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Stocks waver…Judge rejects new federal health rule…Former UAW executive charged in corruption probe

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have been wobbling between small gains and losses on Wall Street. Energy and technology companies are falling, while health care stocks and safe-play holdings, including utilities and real estate companies, are doing better than most of the market. Bond yields fell in another sign that investors were taking a more defensive position.

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge in New York has struck down a rule letting health care clinicians object to providing abortions and other services on moral or religious grounds. The ruling came after health organizations and others sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The rule let clinicians object to providing abortions and other services that conflict with their moral and religious beliefs. Plaintiffs argued that the rule was unconstitutional.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is co-sponsoring a bill with West Virginia’s two U.S. senators and others aimed at preserving the pensions of about 92,000 retired coal miners and the health-care benefits of another 13,000 working miners. Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito (KAP’-ih-toh) announced the bill today. It would transfer money from the Abandoned Mine Land fund to prevent the insolvency of a 1974 miners’ pension plan, and add coal company bankruptcies from 2018 and 2019 to 2017 health-care legislation.

DETROIT (AP) — A retired vice president is the latest to be charged in a corruption scandal at the United Auto Workers union. Joe Ashton is accused of getting thousands of dollars in kickbacks from a contractor who made watches for union members. Ashton was charged Wednesday with conspiracy. The case is filed in Detroit federal court as a “criminal information,” which means a guilty plea is expected. Ashton is the 13th person to be charged in an investigation of the UAW and auto companies.

UNDATED (AP) — American Airlines CEO Doug Parker says his airline is feeling more confident that its grounded Boeing 737 Max jets will soon be approved to fly again. Boeing expects U.S. safety regulators to approve the plane’s return to service by year end, and Parker says that sounds like a reasonable estimate based on conversations with regulators. American is already selling flights on Max jets as early as Jan. 15. Boeing Max jets have been grounded worldwide after two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people.

Associated Press

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