Tech companies lower…Envoys hail Brexit progress but no Irish border breakthrough…Volkswagen to build new SUV in US

NEW YORK (AP) — A sharp loss for Facebook is helping to pull technology companies lower as stock indexes decline in early trading. Facebook is facing new criticism following reports that a data mining firm employed by the Trump campaign improperly kept data on tens of millions of users. As 10:24 a.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 fell 23 points, to 2,729. The Dow lost 209 points, to 24,735. And the Nasdaq fell 93 points, to 7,389. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.86 percent.

BRUSSELS (AP) —Negotiators from the EU and Britain are hailing major progress in the Brexit talks, but they concede that there has been no breakthrough on keeping open the Irish border. Britain is due to leave the European Union at the end of March 2019, but Brexit talks must be concluded by this fall to let national parliaments ratify any deal. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier also says the two sides have reached an agreement on a transition period to help ease Britain out of the EU.

NEW YORK (AP) — Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is jumping in to the fight for control over Newell Brands, buying a minority stake in the consumer products company that has been targeted by activist investor Starboard Value LP. Newell says it’s struck a deal in which Icahn will nominate four people to its board, including his son, Brett Icahn. Shares of Newell Brands Inc., based in Hoboken, New Jersey, jumped more than 4 percent before the opening bell today.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Volkswagen plans to build a new five-passenger SUV in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to a person briefed on details, the company will invest $340 million to bring the vehicle to market. The German automaker plans to make an announcement this morning. Volkswagen describes the vehicle as a variant of the seven-passenger Atlas, designed and engineered for the American market. The Chattanooga plant also manufactures the Passat and the Atlas.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A key executive behind Amazon Go, the online leader’s cashier-less grocery store, says she’s surprised how many customers have been hesitant to just walk out the store. Gianna Puerini, vice president of Amazon Go, which opened a store in Seattle in January, says consumers had to learn new behaviors. That was one of the insights she and another executive shared at Shoptalk, a retail industry event that kicked off its four-day run Sunday.

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