Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Business Highlights

by Associated Press

Tech’s sudden sell-off continues; Nasdaq sinks 10% in 3 days

NEW YORK (AP) — Big technology stocks tumbled again on Tuesday, continuing the Icarus-like flight path for companies that just a week ago were the high-flyers carrying Wall Street to record heights. The S&P 500 fell 2.8% and clinched its first three-day losing streak in nearly three months. Apple, Microsoft and Amazon were among the Big Tech stocks to sink more than 4%, torpedoing broad market indexes. The Nasdaq composite, which is packed with tech stocks, dropped 4.1% and is down 10% since Wednesday. That’s when it set its last record high. Crude oil prices and Treasury yields also weakened.

GM to make electric vehicle, supply batteries for Nikola

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors formed its second major electric vehicle partnership in less than a week, this time a $2 billion deal with startup Nikola. GM will take an 11% ownership stake in the company and will engineer and build Nikola’s Badger hydrogen fuel cell and electric pickup truck. The Badger is expected to be in production by the end of 2022. It’s the second major partnership announced by GM this month. On Thursday GM said it would join with Japanese automaker Honda to share the costs of building vehicles powered by batteries and internal combustion engines. GM also will get a seat on Nikola’s board.

Boeing finds new problem with 787 that will delay deliveries

CHICAGO (AP) — Boeing is dealing with a new production problem involving its 787 jet, which the company calls the Dreamliner. Inspections have found flaws in the way that sections of the rear of the plane were joined together. Boeing said Tuesday it’s not an immediate safety risk but could cause the planes to age prematurely. Boeing says inspections will slow down deliveries, which Boeing needs to generate cash. The disclosure compounds Boeing’s problems in getting the grounded 737 Max back in flight, and dealing with the pandemic, which has undermined travel and left airlines with no need for new planes.

TikTok scrambles to remove suicide video clips, ban users

LONDON (AP) — TikTok says it’s working to remove videos of a man apparently taking his own life and banning users that keep trying to spread the clips on the popular social media platform. TikTok says the video was originally livestreamed on Facebook before being circulated on other platforms including TikTok. The company says its systems, together with its moderation teams, have been detecting and blocking the clips for violating its policies. It’s also banning accounts that repeatedly try to upload clips. Facebook said it removed the original video last month on the day it was streamed and has “used automation technology to remove copies and uploads since that time.”

Companies testing vaccines pledge safety, high standards

NEW YORK (AP) — Top executives of nine drugmakers likely to produce the first vaccines against the new coronavirus are taking the extraordinary step of promising they’ll be safe and effective. The drugmakers’ chief executives said Tuesday that they’ll maintain the highest ethical and scientific standards in testing and manufacturing their vaccines. They also say they will make the well-being of those getting vaccinated their top priority. The move is meant to boost public confidence. The announcement comes amid worries that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be under political pressure to approve a vaccine before tests to prove it is safe and effective are finished.

Consumer borrowing follows June gain with 3.6% rise in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer borrowing rose by a solid 3.6% in July. It’s the second monthly gain after the coronavrius pandemic had sent borrowing down sharply in the previous three months. The Federal Reserve reports that the July increase, which represented a $12.2 billion advance, followed a 3.3% rise in June and sharp declines in March, April and May. The strength in July came from a $12.5 billion rise in the category that includes auto loans and student loans. The category that covers credit cards fell by $293 million, the fifth straight month that the credit card category has declined.

JPMorgan: some customers, employees misused COVID programs

NEW YORK (AP) — JP Morgan Chase is saying that a number of its employees and customers may have abused the Paycheck Protection Program and other coronavirus stimulus programs. The New York bank says it is working with law enforcement in some cases. A memo sent to bank employees did not state how many employees may have unethically misused these programs, or what exactly they did. The bank declined to comment beyond the memo. The program was designed to give small businesses forgivable loans that were to be used to cover payroll and other basic operating costs as the nation shut down the combat the spread of the virus.

The S&P 500 index fell 95.12, or 2.8%, to 3,331.84. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 632.42 points, or 2.2%, to 27,500.89. The Nasdaq composite dropped 465.44, or 4.1%, to 10,847.69. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks lost 30.71 points, or 2%, to 1,504.59.

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