Stocks rise; Indexes on pace for weekly profit


NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks rise in afternoon trading on Wall Street, bringing the market to a strong close in a week that opened with a stumble. The major indices are all on track for profit this week and were essentially able to fend off a heavy sell-off on Monday. Investors are watching the latest round of corporate earnings for a clearer picture of how businesses fare as people try to return to pre-pandemic activity. American Express and Twitter rose after reporting solid financial results.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has told Congress that she will take immediate action next week to save the government from an unprecedented sovereign default. In a letter to House and Senate leaders, Yellen said her actions would buy time before Congress can pass laws to either raise the debt limit or suspend the limit for a period of time. The debt ceiling has been suspended for two years but will come back into force on July 31.

UNDATED (AP) – As U.S. regulators consider final approval for certain COVID-19 vaccines, governors in states hard hit by the pandemic are hoping the move will help convince the many objectors in their states to finally get the shot. All three US-approved vaccines have been approved for emergency use. Arkansas and Ohio governors have been asking for full approval in the past few days as virus cases and hospital stays skyrocket in their states. They say the move would help fight vaccine resistance and could also pave the way for more companies to require their employees to be vaccinated.

ATLANTA (AP) – Federal industrial safety commissioners propose fines of nearly $ 1 million on four companies after liquid nitrogen spill in January that killed six workers at a poultry processing facility in northeast Georgia. US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh announced the subpoenas and fines from the US Occupational Health and Safety Agency on Friday. The Foundation Food Group, which owns the Gainesville facility, has been charged with 26 violations with a proposed fine of $ 595,474. OSHA fines and subpoenas are often reduced following informal and formal appeal processes. Foundation Food did not immediately respond to an email asking for comment. A new freeze line failed on the morning of January 28th and sent a cloud of liquid nitrogen vapor.

NEW YORK (AP) – Disgraced chef Mario Batali, his business partner, and their New York restaurant company have agreed to pay $ 600,000 to resolve a four-year Attorney General investigation into allegations that Batali, restaurant manager and other workers sexually abused were harassed employees. The money will be shared among at least 20 former employees of B&B Hospitality and their Manhattan restaurants Babbo, Lupa and the now closed Del Posto, which Batali and Joseph Bastianich owned the settlement today until March 2019.

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