Business Briefs – June 19, 2018

GE To End More Than 100-Year Run on Dow; Walgreens Added

LOS ANGELES (AP) — General Electric will be dropped from the Dow Jones Industrial Average next week, ending the industrial conglomerate’s position in the 30-company blue chip index after more than 100 years. S&P Dow Jones Indices said Tuesday that GE will be removed from the index before the open of trading next Tuesday. Its slot will go to drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Iran Rebuffs Trump’s Call for OPEC to Increase Oil Output

VIENNA (AP) — Iran has rebuffed U.S. President Donald Trump’s call on OPEC to increase production this week and limit global energy prices. The oil ministers of the OPEC cartel began arriving in Vienna on Tuesday ahead of an official meeting Friday. They will also confer with Russia, a non-OPEC country that since late 2016 has cooperated with the cartel to limit production. Iran’s oil minister said OPEC “is not an American organization.”

U.S. Housing Starts Jumped 5 Pct. In May Off Midwest Building

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge of construction in the Midwest drove U.S. housing starts up 5 percent in May from the prior month. The Commerce Department says housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.35 million, the strongest pace since July 2007. All of May’s construction gains came from a 62 percent jump in the Midwest, while building slumped in the Northeast, South and West.

Meat 2.0? Clean Meat? Spat Shows The Power of Food Wording

NEW YORK (AP) — Who gets to use the word “meat”? Cattle ranchers are fighting to “protect beef nomenclature” from a growing number of meat alternatives. That includes trying to thwart efforts to popularize the term “clean meat” to describe meat grown by replicating animal cells.

Ford, VW Study Commercial Vehicle Alliance That Could Grow

DETROIT (AP) — Ford and Volkswagen are exploring joint development of future commercial vehicles in a possible alliance that could lead to cooperation in other areas.

The companies announced the collaboration in a statement on Tuesday. They said that any alliance would not involve cross ownership stakes or including stock.

VW and Ford say an alliance would strengthen each company’s competitiveness and better serve global customers. Ford would not give specifics about other areas for collaboration.