Egg prices continue to rise in wake of flu
Egg prices have surged higher as the death of millions of hens from bird flu is beginning to tighten supplies. The Midwest price of a dozen large eggs rose to $1.88. That's 58 percent higher than they were a month ago when the bird flu first hit Iowa chicken farms. Prices have been climbing at a rate of about 5 percent a day for the past week as supplies become tighter. Rick Brown, an egg industry analyst with commodity market firm Urner Barry, says it's because 10 percent of chickens that lay eggs for food are dead or dying from bird flu.
Stock market mostly flat amid light trading
The stock market slipped back from its latest record high in a listless day of trading. Oil companies and drillers tugged major indexes down as the price of crude oil dropped for a fifth day straight. Major indexes headed lower at the opening of trading, wavered between tiny gains and losses throughout the morning then spent much of the afternoon sitting still. The S&P 500 lost 1.37 points, a sliver of a percent, to 2,127.83. The Nasdaq composite dipped 8.41 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,070.03. The Dow Jones industrial average managed a slight gain, edging up 13.51 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,312.39. That marked the fourth straight daily gain for the Dow.
Japanese economy grew at 2.4% rate in 1Q
Japan said its economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 2.4 percent annual rate in the first quarter, thanks largely to a rebound in housing construction. Economists expect the pace of growth to slow, however, in the second quarter due to anemic corporate investment and public spending. The government reported that preliminary estimates show the world's third-biggest economy expanded 0.6 percent from the previous quarter. It was the second straight quarter of growth following a recession in mid-2014 brought on by a sales tax hike that crippled private demand.
Financial panel warns of cyberattack risk
The panel created to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis said banks and other financial institutions are stronger now but regulators must remain alert to new risks including the danger posed from cyberattack. In its annual report to Congress, the Financial Stability Oversight Council said recent cyberattacks have heightened concerns about the potential of even more destructive attacks that could significantly disrupt the workings of the financial system. It said that greater attention must be paid to developing ways to combat computer hackers and it urged greater collaboration among financial institutions and government agencies.
Cuba said to sign up with U.S. bank
Cuba has established a banking relationship in the U.S., clearing another major obstacle to the countries re-establishing diplomatic relations, a senior State Department official said. The official refused to identify the bank, though news reports had suggested Cuba was negotiating with a Florida-based financial institution. The Cuban government will make an announcement soon, said the U.S. official, who wasn't authorized to be quoted by name and briefed reporters anonymously. There was no immediate response from Cuba's government.
UPS agrees to $25 million settlement
United Parcel Service Co. agreed to pay more than $25 million to settle complaints that it kept false records to hide late deliveries and collect more for overnight packages to government customers. The Department of Justice said the payment settles a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former UPS employee, who will get $3.75 million. A UPS spokeswoman said the company still disputes the government's claim but settled the case to avoid long and expensive litigation. The settlement does not include an admission of liability by UPS, said the spokeswoman, Susan Rosenberg.
U.S. seeks $25 million from PayPal
Federal regulators are proposing that PayPal Inc. pay $25 million to resolve allegations that it illegally signed up customers for its online credit product, used misleading advertising and mishandled billing disputes. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced its proposed consent order against the digital payments processor. If the order is approved by a federal judge in Maryland, PayPal would refund $15 million to customers and pay a $10 million fine. PayPal, based in San Jose, Calif., is a division of eBay Inc.