Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Business Highlights

by Associated Press

Apple reaches $2 trillion market value as tech fortunes soar

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Apple has become the first U.S. company to boast a market value of $2 trillion as technology continues to reshape a world where smartphones are like appendages and digital services are like instruments orchestrating people’s lives. The iPhone maker reached the $2 trillion milestone in Wednesday’s stock market trading, just two years after Apple became the first U.S. company with a $1 trillion market value. It comes amid a devastating pandemic that has shoved the economy into a deep recession. Despite the tough times, many analysts believe Amazon, Microsoft and Google’s corporate parent could soon join apple in the $2 trillion club.

Target sales surge as Americans lean on big box stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Target reported the largest quarterly sales growth, including an online sales spike, in its 58-year-history, the latest evidence that Americans are consolidating their trips to big box stores and pivoting their spending around the home during the pandemic. Target said that online sales nearly tripled as shoppers rely more on services like curbside pick up amid concerns about infections. But Target’s same-store sales also spiked 10.9% during the three-month period ended Aug 1. Meanwhile, home improvement retailer Lowe’s reported on Wednesday that comparable store sales in the U.S. surged 35.1% and online orders more than doubled.

Facebook bans some, but not all, QAnon groups, accounts

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Facebook says it will restrict the right-wing conspiracy movement QAnon and will no longer recommend that users join groups supporting it, although the company isn’t banning it outright. Facebook said Wednesday it is banning groups and accounts associated with QAnon and a variety of U.S.-based militia and anarchist groups that support violence. But the company will continue to allow people to post material that supports these groups — so long as they do not otherwise violate its content policies against things like hate speech and abuse. The move has been long anticipated. Twitter announced a similar crackdown recently.

S&P 500 takes a step back after setting record; yields rise

NEW YORK (AP) — The S&P 500 pulled back from its newly set record on Wednesday after a meandering day of trading took a late turn lower. The benchmark index fell 0.4% a day after it wiped out the last of its losses created by the pandemic and surpassed its Feb. 19 peak. It and other indexes turned lower in the afternoon after the Federal Reserve released the minutes from its latest policy meeting. The stock market’s momentum has remained solid, but it’s slowed recently after roaring back from a terrifying plummet of nearly 34% in February and March.

Trump lashes out at Goodyear about its policy on `MAGA’ wear

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged people to boycott tires from Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., tweeting that the Ohio-based company had “announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS.” But the company didn’t announce such a specific ban, only that it asks employees to refrain from workplace expressions involving political campaigns and “forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues.” “Make America Great Again,” or “MAGA,” is a Trump campaign slogan. Trump’s tweet immediately sent the company’s stock downward. The stock trimmed its losses in the afternoon before closing down about 2.4% for the day.

Airbnb files preliminary paperwork for public stock offering

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Airbnb has filed preliminary paperwork for selling stock on Wall Street, undaunted by a global pandemic that has taken some wind out of its home-sharing business. The San Francisco-based company said it submitted a draft registration statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission. It kept details in the statement confidential. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering hasn’t yet been determined. The timing of the IPO also hasn’t been set.

Now playing at the mall parking lot: movies, drag shows

NEW YORK (AP) — After being closed for months due to the pandemic, malls are bringing all types of drive-in entertainment to their massive parking lots, hoping to lure people back to their properties. A mall in upstate New York, for example, is hosting a drive-in wrestling match. Others around the country are bringing movies or magic shows that can be watched from a car. Malls have struggled to attract shoppers for years, but the pandemic has hit them especially hard. The drive-ins mean extra money since production companies typically pay to rent a section of the parking lot. Malls can also benefit from meal delivery from the food court to the parking lot.

Fed officials worried about withdrawal of government support

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers lifted their spending in May and June but businesses remained cautious because of the tremendous uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook. That’s according to discussions by Federal Reserve officials at a policy meeting last month. The Fed officials said the nascent economic recovery faces several risks. Those include another outbreak of the coronavirus and that the U.S. government would pull back on the financial relief it had provided to households, businesses and state and local governments.

The S&P 500 index fell 14.93 points, or 0.4%, to 3,374.85. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 85.19, or 0.3%, to 27,692.88. The Nasdaq composite dropped 64.38, or 0.6%, to 11,146.46. The Russell 2000 of smaller-company stocks inched up 2.29 points, or 0.2%, to 1,572.07.

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