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Tech helps Wall Street close out 4th straight winning month

NEW YORK (AP) — Strong gains for some of the market’s most influential companies helped Wall Street close out its fourth straight winning month. The S&P 500 rose 25 points on Friday following blowout profit reports from Apple and several other tech titans. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 115 and the Nasdaq composite jumped 158. Despite the gains, caution was clearly present across markets as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cloud the economy’s prospects. The 10-year Treasury yield touched its lowest level since it dropped to a record low in March. Gold also continued its record-setting run as investors searched for safety.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Talks on a huge COVID relief bill have resumed in Washington, focused on restoring a newly expired $600-per-week supplemental unemployment benefit, a fresh $1,200 direct payment to most Americans, and hundreds of billions of dollars in other aid to states, businesses, and the poor. President Donald Trump is eager for an agreement, but talks so far have yet to yield progress. The administration is willing to extend the $600 benefit, at least in the short term, but is balking at other demands of Democratic negotiators like aid the state and local governments, food stamp increases, and assistance to renters and homeowners.

UNDATED (AP) — Unions are gathering support in Congress for another $32 billion in federal aid to protect airline workers from layoffs for another six months. Still, it’s too early to say how the issue will turn out. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell did not include money for airline payrolls in his version of a new coronavirus-relief measure. And it’s unclear how the measure would affect the thousands of airline workers who took severance agreements to leave their jobs voluntarily. Unions say that without more money from Washington, airlines will furlough thousands of employees in October, one month before the Nov. 3 election.

UNDATED (AP) — Officials from states across the country who are hoping to expand broadband internet to underserved areas with federal money appropriated to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic are scrambling to finish the projects by the end of the year. To comply with the current CARES Act rules, states must have the broadband projects, which can typically take months if not years of planning and construction, up and running by Dec. 30. In Vermont, the Legislature cut back on what lawmakers would have liked to allocate from $100 million to less than $20 million because they didn’t believe they could have spent the larger amount on time, despite the need.

UNDATED (AP) — Federal officials say an outbreak of salmonella infecting nearly 400 people in more than 30 states has been linked to red onions and identified a California company as the likely source. The Food and Drug Administration says Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, California, notified the agency that it will be recalling all varieties of onions that could have come in contact with potentially contaminated red onions, because of the risk of cross-contamination. Thomson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. The Public Health Agency of Canada is also investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Newport illnesses that have a genetic fingerprint closely related to the U.S. outbreak.

Associated Press

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