Update on the latest in business:

Posted 1:04 p.m. Friday


Early gains fade

U.S. stocks are trying to stay in positive territory today.

Biotechnology company Amgen gave up 6.7 percent after releasing disappointing results from a study of its cholesterol drug Repatha.

Financial stocks fell as bond yields moved lower, cutting into their lending profits. Capital One Financial fell 2 percent and Morgan Stanley fell 1.8 percent.

Adobe Systems jumped 5.4 percent after reporting strong first-quarter earnings. Tiffany & Co. rose 2.9 percent on its own solid earnings report.

At 12:55 p.m. Eastern Time, the Dow was up 3 points, to 20,938.

The S&P 500 was up a fraction of a point, to 2,381.

And the Nasdaq was up 5 points, to 5,905.


US urged to spend more on infrastructure

An organization including the world's better-off countries says governments need to do more to create growth that benefits everyone, and nudged the U.S. to spend more on roads, highways, bridges and airports.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says in a report Friday that countries should focus on providing better access to high-quality education, improving infrastructure and guaranteeing women's ability to work outside the home.

In the U.S., it said, infrastructure spending "is not keeping pace with the needs of the evolving economy and is contributing to congestion, urban sprawl and environmental degradation."

OECD secretary general Angel Gurria called for an "upskilling of the workforce" to address worker anxiety about the future of their jobs amid technological change.


US and global partners wrestle over trade stance

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-shin) headed into a tussle over free trade today at a summit that will help set the tone for the global economy.

The Group of 20 gathering will be dominated by the question of how strongly to oppose trade protectionism, especially after President Donald Trump vowed to impose border taxes and rewrite free trade deals.

The focus will be on a joint statement that is being prepared for Saturday. So far, officials at the G-20 finance ministers' meeting in the German spa town of Baden-Baden haven't been able agree on whether to confirm their longstanding opposition to protectionism, the use of import taxes and rules by a country to shield its own companies.


Wells Fargo CEO: Too early to judge Trump's performance

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan says that it's too early to gauge President Donald Trump's job performance, but says that he will succeed as long as the White House focuses on jobs and economic growth.

Sloan says in an interview today with The Associated Press that he looks forward to working with Trump and his administration, as Wells Fargo has done with previous administrations.

Referring to the bank's ongoing sales scandal, Sloan said Wells Fargo is still working to make things right with up to 2 million of its customers.

Sloan says that assisting those whose credit scores were negatively impacted by unauthorized accounts is turning out to be more complicated than previously expected, and will likely take several more months.


Russian banks says Trump link work of false flag hackers

A leading Russian bank says it was targeted by hackers who created a fake cyber trail to suggest extensive links with businesses owned by U.S. President Donald Trump.

"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," Alfa Bank said in a statement Friday.

Alfa Bank, Russia's second-largest privately owned bank, said it was targeted by several waves of such attacks this month and last month. The bank said it has appealed to U.S. law enforcement to help find the perpetrator.

A possible server connection between Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization was widely reported by U.S. media last year.


A third of Chipotle's board is on the way out

Chipotle, which is trying to revive its fortunes after being rattled by food safety scares, says a third of its board members will leave after their terms expire in May.

The burrito chain, under pressure from activist investor Bill Ackman to speed up its recovery, expanded its board to 12 members in December after four new directors, approved by Ackman, were added. Ackman's hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital, holds a 10 percent stake in Chipotle.

Chipotle says four members won't seek re-election in May: John Charlesworth, Patrick Flynn, Darlene Friedman and Stephen Gillett.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., based in Denver, is trying to win back diners after a 2015 E. Coli outbreak sickened some customers.


Cholesterol drug cuts heart risks, spurs new debate on cost

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 that's 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 every two weeks or once a month.

It costs $14,000 a year, and insurers have balked at paying without proof that it lowers heart risks. The new study gives that evidence, but the benefit is not as great as some doctors had hoped.

Results were discussed today at a medical conference and published by the New England Journal of Medicine.


Judge combines 4 tribal suits over Dakota Access pipeline

A judge has combined lawsuits filed by four Sioux tribes against the Dakota Access pipeline.

The move by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C., streamlines the drawn-out legal battle over the $3.8 billion project to move North Dakota oil to Illinois.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River tribes teamed up in the main lawsuit last summer. The Yankton and Oglala tribes also have sued.

The four tribes make essentially the same claims. They say the pipeline threatens cultural sites and the Missouri River, from which they get water.

The pipeline could be operating next week. An appeals court may rule this weekend on a tribal request to stop any oil from flowing until it resolves an appeal of Boasberg's recent decision to not stop final pipeline construction.


Former VW boss Piech mulls selling shares in holding firm

Negotiations are underway that could result in longtime Volkswagen patriarch Ferdinand Piech selling his shares in a company that technically controls a majority in the German automaker.

The Piech and Porsche families own more than 50 percent of Volkswagen through Porsche Automobil Holding SE.

The holding company says the families are in talks over whether foundations under Ferdinand Piech's influence will transfer "the major part of their indirectly held ordinary shares" to other family members.

Piech, a former Volkswagen chief executive and a dominant figure at the automaker for years, resigned as supervisory board chairman in April 2015 after losing a boardroom battle with then-CEO Martin Winterkorn and his board supporters.

Porsche SE said that "it is still unforeseeable" whether its shareholder structure will actually change.


Toddler with Down syndrome models for British retailer

—British clothing retailer 217 Matalan is featuring a toddler girl with Down Syndrome as one of its models.

Lily Beddall's picture is hanging on the walls of the retail store's locations across the United Kingdom.

Her mother, Vicki Beddall, took Lily to see her picture in one of the stores and posted the moment on Facebook. She says she's "proud of Lily and proud of what she has achieved." Mom says, "no limits for our little girl."


"Soda tax" stakes escalate in pivotal Philadelphia fight

Less than three months into Philadelphia's new tax on sweetened drinks, beverage makers say the measure is hurting sales so much that they need to cut jobs. But city officials say the moves are a ploy to get the tax struck down.

Some supermarkets opposed to the tax are making a statement by printing out the added cost on receipts and store shelves.

The tax began Jan. 1 and is levied on transactions between drink distributors and retailers, but many grocers are passing it on to drinks. And there's an "Ax the Bev Tax" campaign to kill the measure in court or through repeal.

One widely shared photo on social media shows a receipt for a 12-pack of 16.9-ounce bottles of Propel Water, which is artificially sweetened. The receipt says the drinks cost $5.99, and the tax adds $3.04.


Boot, wheelbarrow, thimble ousted from Monopoly board game

Monopoly is making changes: The boot has been booted, the wheelbarrow has been wheeled out, and the thimble got the thumbs down in the latest version of the board game.

In their place this fall will be a Tyrannosaurus rex, a penguin and a rubber ducky.

Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based Hasbro says more than 4.3 million voters from 146 countries weighed in on which tokens they wanted to see in future versions of the property-acquisition board game, which is based on the real-life streets of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

There were 64 contenders, including a winking emoji, a hashtag, a clunky '80s-style cellphone and a pair of bunny slippers.


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