Stocks slide…Obama issues order for federal contractors…$1M won’t buy much in San Francisco

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are sharply lower on Wall Street following some weak corporate earnings. Exxon Mobil and Whole Foods are among the stocks slumping. Two hours before the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 220 points. European markets also fell today as evidence mounted that the standoff between the West and Russia over Ukraine is hurting the region’s economy. And Argentina’s stock market plunged 7 percent after the South American nation defaulted on its debt for the second time in 13 years.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says federal contractors that violate labor laws shouldn’t get a competitive advantage over companies that play by the rules. Obama is signing an executive order requiring contractors to give their workers more rights in labor disputes. The order requires companies to disclose labor violations when they’re seeking lucrative government contracts. It also helps workers address grievances over pay, sexual assault or harassment.

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge has ruled against Microsoft, saying U.S. law enforcement can force the company to turn over emails that it stores in Ireland. The federal judge in New York ruled today after hearing oral arguments but agreed to stay the effect of her ruling to give the company time to appeal. Microsoft has said rulings forcing it to turn over emails threaten to rewrite the Constitution’s protections against illegal search and seizure and damage U.S. foreign relations. Its arguments were joined by Apple, Cisco Systems, Verizon Communications and AT&T.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A research firm says a record number of million-dollar homes were sold in the San Francisco Bay Area during the second quarter. CoreLogic DataQuick says more than 5,700 homes sold for at least $1 million from April through June, the highest since the Irvine, California-based firm began collecting data in 1988. More than 1,100 homes sold for at least $2 million in the nine-county region, also a record. Prices are highest in San Francisco, where the median sales price hit $1 million last month.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld Entertainment are ending their 25-year-old marketing partnership at the end of the year. SeaWorld says the decision was mutual. A Southwest spokeswoman says the airline intends to focus on international service. Earlier this year, animal rights activists opposed to keeping killer whales captive held a rally and dropped off a petition at Southwest urging the airline to end the relationship.

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