Pharmaceuticals

Report: Bayer, Monsanto merger approved

German drug and pesticides group Bayer AG has reached a deal with the U.S. Justice Department for antitrust approval for its $62.5 billion bid to acquire Monsanto Co. by agreeing to sell additional assets, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. The Justice Department reached an agreement in principle with the two companies in recent days, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. Under the deal, Bayer agreed to sell additional seed and treatment assets to BASF SE and agreed to make concessions related to digital agriculture, the Journal said. Shares of Monsanto, the world's biggest seed company, closed up 6.2 percent, to $125.15.

Stocks

Indexes rise, but big gains slip away

U.S. stock indexes finished a bit higher Monday as investors let go of some of their fears about a possible trade war between the U.S. and China. Stocks climbed higher and higher in the first hours of trading, and in the early afternoon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 440 points. But stocks have repeatedly changed course as investors tried to guess the outcome of the U.S.-China trade dispute, and they did it again Monday afternoon. The S&P 500 index gained 8.69 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,613.16. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 46.34 points, or 0.2 percent, to 23,979.10. The Nasdaq composite jumped 35.23 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,950.34. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks added 1.17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,514.46.

Food and Drink

One dead in 8-state salmonella breakout

Chicken salad contaminated with salmonella bacteria made by an Iowa food processing company and distributed by Fareway Stores has sickened 265 people in eight states and caused one death in Iowa. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the outbreak which sickened people from early January through mid-March appears to have ended. Food safety attorney Bill Marler of Seattle said he and Iowa lawyer Steve Wandro represent 48 people filing lawsuits against Triple T Specialty Meats of Ackley, Iowa, which made the chicken salad and Fareway, based in Boone, Iowa. The CDC said 240 were sickened in Iowa and one person died. Illinois reported 10 cases. Other states included Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

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