Business Highlights

Bleak outlook without stimulus: More layoffs, anemic growth

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s move Tuesday to cut off talks on another government aid package will further weaken an economy that is straining to recover from an epic collapse, economists say, and deepen the hardships for jobless Americans and struggling businesses. Half of all small businesses expect to need more financial aid from the government over the next 12 months to survive, according to a survey by the right-leaning National Federation of Independent Business. For roughly 25 million laid-off workers who are receiving unemployment aid, their weekly payments, on average, have shrunk by two-thirds since a $600-a-week federal benefit expired more than two months ago.


Wall Street cheerleader Trump has little invested himself

NEW YORK (AP) — For a president who has obsessively tweeted about Wall Street and taken credit for its gains, Donald Trump doesn’t have much of his own money in the game. The Associated Press has found that after he reportedly dumped more than $200 million in stocks and bonds in the years leading up to his inauguration, as much as $8 million more was sold after he took office. His stock holdings last year ranged from $693,000 to as much as $2.2 million. Even that top figure is less than one-tenth of 1% of a fortune estimated by Forbes at $2.5 billion.


In about-face, Trump seeks to salvage parts of virus aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is trying to salvage its favored proposals for coronavirus aid now that President Donald Trump has ended negotiation with Democrats. Trump has used a flurry of tweets to press for Congress to approve $1,200 stimulus checks and new aid for airlines and other businesses hard hit by the pandemic. It’s an about-face from his abrupt move on Tuesday to abandon talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has rejected such piecemeal entreaties all along. Pelosi did speak with Trump’s treasury secretary on Wednesday morning about the possibility of passing a rescue bill just for the airline industry.


Stocks rise as Trump tweets on stimulus keep market spinning

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed higher Wednesday after President Donald Trump appeared to backtrack on his decision to halt talks on another rescue effort for the economy. The S&P 500 rose 1.7% after Trump sent a series of tweets saying he’s open to sending out $1,200 payments to Americans, as well as limited programs to help airlines and small businesses. The tweets late Tuesday came just hours after Trump sent the market into a tailspin with his declaration to halt talks on a broad stimulus effort until after the election.


Low tech talk in Google, Oracle high tech copyright clash

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court justices spent time discussing restaurant menus, keyboards, songs and even the periodic table in trying to resolve a copyright dispute between tech giants Google and Oracle. The justices have heard arguments in a dispute that’s worth billions and important to the future of software. Some of the justices seem to be at least concerned about what a ruling for Oracle could mean. The case has to do with Google’s creation of the Android operating system now used on the vast majority of smartphones worldwide. In developing Android, Google used some of Oracle’s computer code.


Lilly seeks emergency use of its antibody drug for COVID-19

WASHINGTON (AP) — A drug company says it has asked the U.S. government to allow emergency use of an experimental antibody therapy based on early results from a study that suggested the drug reduced symptoms, the amount of virus, hospitalizations and ER visits for patients with mild or moderate COVID-19. Eli Lilly and Co. said the partial results have not yet been published or reviewed by independent scientists. Its drug is similar to one that President Donald Trump received on Friday from a different company. These medicines supply concentrated versions of specific antibodies to help the immune system clear the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.


Up to 150 million could join extreme poor, World Bank says

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The World Bank says up to 150 million people could slip into extreme poverty, living on less than $1.90 a day, by late next year depending on how badly economies shrink during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than three-quarters of the new extreme poor are expected to be in middle-income countries such as India, Nigeria and Indonesia. Many will be more educated urban residents, meaning cities will see an increase in the kind of poverty traditionally rooted in rural areas. The bank’s baseline estimate says at least 110 million people will join the extreme poor.


US consumer borrowing fell by $7.2 billion in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers cut back on their borrowing in August, with credit card use dropping for a sixth straight month, reflecting caution in the midst of the pandemic-triggered recession. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that total borrowing fell by $7.2 billion after a gain of $14.7 billion in July. The weakness in August came from a $9.4 billion fall in the category that covers credit cards, the sixth decline in that area starting with a $25.4 billion drop in March.


The S&P 500 index rose 58.50 points, or 1.7%, to 3,419.45 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 530.70 points, or 1.9%, to 28,303.46. The Nasdaq composite climbed 210 points, or 1.9%, to 11,364.60. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 33.75 points, or 2.1%, 1,611.04.