NY probes Trump consulting payments that reduced his taxes
NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s attorney general has sent a subpoena to the Trump Organization for records related to consulting fees paid to Ivanka Trump as part of an investigation into the president’s business dealings. That’s according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity. The New York Times reported that a similar subpoena was sent to President Donald Trump’s company by the Manhattan district attorney, who is conducting a parallel probe. Ivanka Trump tweeted that the subpoenas were “harassment pure and simple.” The Times reported that the president reduced his company’s tax liability by deducting some consulting fees as a business expense.
Mnuchin denies trying to hinder incoming administration
WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is denying that he is trying to limit the choices President-elect Joe Biden will have to promote an economic recovery by ending several emergency loan programs being run by the Federal Reserve. Mnuchin said Friday that his decision was based on the fact that the programs were not being heavily utilized and the money could be better used to grants for small businesses and extended unemployment assistance. However, critics saw politics at play in Mnuchin’s decision, saying the action would deprive the incoming administration of critical support the Fed might need to prop up the economy at a time when coronavirus cases are surging again.
France postpones ‘Black Friday’ to help locked-down shops
PARIS (AP) — France’s government has gotten e-commerce businesses like Amazon and supermarket chains to delay the “Black Friday” discount shopping promotion by a week to Dec. 4. The deal struck Friday to postpone “Black Friday” from Nov. 27 comes amid broad concerns that French shops shuttered by the nation’s coronavirus lockdown are hemorrhaging business and could be hurt further if they miss out on the consumer splurge. The director of Amazon France said Friday that the e-commerce distributor would sign up to the delay. The Economics Ministry said support for the deal ended up being unanimous among commerce, e-commerce and supermarket representatives who took part in two days of talks.
Pfizer, BioNTech seek emergency use of COVID-19 shots in US
NEW YORK (AP) — Pfizer has asked U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, starting a process that could bring first shots as early as next month. Friday’s step comes days after Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced its vaccine appears 95% protective in a large but not yet finished study. Over the next few weeks, the Food and Drug Administration and its scientific advisers will have to decide if there’s really enough evidence to allow emergency vaccinations. If so, first supplies will be scarce and rationed. Experts warn it likely will be spring before there’s enough for everyone.
Trump makes late-term bid to lower prescription drug costs
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s administration is trying to close out major unfinished business on lowering prescription drug costs. Two regulations issued Friday promise savings for Medicare recipients. One would tie payments for drugs administered in a doctor’s office to lower prices paid abroad. The second would require that drugmaker rebates for pharmacy medications covered by Medicare go directly to patients. It’s hard to say whether the rules will stand expected legal challenges or whether the incoming Biden administration will accept, amend, or try to roll them back entirely. Trump’s actions, though significant, amount to less than what he had promised as a candidate back in 2016.
Wall Street slips amid worries about worsening pandemic
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended an up-and-down week on a down note on Wall Street Friday, taking 0.7% off the S&P 500. The benchmark index logged its first weekly loss so far this month. Worries about the worsening pandemic and the restrictions it’s bringing are outweighing optimism about the progress being made on developing coronavirus vaccines. Treasury yields fell slightly and stock markets around the world made only modest moves. Wall Street turned wobbly this week after the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both closed at record highs on Monday. Despite its decline this week, the S&P 500 is still up 8.8% in November.
Midwest health system CEO says he had virus, won’t wear mask
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The head of one of the largest health systems in the Midwest has told employees he’s recovered from COVID-19 and is back in the office, without a mask. Sanford Health’s CEO, Kelby Krabbenhoft, said in an email Wednesday that he believes he’s now immune for “at least seven months.” And he says he isn’t a threat to transmit it, so wearing a mask would be merely for show. Krabbenhoft’s email comes as hospitals throughout the region are struggling. Other Sanford Health executives tried to walk his statement back, saying in an email Friday that his words don’t reflect the views of the system as a whole.
The S&P 500 fell 24.33 points, or 0.7%, to 3,557.54. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 219.75 points, or 0.7%, to 29,263.48. The Nasdaq composite dropped 49.74 points, or 0.4%, to 11,854.97. The Russell 2000 small-cap index rose 1.21 points, or 0.1%, to 1,785.34.
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