U.S. manufacturing slowed in June

U.S. factory activity grew at a slower pace in June for the third straight month as measures of new orders and inventories fell.

The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said Monday that its manufacturing index slipped to 51.7 last month from 52.1 in May. Any reading above 50 signals an expansion.

While the sector is still growing, the report pointed to an ongoing weakening in U.S. manufacturing. A measure of new orders dropped to 50, which means they were unchanged. Manufacturers are also holding fewer supplies, a sign they are worried demand could slow further.

The ISM surveys purchasing managers at manufacturing firms, nearly half of whom said trade policy was negatively affecting their businesses.

There were some positive signs: Production and employment increased at a faster pace in June.

— Associated Press

Spotify to end direct uploads from artists

Spotify Technology is shutting down a program that allowed independent artists to upload their music directly to the music streaming service, a win for record labels and smaller distributors.

The online service will stop accepting any new uploads through Spotify for Artists, and artists will need to move their already released content to another provider, the company said Monday in a blog post.

Spotify launched the program almost a year ago, acting essentially as a label for artists who didn’t have major backing and offering them a larger share of the royalties that their songs produce. The move was also a way for the service to keep more of its revenue and narrow its losses, which are driven by high content costs.

While Spotify’s growth has buoyed the entire music industry, the push into additional services for artists has complicated its negotiations for continued access to songs from major labels, which viewed the effort as a way to cut their share of sales.

— Bloomberg News

Suit seeks to cancel Keystone XL permits

Environmentalists are asking a federal judge to cancel permits and other approvals issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

Attorneys for the Northern Plains Resource Council, Sierra Club and other groups filed the latest lawsuit against the long-delayed pipeline on Monday in Montana.

The groups claim the Army Corps did not examine the potential for oil spills and other environmental damages when it approved plans by pipeline developer TC Energy. The line would cross hundreds of waterways along a 1,184-mile path from Canada to Nebraska.

An appeals court last month lifted an injunction that blocked construction of the project.

— Associated Press

Also in Business

Chubb will stop underwriting the construction or operation of new coal-fired plants to fight climate change, the insurer said Monday. Chubb will also stop underwriting or making new debt or equity investments in companies that derive more than 30 percent of their revenue from coal-mining or energy production from coal, it said in a statement. Insurance coverage for firms that exceed that threshold will be phased out by 2022, Zurich-based Chubb said.

N.Y. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday ordered a state agency to investigate reports that state-regulated advertisers were using Facebook’s advertising platform in a discriminatory manner. Cuomo (D) cited reports that said the social network allows advertisers to modify or block ads using Zip code information to exclude consumers based on race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, sex and disability, among other classifications.

Exxon Mobil said Monday that lower natural gas and chemical margins in its second quarter would offset improved crude and refining operations, pointing to flat profits sequentially and down from a year earlier. The U.S. oil major said in a filing that it expected change in crude prices to boost second-quarter profit by $400 million to $600 million. However, gas prices, which have dropped to multiyear lows in the face of tepid demand, were expected to offset it by an equal measure.

— From news reports

Coming today

All day: Automakers release June vehicle sales numbers.