Store Highlights: Walmart billing, wholesale pricing

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Walmart offers to pay $3.1 billion to settle opioid lawsuits

Walmart has agreed to pay $3.1 billion to resolve nationwide lawsuits over the impact of its dispensaries’ prescriptions for strong prescription opioid pain relievers. The agreement still needs to be approved by 43 countries before it can come into force. It also includes $78 million for Native American tribes. Pharmacy chains CVS Health and Walgreen Co. each said they would pay about $5 billion over time to settle their lawsuits. All in all, the opioid crisis has been linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the US over the past two decades. Other major drug manufacturers and distributors have already reached settlements in some cases.

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Walmart reports strong third quarter and announces opioid transaction

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart reported higher sales in its fiscal third quarter as more Americans seek to cut spending amid high inflation. Also on Tuesday, Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, agreed to pay $3.1 billion to settle nationwide lawsuits over the effects of prescriptions that filled its dispensaries with strong prescription opioid pain relievers. The agreement still needs to be approved by 43 countries to go into effect. The settlement is similar to that previously announced by CVS Health and Walgreen. Walmart’s revenue rose 8.7% to $152.81 billion. ___

US wholesale inflation falls to 8%, fourth straight slowdown

WASHINGTON (AP) – Wholesale prices rose 8% year-on-year in October, the fourth straight decline and the latest sign that inflationary pressures in the United States are easing from painfully high levels. The annual figure is down from 8.4% in September. On a monthly basis, the government said on Tuesday its producer price index, which measures costs before they reach consumers, rose 0.2% in October from September. That was the same as the previous month, which was revised down from an initial read of 0.4%.

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Stocks are higher on the slowdown in inflation data after a day of ups and downs

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks closed higher, helped by further signs that the country’s high inflation may be coming down faster than expected. But a flare-up of worries about the war in Ukraine rocked Wall Street on Tuesday, eroding much of its big morning gains. The S&P 500 rose 0.9%. Earlier in the day, it saw a 1.8% gain disappear and briefly swung to a 0.1% loss. As the market wobbled, tech stocks continued to lead Wall Street on hopes that the Federal Reserve could ease the pace of its rate hikes, which could dampen inflation by slowing the economy.

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The size and scope of the FTX outage is becoming clearer as users fear the worst

NEW YORK (AP) – Just days after the collapse of the third largest cryptocurrency exchange, the public is beginning to get a sense of just how messy FTX’s bankruptcy case could be. Users are left frustratingly in the dark about when, if ever, they might be able to get their money back. They direct much of their anger at FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. In a court filing, FTX’s lawyers said there were already more than 100,000 lawsuits against the company and estimated the number could grow to more than 1 million, most of them customers, once the case is settled.

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Consumer Reports survey: Hybrids are the most reliable vehicles

DETROIT (AP) – Gasoline-electric hybrids were the most reliable vehicles sold in the U.S. last year, while large pickup trucks and all-electric cars fared worst in Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey. The nonprofit group said Tuesday that hybrids are generally tried-and-true designs with few frills while automakers stuff faulty electronic features into expensive new pickups and electric vehicles. Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, says hybrid vehicles have been around for more than two decades. He says although they’re switching between electric and petrol powertrains, they don’t have a lot of the technology or complex multi-speed transmissions that have caused problems in other vehicles.

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Trump Org.’s longtime CFO testifies in company’s fraud trial

NEW YORK (AP) – The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer has testified in court that he saved her hundreds of thousands of dollars by plotting to evade taxes on company-paid perks, including a Manhattan apartment and luxury cars. Prosecutor’s key witness Allen Weisselberg says he deducted such expenses from his salary because they would have cost the company about half what it would have taken to earn a pay rise. Weisselberg pleaded guilty in August to evading $1.7 million in benefits taxes, an agreement that obliges him to testify against the company in exchange for a five-month jail sentence. The Trump Organization has denied wrongdoing. His lawyers claim that Weisselberg hatched the plan himself.

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Estee Lauder wants to buy Tom Ford for $2.8 billion

Estee Lauder has acquired luxury powerhouse Tom Ford in a deal worth $2.8 billion. As part of the agreement, Ermenegildo Zegna Group and Marcolin will enter into long-term licensing agreements for Tom Ford fashion and Tom Ford eyewear, respectively. Estée Lauder is expected to pay around $2.3 billion after Italian eyewear maker Marcolin SpA paid $250 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Tom Ford, Founder and CEO of Tom Ford International, will remain the brand’s creative visionary upon completion and through the end of calendar year 2023. Domenico De Sole, chairman of Tom Ford International, will stay on as a consultant until then.

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The S&P 500 gained 34.48 points, or 0.9%, to 3,991.73. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56.22 points, or 0.2%, to 33,592.92. The Nasdaq rose 162.19 points, or 1.4%, to 11,358.41. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 27.95 points, or 1.5%, to 1,889.20.

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