The Dow Jones Industrial Average – the stock market index of how 30 large publicly owned companies have traded in a session – dropped 700 points Wednesday, the lowest it’s been since March this year. A surge in treasury yields seems to be fuelling the loss. The tech sector was seemingly hit hardest in the afternoon’s trading session with Netflix down nearly 7 percent, Amazon down 5 percent and Facebook, Google and Apple down around 3 percent. One industry expert said “stocks are spooked by higher rates,” referring to recent interest rate hikes.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The category 4 storm hit the Florida Panhandle at winds of 155 miles per hour, making landfall northwest of the town of Mexico Beach Wednesday afternoon. Officials are preparing residents for devastating impacts, the storm being the worst recorded in the region. Sea water levels have been driven as high as 14 feet above normal and flooding has already been seen in the town of Apalachicola. Schools have closed across the state and thousands evacuated from Florida, Alabama and Georgia, where hurricane warnings are in place affecting around 3.7 million people.
The government has given the go ahead for a $69 billion merger between Fortune 500 insurance company Aetna and pharmaceutical giant CVS, another big union in the sector both lauded and criticized. On one hand the merger means they can tighten cost controls and coordinate the sector better while critics say these large deals end up with less choice in the market, lower quality services and higher prices. The revolutionary part is for Aetna to tap into CVS’s pharmacies and retail clinics which will create physical hubs around the country for medical needs.
She’s not running for president. That’s what America’s United Nations ambassador declared after President Donald Trump accepted her resignation yesterday. Haley’s move surprised top White House officials who’d hoped to stoke the fires of the president’s victorious Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh a bit longer. Most of all it ignited speculation about what the former South Carolina governor, regarded among the most widely respected GOP voices, plans to do next — aside from her promise to campaign for her former boss’s re-election in 2020.
“It is like Pulp Fiction.” That’s how a Turkish official described an operation allegedly ordered by the Saudi royal court to kill dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last week. The plan, according to anonymous Turkish security officials, involved 15 Saudi agents traveling to Turkey on corporate jets, carrying a bone saw to dismember Khashoggi’s body. They claim Turkish staff were abruptly sent home the day of Khashoggi’s visit, and security footage was removed from the consulate. No evidence has been officially released, and Saudi officials deny any wrongdoing.
Do open borders make good neighbors? While Britain is anxious to exit the European Union, its future relationship with the bloc hinges on one issue: Keeping the border open between Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member. Now diplomats on both sides seem poised to solve that problem and forge new agreements on trade and other issues. Meanwhile, an unregulated Brexit is just one factor worrying the International Monetary Fund, which warns that “dangerous undercurrents” like America’s trade war could “significantly harm global growth.”
Know This: President Trump told a political rally in Iowa yesterday that Democrats were “too dangerous to govern.” German authorities have detained a Bulgarian man in the rape and murder of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova. Flash flooding has killed six people on the Spanish island of Mallorca. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to China: Meet the image recognition innovator who’s enabling e-commerce customers — and the police state tracking them.
Read This: “Now, Mr. Hussain’s improbable journey — from asylum-seeking immigrant to petty criminal to trusted ally of government prosecutors, has taken yet another turn.” — from a look at Pakistan native Shahed Hussain, the owner of the limousine that crashed in New York state last weekend, killing 20.
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Clean solar energy is hitting more roofs in low-income American neighborhoods thanks to dropping prices, increased private sector involvement and a plethora of public programs. A decade ago there were virtually no government initiatives providing solar power to low- and middle-income communities. Now there are at least 35 local programs nationwide, even while the federal government slashes funding for renewable energy research and slaps imported solar components with tariffs. And private sector businesses are also finding lucrative ways to expand into previously untapped markets and communities.
The virus has affected 22 people in Jaipur, in the western state of Rajasthan, while northeastern Bihar is also on high alert after one infected person visited. Indian scientists say this time they’ve detected Zika, first spread by Aedes mosquitoes in the Americas in 2015, in the insects themselves, not just patients. While symptoms aren’t noticeable in most victims, the disease can occasionally cause paralysis and can lead to severe birth defects. Those visiting affected areas are advised to protect themselves by covering up and using insect repellent.
Artists and presenters at last night’s politically charged ceremony made sure viewers know that midterms are coming Nov. 6. Accepting his soul/R&B male artist honors, Khalid gave a shout-out to fellow musician Rep. Beto O’Rourke, GOP Sen. Ted Cruz’s rival. Host Tracee Ellis Ross wore an “I am a voter” T-shirt. And Taylor Swift, who recently endorsed Tennessee Democrats for the Senate and House, urged the audience to “get out and vote.” Swift took home three AMAs, bringing her career total to 23 and breaking Whitney Houston’s record for the most wins by a female artist.
The oil and gas giant announced Tuesday it would donate $1 million to a political campaign aiming to tax carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel production. While it seems counterintuitive to join solar, nuclear and wind energy producers in the effort, Exxon — facing lawsuits over its role in climate change — has long said it favors collecting carbon taxes instead of imposing other environmental regulations. It’s the first time a major U.S. petroleum company has financed such lobbying, which could help shift energy production away from coal toward cleaner-burning gas.
They’re king of the hill. Boston was up 4-1 entering the ninth inning, needing just three outs to advance, but proceeded to load the bases and give up two runs. The Sox were finally rescued by Eduardo Nunez, already credited with driving in two runs earlier, who made a lightning throw from third to first to end the game at 4-3. Now Boston will host Houston in ALCS Game 1 Saturday, the day after the Brewers and Dodgers begin slugging it out for the NL title.