Business Highlights

United plans to furlough 16,000 workers, fewer than expected

CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines said Wednesday it plans to furlough 16,370 employees in October, down from an earlier target of 36,000 after thousands of workers took early retirement, buyouts, or long-term leaves of absence with the industry facing a slow recovery from the pandemic. Airline officials said the final number could come down further before Oct. 1, when a prohibition on furloughs ends. They said the furloughs would be postponed if Washington approves another $25 billion to help passenger airlines cover payroll costs.


Survey: US companies added just 428,000 jobs last month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies added jobs at a modest pace last month, a private survey found, a sign that while hiring continues, it is only soaking up a relatively small proportion of the unemployed. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 428,000 jobs in August, a figure that before the pandemic would have represented a healthy gain. But the increase represents a small slice of the 12 million jobs that have been lost to the spread of the coronavirus.


Budget deficit to hit record $3.3T due to virus, recession

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal budget deficit is projected to hit a record $3.3 trillion as huge government expenditures to fight the coronavirus and to prop up the economy have added more than $2 trillion to the federal ledger, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. The spike in the deficit means that federal debt will exceed annual gross domestic product next year, a milestone that would put the U.S. in the company of countries like Greece whose accumulated debt exceeds the size of their economies.


Fed survey finds widespread pessimism about economic future

WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest Federal Reserve survey of U.S. economic activity found generally modest gains in August but also pessimism about the future given the threats posed by the coronavirus. The Fed report made public Wednesday said that a theme echoed across the country is the lingering uncertainty stemming from the pandemic and its negative effect on consumer and business activity.


Macy’s posts $431 million loss as sales drop 36%

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy’s got more people to shop on its website and app, but it wasn’t enough to make up for plummeting sales inside its department stores. Online sales were up 53%, and the company said it attracted 4 million new online customers. But sales sunk 61% inside its stores, which reopened in June after being temporarily closed due to the pandemic. Macy’s is the country’s largest department store operator, offering a glimpse into what America’s are buying. With people spending more time at home, shoppers bought fewer dresses, luggage and men’s suits. But they spent more on comfy athletic wear, as well as decor to spruce up their homes.


Michael Jordan gets stake in DraftKings for advisory role

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — DraftKings has had a big bounce on Wall Street on news that basketball legend Michael Jordan is taking an ownership stake in the sports betting site. Jordan is getting stock in DraftKings in exchange for providing “guidance and strategic advice” to the Boston-based company’s board of directors. DraftKings did not release details on the size of Jordan’s stake. He is the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets and the deal has the league’s approval.


US stocks close higher, adding to a solid string of gains

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market jumped to its biggest gain since July on Wednesday, sending the S&P 500 up 1.5%. Health care, technology and communication companies powered the rally. Chipmakers were big gainers, reflecting optimism about demand for computers, video games and other devices. Lam Research rose 6.5%, one of the biggest gains in the S&P 500. Energy companies fell along with crude oil prices. Treasury yields were mixed.


Mercedes-Benz unveils new flagship S-Class sedan

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Daimler AG on Wednesday unveiled the new version of its Mercedes-Benz S-Class luxury sedan, the company’s most important model and one it hopes will generate fat profits to help the Stuttgart-based automaker through the COVID-19 recession and wrenching structural changes to the auto industry. Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius called the long, sleek S-Class “the heart of our brand” during an on-line event Wednesday in which he touted the car’s highly personalized luxury technology. The company will be relying on profits from its internal combustion-driven luxury vehicles like the S-Class and SUVs to finance investment in new, low-emission technology.


Critics: Eviction ban may only delay wave of homelessness

WASHINGTON (AP) — Housing advocates say the Trump administration’s surprise national moratorium on evictions only delays an inevitable wave of homelessness. And an attorney representing landlords questions whether the measure is aimed at voters ahead of the November election. The order announced Tuesday stops many evictions until the end of the year. But housing advocates say that without rent relief and billions of dollars for landlords, it only delays a wave of debt and homelessness. As it stands, people who qualify will still be on the hook for back rent on Jan. 1. Meanwhile, landlords would have little recourse to collect badly needed income.


The S&P 500 gained 54.19 points, or 1.5%, to 3,580.84. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 454.84 points, or 1.6%, to 29,100.50. The Nasdaq composite added 116.78 points, or 1%, to 12,056.44. The Russell 2000 of smaller-company stocks rose 13.71 points, or 0.9%, to 1,592.29.