NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is heading for its third straight gain after U.S. retail sales rebounded last month by much more than economists were expecting. The S&P 500 was up 1.8% in midday trading, but trading remains very skittish as coronavirus infections rise in hotspots around the world. The S&P 500 initially jumped 2.8%, but it surrendered nearly all of that at one point before rallying back. The tenuous rise followed up on stronger gains for European and Asian stocks. Treasury yields also rose in another sign of improving optimism, but trading there was also volatile.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say they expect health insurance companies will cover vaccines for COVID-19 without charging copays, once those vaccines are approved and become available. At a briefing for reporters, a senior Trump administration official said the government has been talking with insurers about offering vaccines at no cost to patients. The industry earlier made a similar commitment to cover testing for the coronavirus without charging copays.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Merchant ship crew members stranded at sea for months due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions could now start refusing to further extend their contracts and stop working, potentially disrupting global trade. The International Transport Workers’ Federation says it will assist "hundreds of thousands” of those workers if they choose to leave their ships and return home. The world’s more than 2 million merchant seafarers help keep countries supplied with everything from raw materials and fuel to food and consumer goods. But lockdowns and travel restrictions around the world are preventing crew members who have reached the end of their contracts from going home.
NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the U.S. communications regulator said T-Mobile’s nationwide, hours-long outage Monday was “unacceptable” and that the Federal Communications Commission will investigate. The FCC has fined telecom companies in the past for network outages. T-Mobile, one of the country’s three largest wireless service providers, said it had a “voice and text issue” that began around noon EDT Monday. The company said at 1 a.m. Tuesday that all problems should be resolved. The company blamed an internet-traffic issue that caused problems with its network for the outage. AT&T and Verizon said their networks were working normally.
LONDON (AP) — European Union authorities have opened antitrust investigations into Apple’s App Store and its payments platform over concerns that its practices stifle competition. The EU’s executive Commission said it launched a formal investigation of Apple Pay over allegations that the U.S. tech giant refuses access to its payment system and concerns that it limits access to the “tap and go” function on iPhones.