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Associate of Trump Confidant Roger Stone Rejects Mueller Plea Deal

Associate of Trump Confidant Roger Stone Rejects Mueller Plea Deal

An associate of Trump confidant Roger Stone has told news organizations that he is rejecting a plea offer in the special counsel’s Russia investigation and more in Tuesday’s Markets In Brief.

Jerome Corsi said in interviews with NBC, CNN and other outlets he was offered a chance to plead guilty to one count of perjury. But he says he plans to reject the deal because it would force him to admit to willfully lying, which he says he didn’t do.

Corsi did not respond Monday to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment. His lawyer declined to comment.

Mueller’s team questioned Corsi as part of an investigation into Stone’s connections with WikiLeaks. American intelligence agencies have assessed that Russia was the source of hacked material released by WikiLeaks during the 2016 election that damaged Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

MARKETS IN BRIEF

CVS, Aetna Draw Closer to Closing $69B Combination

Shares of CVS Health and Aetna are rising with the companies now saying they expect to close their $69 billion tie-up later this week.

The companies say in regulatory filings that they have the final regulatory approval needed and expect to close on or around Wednesday.

CVS Health Corp. had told investors earlier this month that it expected to close the deal for the nation’s third-largest health insurer before Thanksgiving. But its shares slipped last week after the drugstore chain and pharmacy benefit manager said it still lacked approval from two states.

The companies plan to dive deeper into providing care with help from CVS’s nearly 10,000 locations.

Shares of CVS Health advanced nearly 4 percent, while Aetna Inc. climbed more than 2 percent in morning trading.

Fox Begins Digital Service for People Who Want More Opinion

The new streaming service Fox Nation that launches Tuesday is aimed at people who don’t think Fox News Channel offers enough opinion.

Fox is becoming the latest television news operation to stake out digital turf. Its new subscription-based service is designed to roll out most of its new offerings in daytime hours, after “Fox & Friends” and before the prime-time lineup of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

Besides the known Fox personalities, Fox Nation will feature conservative firebrand Tomi Lahren and a show called “UN-PC” hosted by Britt McHenry and Tyus.

Fox is hoping that its loyal fans will pay six dollars a month to keep the opinions flowing.

Campbell Soup Adding 2 Board Members After Investor Fight

Campbell Soup Co. said Monday that it will add two members to its board in a compromise with an activist investor.

The new directors on the 14-member board are backed by Third Point, a New York investment firm that owns 7 percent of Campbell’s shares.

Third Point waged a months-long campaign against the 149-year-old company and its leadership, including three descendants of Campbell’s founder who sit on the board. Campbell’s U.S. soup sales were down 8 percent in its 2018 fiscal year as customers have sought fresher alternatives.

The change will give Third Point more input in Campbell’s current CEO search. In exchange, Third Point will withdraw its slate of five board candidates and halt its campaign for 12 months.

Shareholders will consider the change Thursday at Campbell’s annual meeting.

Shares in the company based in Camden, New Jersey, were down 3.7 percent to $39.03 in afternoon trading.

Produce Industry Expects to Ship Some Romaine Again Soon

A produce industry group says it expects U.S. health officials to scale back a public health alert warning people not to eat any romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak.

Jennifer McEntire of the United Fresh Produce Association says the Food and Drug Administration informed the group that a narrower alert would be announced as early as Monday. She says special labeling would be required for the romaine given clearance to go on the market.

Health officials warned people last week not to eat any romaine because they hadn’t yet identified a source of contamination in the outbreak.

When the reported illnesses started, most the romaine sold in the U.S. was being grown in central California. Harvests recently began shifting to southern California and the Yuma, Arizona, region.

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