US Stock market closed lowest level of June

U.S. stocks closed solidly lower on Wednesday, with the losses driven by a pronounced drop in large-capitalization technology and internet stocks, while the S&P 500 closed below a closely watched technical level, which could be a sign that the recent weakness in stocks isn’t over yet.

Sentiment was once again driven by uncertainty over trade policy, and while major indexes opened higher, they turned negative in midday trading, with selling accelerating throughout the session and major indexes closing at their lowest levels of the month.

Samsung and Apple: The end of war

The biggest patent battle of the modern technology world has finally come to an end after seven years.

Apple and Samsung told a judge Wednesday they’d resolved the first filed but last remaining of the legal disputes that once spanned four continents and started in 2011 after Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder died.

While the overall Smartphone Wars included every major maker of mobile devices, the fight between Apple and Samsung was the most intense. The ensuing litigation cost each company hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees, and tested their reputations as innovators.

The smartphone wars follow a long America tradition of patent disputes whenever there are dramatic innovations in an industry, whether it be sewing machines, airplanes, radios, computers or diapers. Companies use their patents to slow down the growth of their rivals, for bragging rights or to force competitors to change their products.

The technology landscape has shifted significantly since the dispute began. Apple has expanded its iPhone lineup to include more expensive as well as cheaper models. It’s also revamped the phone’s interface with new icons, colors and gestures. Samsung has added new models with curved screens and iris scanners that Apple has eschewed.

In the first quarter this year, Apple held 16 percent of the smartphone market, while Samsung accounted for 23 percent, as analysts said.

BP plc ready to acquire the UK’s largest electric vehicle company

Energy major BP is making another bet on electric cars, announcing on Thursday the acquisition of the operator of the UK’s largest charging network.

Buying Chargemaster is the latest in a string of investments by traditional oil majors aimed at building up a position in the EV market. Energy sector analysts say the rise of such cars could trigger a decline in oil demand as its role as the world’s major transport fuel is challenged.

The British oil major entered into an agreement to buy Chargemaster, which has 6,500 charging points across the U.K. It didn’t disclose terms of the deal, but BP has previously said it plans to spend about $500 million a year on clean energy.

Integrated oil companies are facing rising pressure from investors and activists to prepare for a future with declining fossil fuel demand. The firm has acknowledged it moved too soon into the nascent market back then, but now sees significant growth in alternative energy. BP estimates there will be 12 million electric vehicles on U.K. roads in 2040, up from just 135,000 on U.K. roads last year: less than 0.1 percent of the total, according to government data. Access to convenient and fast chargers will be key to increased adoption of the technology, the company said.