Business Briefs – May 26, 2019

CEOs Get $800,000 Pay Raise, Leaving Workers Further Behind

NEW YORK (AP) – Pay for CEOs at the biggest U.S. companies climbed 7% last year, widening the chasm between the top executives and their workers, whose pay didn’t rise as quickly. Chief executives at S&P 500 companies earned a median of $12 million last year, roughly $800,000 more than the same group of CEOs made the year before. The median raise for the typical worker at these companies, meanwhile, was 3% last year, less than half the bump for their bosses.

China Ramps Up War of Rhetoric In Trade Standoff With U.S.

BEIJING (AP) – Chinese officials and state media have stepped up their propaganda offensive in the tariffs standoff with Washington. The China Daily newspaper accused the U.S. of seeking to “colonize global business” by targeting telecom equipment giant Huawei and other Chinese companies. There has been no word from either side of progress toward resuming talks on ending a tariff war between the world’s two largest economies.

FDA Approves $2M Medicine, Most Expensive Ever

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. regulators have approved the most expensive medicine ever, a gene therapy meant to cure a disorder that rapidly destroys a baby’s muscle control and kills most within a couple years. The one-time gene therapy developed by Novartis will cost $2.125 million. It treats a rare condition called spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, which strikes about 400 babies born in the U.S. each year.

Pennsylvania Accuses Financial Firms of Bond Price-Fixing

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s treasury department is accusing about a dozen large financial firms of inflating the price of bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over seven years. Thursday night’s federal court filing by Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella cites what his office says is evidence from a “cooperating co-conspirator” in a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into price-fixing in the secondary market for bonds issued by government-controlled companies.

United Airlines Extends Cancellation of Boeing Max Flights

CHICAGO (AP) – United Airlines is extending the cancellation of flights using the Boeing 737 Max by another month, into early August. Airlines don’t know how long it will take regulators to approve fixes that Boeing is making to critical software on the plane. The Max has been grounded worldwide since two crashes that together killed 346 people.

U.S. Orders for Long-Lasting Goods Fall 2.1% in April

WASHINGTON (AP) – Orders to U.S. factories for large manufactured goods fell sharply last month, pulled down by lower demand for commercial aircraft and cars. The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods — or items meant to last at least three years — fell 2.1%, after rising 1.7% in March.