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World stocks mixed...Drilling restrictions

UNDATED (AP) — Stocks are mixed in Europe and Asia as markets focus on the Federal Reserve policy meeting that ends today. Shares have advanced in Paris and Tokyo but are down in London and Hong Kong. Investors are weighing solid corporate earnings results against growing concerns over the pandemic. Many large companies are reporting this week from all parts of the economy, including American Express, Johnson & Johnson, Apple and General Electric. The Fed is expected to keep its extremely supportive policy stance unchanged given the slow progress in vanquishing the pandemic.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to announce a wide-ranging moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on U.S. lands and waters, as his administration moves quickly to reverse Trump administration policies on energy and the environment and address climate change. The plan is expected to be announced Wednesday. The move follows a 60-day suspension of new drilling permits for U.S. lands and waters announced last week and follows Biden’s campaign pledge to halt new drilling on federal lands and water as part of his plan to address climate change.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to reopen the insurance markets for a special sign-up opportunity geared to people needing coverage in the coronavirus pandemic. Biden is expected to sign an executive order Thursday. Although the number of uninsured Americans has grown because of job losses due to the economic hit of COVID-19, the Trump administration resisted calls to authorize a “special enrollment period” for people uninsured in the pandemic.

PARIS (AP) — French drug maker Sanofi says it will help manufacture 125 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by rivals Pfizer and BioNTech, while its own vaccine candidate faces delays. The Germany-based BioNTech will initially produce the vaccines at Sanofi facilities in Frankfurt. The company did not reveal financial details. The French government has been pressing Sanofi to use its facilities to help produce rival vaccines, given the high demand and problems with supplies. Sanofi will start a new trial next month of the vaccine it’s developing with British partner GlaxoSmithKline, which isn’t expected to be available until the end of the year.

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is enlisting the help of robots to keep up with a surge in online orders. The company says it plans to build warehouses at its stores where self-driving robots will fetch groceries and have them ready for shoppers to pick up in less than an hour. Walmart declined to say how many of the warehouses it will build, but construction has started at stores in Lewisville, Texas; Plano, Texas; American Fork, Utah; and Bentonville, Arkansas, where Walmart’s corporate offices are based.

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