Thursday, May 30, 2024

Business Highlights

by Associated Press

Stocks jump on stimulus hopes, Trump’s hospital departure

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed broadly higher Monday as hopes for economic aid from Washington helped Wall Street recover its losses from its initial, fearful reaction after learning that President Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus. The S&P 500 climbed 1.8%, and the gains were widespread. Energy and technology stocks had some of the biggest gains. Treasury yields, stocks overseas and oil all rose after Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both noted the importance over the weekend of additional support for the economy. Trump also tweeted that he’ll leave the hospital later Monday, though his condition remains clouded in uncertainty.

Long-term jobless caught in a squeeze that imperils recovery

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of Americans who worked in the industries hit hardest by the viral pandemic are finding that their unemployment has stretched from weeks into months. And it’s become painfully unclear when, if ever, their jobs will come back. In the entertainment field and in other sectors that suffered heavy job losses — from restaurants and hotels to energy, higher education and advertising — employment remains far below their pre-pandemic levels. These trends have raised the specter of a period of long-term unemployment that could turn the viral recession into a more painful, extended downturn.

Hundreds of Regal, Cineworld movie theaters to close

LONDON (AP) — In the latest blow to the beleaguered film industry, the second-largest movie theater chain in the U.S. is temporarily shuttering its locations Thursday due to a lack of blockbusters on the calendar and major domestic markets like New York remaining closed. Cineworld Group Plc said Monday that 536 Regal cinemas in the U.S. and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse venues in the U.K. will close, affecting some 45,000 employees. The company says that with major markets such as New York closed and no guidance on when they will reopen, “studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films.”

Pandemic pushes start of holiday shopping earlier than ever

NEW YORK (AP) — Add last-minute holiday shopping to the list of time-honored traditions being upended by the coronavirus pandemic. Retailers are kicking off the holiday season earlier than ever this year in hopes of avoiding big in-store crowds and shipping bottlenecks in November and December. Stores like Best Buy, Macy’s, and Target typically offer their biggest Black Friday deals over Thanksgiving weekend, but now they’re starting them in October so people don’t crowd their stores later, creating a potentially dangerous situation during a pandemic.

CEOs of 3 tech giants to testify at Oct. 28 Senate hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CEOs of technology giants Facebook, Google and Twitter are expected to testify for an Oct. 28 Senate hearing on tech companies’ control over hate speech and misinformation on their platforms. The Senate Commerce Committee voted last week to authorize subpoenas for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai of Google and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey to force them to testify if they didn’t agree to do so voluntarily. Spokespeople for the companies said Monday that the CEOs will cooperate.

Germany urges UK to make haste with Brexit trade talks

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is calling on the United Kingdom to make a big final push to agree on a trade deal with the European Union in the wake of Brexit especially since the coronavirus pandemic in itself is already hitting economies on both sides of the English Channel very hard. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that COVID-19 has “made an agreement even more urgent” for both sides even though the chances to get even a basic trade deal by the end of the year are declining by the day. Maas and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with EU chief Brexit negotiator MIchel Barnier on Monday.

Nvidia says it will build UK’s most powerful supercomputer

LONDON (AP) — Graphics chip maker Nvidia plans to build Britain’s fastest supercomputer that healthcare researchers can use to work on medical problems including COVID-19. Nvidia said Monday it will spend $52 million on the supercomputer, dubbed Cambridge-1. It will consist of 80 Nvidia systems and is expected to be online by the end of the year. Nvidia’s CEO said Cambridge-1 will be available to healthcare researchers using artificial intelligence to working on urgent medical challenges. The announcement comes after the company said last month it agreed to buy U.K.-based chip designer Arm Holdings for up to $40 billion.

Service sector grows for the 4th consecutive month

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. services sector, where most Americans work, grew for a fourth straight month in September as the country continued to reopen following a spring shutdown. The Institute for Supply Management reported Monday that its index of services activity rose to a reading of 57.8 last month, 0.9 percentage point higher than the August reading of 56.9. Any reading above 50 signifies expansion in services industries such as restaurants, department stores and delivery companies. The index had fallen sharply for three months starting in March as shutdowns aimed at containing the virus closed many businesses and put millions of Americans out of work. But starting in June, the index has resumed rising. _

The S&P 500 jumped 60.19 points, or 1.8%, to 3,408.63. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 465.83 points, or 1.7%, to 28,148.64, and the Nasdaq composite climbed 257.47, or 2.3%, to 11,332.49. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks jumped 42.67, or 2.8%, to 1,581.96.

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