NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed mostly lower Tuesday, with the S&P posting its first decline after seven consecutive gains. It slipped 0.2% and the Dow fell 0.6%. Bond prices rose, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury to its lowest level since February. Oil prices pulled back after jumping overnight when talks among members of the OPEC cartel and allied oil producing countries broke off amid a standoff with the United Arab Emirates over production levels.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon said it has canceled a cloud-computing contract with Microsoft that could eventually have been worth $10 billion. It will instead pursue a deal with both Microsoft and Amazon and possibly other cloud service providers. The Pentagon said in a statement that the JEDI Cloud contract, which has long been delayed, “no longer meets the requirements to fill the DoD’s capability gaps.” The statement did not directly mention that the Pentagon faced extended legal challenges by Amazon, which argued that the Microsoft award was tainted by politics, particularly then-President Donald Trump’s antagonism toward Amazon’s chief executive officer, Jeff Bezos.
UNDATED (AP) — The company whose software was exploited in the biggest global ransomware attack on record says it so far it appears that fewer than 1,500 businesses were compromised. But cybersecurity experts suspect the estimate is low and note that victims are still being identified. The ransomware was spread Friday to victims in at least 17 countries from a compromised server of the Miami-based company Kaseya. The company’s tool that hackers exploited manages networks and is designed to protect them from malware. The Russia-linked ransomware gang behind the attack cleverly used it to distribute software that scrambles data that the criminals unlock only after receiving an extortion payment.
UNDATED (AP) —Zimbabwe has returned to strict lockdown measures to combat a resurgence of COVID-19 amid vaccine shortages. Infections have dramatically increased in recent weeks despite a night curfew, reduced business hours, localized lockdowns in hotspot areas, and bans on inter-city travel. A government spokeswoman says virus has spread to rural areas which have sparse health facilities. Zimbabwe is one of more than 14 African countries where the delta variant is quickly spreading. The delta variant was first identified in India.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Biden administration plans to issue a new rule to protect the rights of farmers who raise cows, chickens and hogs against the country’s largest meat processors as part of a plan to encourage more competition in agriculture. It will make it easier for farmers to sue companies they contract with over unfair practices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is also expected to tighten the definition of what it means for meat to be labeled a “Product of USA” to exclude animals that are raised abroad but processed in the United States. A USDA official familiar with the White House’s plan says an executive order will be announced this week that will clear the way for the new rules.
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