Stocks listless ... Russian bank blames hackers ... Wells Fargo: Fake account scandal not completely resolved

Posted March 17

— On Wall Street, stocks are slightly higher after dipping mildly in midday trading as health care stocks slid. At 2:05 p.m. Eastern, the Dow industrials were at 20,954.91, up 20.36 or 0.1 percent. The Nasdaq composite was up 6.79 at 5907.55 and the Standard and Poor's 500 was up 1.56 at 2382.94.

An organization including the world's better-off countries says governments need to do more to create growth that benefits everyone. And the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is nudging the U.S. to spend more on roads, highways, bridges and airports. The group says in its report that countries should focus on providing better access to high-quality education, improving infrastructure and guaranteeing women's ability to work outside the home.

A leading Russian bank says it was targeted by hackers who created a fake cyber trail to suggest extensive links with businesses owned by President Donald Trump. Alfa Bank says today in a statement, "These badly intentioned attacks were carried out to create the false impression that Alfa Bank secretly maintains contacts with the Trump Organization. Whereas in actual fact such contacts don't exist and never existed." A possible server connection between Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization was widely reported by U.S. media last year.

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan says it could take several more months to resolve customer damage tied to its massive sales practices scandal. Sloan tells The Associated Press that since becoming CEO in the wake of the scandal, rebuilding trust with customers is the primary focus. Wells Fargo has seen a sharp drop in new account openings and bank traffic since admitting in September that employees, pressured to meet ambitious sales goals, opened up to 2 million customer accounts without getting the customers' permission.

A long-acting cholesterol medicine cut the risk of having a heart attack or some other serious problems by 15 to 20 percent in a big study. The results are likely to spur fresh debate about what drugs should cost. Statins such as Lipitor are cheap and cut cholesterol, but some people don't get enough help from them. The new drug, Amgen's Repatha, lowers cholesterol more and is given as shots but costs $14,000. The study results were released today.


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