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Business Highlights: Bolt batteries, Twitter settles lawsuit

September 20, 2021 GMT

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Production starts on replacement Bolt batteries

General Motors says production has resumed on battery modules that are used in recalled Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles, and customers under a recall notice could start getting replacement parts by mid-October. GM said Monday that owners should still limit charging until they receive replacement battery modules. Customers are being prioritized partly on how they charge their vehicles. GM says owners who usually run their batteries nearly to zero before recharging raise the fire risk.

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Twitter to pay $809.5 million to settle shareholder lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter said Monday it will pay $809.5 million to settle a consolidated class action lawsuit alleging that the company misled investors about how much its user base was growing and how much users interacted with its platform. The San Francisco company said the proposed settlement, which must still be signed off by a judge, resolves all claims against it without Twitter admitting any wrongdoing. The original lawsuit filed in 2016 by Twitter investor Doris Shenwick claimed that “Twitter executives knowingly made inaccurate public statements regarding these metrics, and failed to disclose internal information about them, resulting in an inflated share price that fell when the truth about user engagement became known.”

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Inflation forces homebuilders to take it slow, raise prices

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rising costs and shortages of building materials and labor are rippling across the homebuilding industry, delaying construction and prompting many builders to pump the brakes on how many homes they put up for sale. Lumber futures hit their lowest level in more than a year last week after vaulting nearly fivefold to an all-time high in May. The roughly 64% drop since then reflects an uptick in production and a pullback in demand from builders as prices skyrocketed. Still, the decline has yet to translate into lower costs for many builders. Meanwhile, the industry is contending with a bevy of other elevated costs for windows, doors, flooring, roofing and other types of construction products.

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Fed likely to signal a coming pullback in economic support

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is expected this week to send its clearest signal yet that it will start reining in its ultra-low-interest rate policies later this year, the first step toward unwinding the extraordinary support it’s given the economy since the pandemic struck 18 months ago. Many economists think the Fed will formally announce a pullback in November, in response to a steady recovery from the pandemic recession and an acceleration in inflation that has raised widespread concerns. This week’s Fed policy meeting could lay the groundwork for that announcement.

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Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine works in kids ages 5 to 11

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Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11. The vaccine maker said Monday it plans to seek authorization for this age group soon in the U.S., Britain and Europe. The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is available for anyone 12 and older. But many parents are anxiously awaiting vaccinations for their younger children. Pfizer studied a lower dose of its two-dose vaccine in more than 2,200 kindergartners and elementary school-aged kids. The kids developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teenagers and young adults.

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NHTSA opens new investigation into Takata airbags

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The U.S. government’s highway safety regulator has opened an investigation into a potential problem that surfaced last year with 56 million Takata airbags but that the agency eventually deemed safe based on industry research. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not posted an official document on the investigation yet, but said that it wasn’t aware of any injuries or fatalities due to the problem and that “the public does not need to take any action.” The NHTSA said it would publish an official report on the investigation later Monday.

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HP, Procter & Gamble join companies pledge to cut emissions

BERLIN (AP) — Computer-maker HP, consumer goods business Procter & Gamble and coffee capsule company Nespresso have joined a corporate pledge to sharply cut their greenhouse gas emissions over nearly two decades. The Climate Pledge is a grouping of companies and organizations spearheaded by Amazon. It said Monday that it has signed up 86 new members for its voluntary measures. The group said it now has 201 members with global annual revenues of more than $1.8 trillion. The group’s members are encouraged to eliminate as many emissions as possible. Those that can’t be avoided need to be completely offset in the next two decades. That means paying for measures to ensure as many emissions are absorbed by then as the companies continue to emit.

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France seeks European support after submarine deal surprise

PARIS (AP) — France canceled meetings with British and Australian officials and is trying to rally EU allies behind its push for more European sovereignty. France is still reeling after being humiliated by major Pacific defense pact orchestrated by the U.S., Australia and Britain. Australia and Britain insisted Monday that the diplomatic crisis wouldn’t affect longer-term relations with France. The defense pact involved a submarine deal that sank a rival French submarine contract. France recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia over the deal, and its anger isn’t subsiding. France’s foreign minister is meeting Monday with EU counterparts and giving a news conference in New York.

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The S&P 500 fell 75.26 points, or 1.7%, to 4,357.73. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 614.41 points, or 1.8%, to 33,970.47. The Nasdaq dropped 330.06 points, or 2.2%, to 14,713.90. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 54.67 points, or 2.4%, to 2,182.20.