another in Ethiopia on March 10.


Oklahoma governor, lawmakers weigh in on opioid judgment

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma's governor and Republican legislative leaders are telling the judge who ordered a drugmaker to pay $572 million to help clean up the state's opioid crisis that the company should be responsible for additional payments if more money is needed to fully abate the problem.

Gov. Kevin Stitt, Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall filed a brief in the case on Monday.

Following a trial this summer, District Judge Thad Balkman ordered consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million to help abate the state's opioid crisis. The judge has since indicated there was a miscalculation and that he plans to reduce that amount by at least $107 million. The judge's final order in the case has not been issued.


Costs of GM deal could make talks with Ford, FCA difficult

DETROIT (AP) — Just after workers ratified a new contract with General Motors last week, the president of the United Auto Workers union put out a statement that Ford would be next for "pattern bargaining."

That pattern means the UAW will use the GM deal as a template in its talks with Ford, and Fiat Chrysler after that. But it could end up being a problem for both those companies.

GM gave out pay raises and a huge signing bonus, and it didn't change the union's top-notch health care that costs members little. In return it won millions in savings because it was able to close three factories that made slow-selling cars and parts.


Automakers side with Trump in legal fight with California

WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and many others in the auto industry are siding with the Trump administration in a lawsuit over whether California has the right to set its own greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards.

The companies and the Association of Global Automakers say they plan to intervene in a lawsuit filed by the Environmental Defense Fund against the administration over California's ability to set standards that differ from federal rules.

The new move widens the gap between the industry and four other automakers, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen and Honda. They have sided with California in what is shaping up to be an epic legal battle over the state's right to control pollution. At least a dozen other states follow California's greenhouse gas emissions standards.


Facebook employees sign letter opposing political ads policy

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hundreds of Facebook employees have signed a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives saying they oppose the social network's policy of letting politicians lie in advertisements.

The New York Times reported Monday that more than 250 workers have signed the letter urging Facebook leaders to change the policy that they say is a "threat to what FB stands for." While that's a small fraction of Facebook's workforce of more than 35,000, it's a rare showing of employee dissent generally more typical of Google and Amazon.

Facebook spokeswoman Bertie Thomson says the company appreciates its employees voicing their concerns but the company "remains committed to not censoring political speech."

The employee letter follows widespread criticism of Facebook's ad policy, including from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading Democratic presidential candidate.


Beyond Meat raises sales forecast despite competition

NEW YORK (AP) — Beyond Meat is raising its sales forecast for the year even as it faces more competitors making vegetarian meat alternatives.

The El Segundo, California company updated its outlook Monday after seeing its sales more than triple in the latest quarter and logging its first quarterly profit. The results come as plant-based options keep popping up on more menus, including at fast-food chains such as White Castle and Burger King. Last month, McDonald's said it would run a limited test of Beyond Meat burgers in Canada.

But Beyond Meat and rival Impossible Foods are also facing more competition. Beyond Meat, which went public in May, said it now expects revenue of $265 million to $275 million for the year. It previously forecast sales of more than $240 million.


'Maleficent' edges 'Joker' for weekend box-office crown

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The "Maleficent" sequel has overtaken "Joker" for the weekend box-office crown in North America.

Final figures released Monday showed "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" earned $19.4 million, pulling ahead of "Joker" by a mere $122,000.

"Joker" had been the top film on Sunday based on studio estimates after being knocked out of the top spot by "Maleficent" last week.

Joaquin Phoenix traces the origins of the classic Batman villain in "Joker." It has earned $278 million in the United States and Canada in its first four weeks, and it is the international record-holder for an R-rated film with $852 million in earnings.

The "Maleficent" sequel, which stars Angelina Jolie as the classic Disney villain, has earned $66.2 million in North America in its first two weeks.

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