Business News

Aug 29, 6:08 PM EDT

Business Highlights


WASHINGTON (AP) -- ---

Mylan launching cheaper, generic version of EpiPen

The maker of EpiPens will start selling a cheaper, generic version of the emergency allergy shots as the furor over repeated U.S. price hikes continues - and looming competition threatens its near-monopoly.

Mylan N.V. has faced intense criticism for hiking the price for the potentially life-saving drug more than 500 percent after acquiring the product in 2007.

The company said Monday it will begin selling its generic version for $300 for a pair of EpiPens, in doses for adults or children.

---

Takata troubles worsen as truck explodes, kills Texas woman

DETROIT (AP) - Air bag maker Takata Corp.'s troubles worsened Monday as the company confirmed that a truck carrying its inflators and a volatile chemical exploded last week in a Texas border town, killing a woman and injuring four others.

The truck, operated by a subcontractor, crashed, caught fire and exploded Aug. 22 in the small town of Quemado, leveling the woman's house. The company says it sent people to the site and is helping authorities investigate the crash.

Takata has a warehouse in nearby Eagle Pass, Texas, and it has an air bag inflator factory across the border in Monclova, Mexico.

---

Apple expected to show new iPhone at event next week

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Apple is expected to show off a new iPhone next week when the company holds its fall product launch event in San Francisco.

The tech giant announced the date for the Sept. 7 launch on Monday.

Apple didn't provide any details, in keeping with its usual practice, but it traditionally announces one or two new iPhone models at its annual event.

The company sold more than 214 million iPhones over the last 12 months but sales are down from a year ago.

---

Over 40 pct. of VW owners seek emissions cheating settlement

DETROIT (AP) - About 210,000 owners of Volkswagens with 2-liter diesel engines that cheat on emissions tests have registered to settle with the company under the terms of a June court agreement.

The figure was revealed in a federal court motion by class action attorneys seeking final approval of the settlement involving 475,000 owners. It says only 235 have asked to stay out of the settlement and pursue legal action on their own. Another 110 objections to the settlement were filed.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer has given the $15 billion settlement preliminary approval, with a final decision expected Oct. 18.

---

American's No. 2 executive departs for United Airlines

DALLAS (AP) - The president at American Airlines is leaving to take the same job with rival United Airlines.

United Continental Holdings Inc. said Monday that Scott Kirby has been named president and will oversee operations, sales and other duties. Kirby, 49, was often seen as a likely successor to American Airlines CEO Doug Parker.

Instead, he will add airline-industry expertise to United's management.

---

US consumer spending posts slower growth in July

WASHINGTON (AP) - American consumers boosted spending at a slower pace in July, while their incomes accelerated slightly.

Spending grew 0.3 percent in July following a 0.5 percent increase in June, the Commerce Department reported Monday. The slowdown had been expected given an earlier report that retail sales were flat in July.

Economists are counting on solid gains in consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, to power overall growth in the second half of the year.

---

Banks lead gains on Wall Street on hopes for higher rates

NEW YORK (AP) - Banks led the stock market higher Monday as investors anticipate that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates this year from their historically low levels. That could help banks recover from a long slump by making lending more profitable.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a conference last week that the case for raising rates was strengthening given improvements in the economy. Raising interest rates from their rock-bottom levels, where they have been since the 2008 financial crisis, could be a good thing not only for markets but for savers.

---

FAA forecast: 600,000 commercial drones within the year

WASHINGTON (AP) - There will be 600,000 commercial drone aircraft operating in the U.S. within the year as the result of new safety rules that opened the skies to them on Monday, according to a Federal Aviation Administration estimate.

Commercial operators initially complained that the new rules would be too rigid. The agency responded by creating a system to grant exemptions to some of the rules for companies that show they can operate safely.

On the first day the rules were in effect the FAA had already granted 76 exemptions, most of them to companies that want to fly drones at night.

---

Mondelez says it ended talks to buy Hershey

NEW YORK (AP) - Mondelez says it has ended discussions to buy The Hershey Co, a combination that would have created a global powerhouse selling some of the world's best known chocolates and snacks.

Hershey said in June that it rejected a preliminary takeover bid from Mondelez International Inc. valued at roughly $22.3 billion. At the time, it said that the offer provided "no basis for further discussion." A representative for Hershey did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

---

FBI warns of possible state election-system hacks

NEW YORK (AP) - The FBI is warning state officials to boost their election security in light of evidence that hackers breached related data systems in two states.

In a confidential "flash" alert from its cyber division, first reported by Yahoo News and posted online by others, the FBI said it's investigating the pair of incidents and advised states to scan their systems for specific signs of hacking.

The FBI said Monday that it doesn't comment on specific alerts, but added that it routinely sends out advisories to private industry about signs of cyber threats that it comes across in its investigations.

---

Pennsylvania firm launches Zika vaccine trial in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - A Pennsylvania drug company announced Monday that it has launched a clinical trial of an experimental Zika vaccine in Puerto Rico, the part of the U.S. hardest hit by the mosquito-borne virus.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. will be testing its DNA-based vaccine candidate on 160 adult volunteers in Puerto Rico. If the results are promising, the company would meet with regulators next year to discuss plans to develop the vaccine, CEO J. Joseph Kim said.

The search for a vaccine is particularly relevant in Puerto Rico, which as of Friday had reported more than 14,000 cases, including 1,244 among pregnant women.

---

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 107.59 points, or 0.6 percent, to 18,502.99. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 11.34 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,180.38. The Nasdaq composite edged up 13.41 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,232.33.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 66 cents to $46.98 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price oil internationally, lost 66 cents to $49.26 a barrel. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline fell 5 cents to $1.47 a gallon, heating oil fell 1 cent to $1.49 a gallon and natural gas fell 2 cents to $2.85 per 1,000 cubic feet.

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.