IMPORTANT: It's a Serious Matter of Life

Stocks close higher, Banks pass stress test, JUUL pulled

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks shook off a midday slump and ended higher today, keeping the market on track for its first weekly gain after three weeks of punishing losses. Trading was wobbly throughout the day as investors remained focused on another day of testimony before Congress by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. The S&P rose 1%, the Dow added 0.6% and the Nasdaq rose 1.6%. Powell reaffirmed the central bank’s goal of “keeping inflation expectations well and truly anchored” as the Fed tries to rein in surging prices. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set mortgage rates, fell to 3.09%.

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation’s 33 biggest banks have enough capital to withstand a severe economic contraction. That’s according the Federal Reserve’s latest annual “stress tests” of the U.S. financial system. The Fed built a scenario under which the nation’s unemployment rate would more than double to 10%, and a severe contraction in commercial real estate and stock market values would cause losses of more than $600 billion. The Fed said that even with those variables, the 33 largest banks would still on average have a capital ratio 9.7%, well above the 4.5% required by law.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health regulators have ordered Juul to pull its electronic cigarettes from the market. Its the latest blow to the embattled company widely blamed for sparking a national surge in teen vaping. The vaping issue took on new urgency in 2018 when Juul’s high-nicotine, fruity-flavored cartridges quickly became a nationwide craze among middle and high school students. The agency says that people who use Juul products or smokers who want to move away from cigarettes and cigars could switch to FDA-authorized e-cigarettes.

DALLAS (AP) — Delta Air Lines will get to stay at Love Field, the airport closest to downtown Dallas. The city council this week approved a settlement that will pay Alaska Airlines to let Delta use one of its gates. Southwest Airlines dominates traffic at Love Field, and it has long wanted to remove Delta from sharing one of its gates. Space at the close-in airport is limited because of a law passed by Congress in 2006 that restricted Love Field to 20 gates. But a consultant hired by the city council is suggesting expanding the airport.

BOSTON (AP) — NASA wants its moon dust and cockroaches back. The space agency has asked Boston-based RR Auction to halt the sale of moon dust collected during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that had subsequently been fed to cockroaches during an experiment to determine if the lunar material contained any sort of pathogen that posed a threat to terrestrial life. NASA said in a letter to the auctioneer that it still belongs to the federal government. RR said Thursday that the material from the experiment was expected to sell for at least $400,000, but has been pulled from the auction block.

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