Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Business Highlights

by Associated Press

Thousands allowed to bypass environmental rules in pandemic

Thousands of oil and gas operations and other sites have won permission to stop monitoring for hazardous emissions or otherwise break government rules because of the coronavirus outbreak. The findings come in an investigation by The Associated Press. The Trump administration announced the first nationwide, extended easing of environmental enforcement in March. Oil and gas companies had complained that the pandemic was complicating compliance with pollution rules. Facilities won permission more than 3,000 times to skimp on compliance during the sweeping government clemency. The Environmental Protection Agency says its clemency was not a license for increased pollution.

To-go drinks an elixir for public, a lifeline for business

DETROIT (AP) — America’s liquor laws are being shaken up by the coronavirus. At least 33 states and the District of Columbia are temporarily allowing carryout cocktails during the pandemic, up from just two previously. Struggling restaurants say it’s a lifeline, letting them rehire bartenders, pay rent and reestablish relationships with customers. But others want states to slow down, saying the laws are there for a reason. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers says carryout cocktail laws need to make clear that customers can’t drink and drive. Others say police and health officials need to be involved in crafting new laws.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is fulfilling another Steve Jobs vision

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, was a tough act to follow. But Tim Cook seems to be doing so well at it that his eventual successor may also have big shoes to fill. Cook was initially seen as a mere caretaker for the iconic franchise that Jobs built during a 14-year stint as CEO. But he has managed to forge his own distinctive legacy as he prepares to mark his ninth anniversary as Apple’s CEO this Monday. Apple is now worth $2 trillion — five times more than when Jobs handed over the reins.

First day of school for thousands and Zoom gets glitchy

NEW YORK (AP) — Zoom is experiencing partial outages during the first day of school for thousands of students who are relying on the video conferencing technology to connect with educators. The company said Monday that it began receiving reports of disruptions around 9 a.m. Eastern time. It has identified the issue causing the problem and is working on a fix, it reported on its status page. Grade schools, high schools and universities are relying on Zoom and competing technologies like Microsoft Teams to reduce the chance of infection during the pandemic. Technical issues are occurring across the U.S., with the most reports on the East Coast, as well as in Europe, according to, which monitors self-reported outages.

US stocks join global rally amid COVID treatment hopes

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks plowed further into record territory on Wall Street Monday. The S&P 500 rallied 1% as hopes for a COVID-19 treatment and vaccine had investors looking ahead to the possibility of a healthier economy that has shed the virus. Airlines and other companies whose profits are closely tied to the economy rose, as the market’s gains spread out beyond just Big Tech giants. Hope was rising as pharmaceutical companies continue to work toward a possible vaccine for COVID-19 and after the U.S. government on Sunday approved an emergency authorization to allow the use of convalescent plasma to treat patients.

TikTok sues Trump over his pending order to ban its app

NEW YORK (AP) — Video app TikTok is waging a legal fight against the Trump Administration’s efforts to ban the popular, Chinese-owned service over national-security concerns. TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, insisted that it not is a national-security threat and that the government is acting without evidence or due process. The company on Monday filed suit in federal court in California against the Commerce Department, President Donald Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, saying that it sought to prevent the government from impermissibly banning TikTok. Trump issued an executive order in August that imposed a sweeping but unspecified ban on any “transaction” with ByteDance.

Corps: Alaska mine would have adverse impacts on salmon site

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a proposed gold and copper mine at the headwaters of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery in Alaska would cause “unavoidable adverse impacts.” The corps is asking the backers of Pebble Mine to come up with a mitigation plan within 90 days for nearly 3,000 acres of land and nearly 200 miles of streams it says could be affected if the controversial mine moves forward. The mine backers say the letter was expected, and they have had crews out mapping mitigation sites for weeks. They say the news not is related to recent tweets by mine opponents, including a son of President Trump.

The S&P 500 gained 34.12, or 1%, to 3,431.28. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 378.13, or 1.4%, to 28,308.46, and the Nasdaq composite added 67.92, or 0.6%, to 11,379.72. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks finished up 15.99 points, or 1%, at 1,568.47.

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