Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Business Highlights

by Associated Press

Landlords are getting squeezed between tenants and lenders

NEW YORK (AP) — When it comes to sympathetic figures, landlords aren’t exactly at the top of the list. But they, too, have fallen on hard times, demonstrating how the coronavirus outbreak spares almost no one. The stakes are particularly high for small landlords. Many were cushioned by a federal stimulus package that helped struggling businesses and the unemployed pay the rent. But now that the aid has expired, with Congress unlikely to pass a new package before Election Day, renters are falling behind. And landlords are having trouble paying the mortgage on their properties. Many have resorted to borrowing money from their relatives or dipping into their personal savings.

JPMorgan, Citi profits improve amid signs of recovery

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Two of the nation’s biggest banks — JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup — say their profits improved markedly over the summer, helped by notable gains in the U.S. economy after the coronavirus economic shutdowns from earlier this year. But both banks warned that much uncertainty remains about where the U.S. economy is headed, and top bank executives bluntly said there is a need for another economic stimulus package to keep the economy from slipping into recession again. Both Citi and JPMorgan set aside fewer funds to cover potentially bad loans, contributing to the improvement in their quarterly results.

Delta posts $5.4 billion 3Q loss as pandemic hammers travel

ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines is the first carrier to report financial results for the third quarter, and the numbers are grim. Delta said Tuesday that it lost $5.4 billion as travel remain depressed over the normally peak vacation season because of the pandemic. Most of Atlanta-based Delta’s loss came from charges covering severance for people who agreed to give up their jobs, and for writing down the value of assets like planes that will be retired. Revenue was down 76% from the same period last year. The drop in passenger revenue wasn’t as sharp as in the second quarter, however, and CEO Ed Bastian says passengers are slowly coming back.

Stocks end lower as Wall Street pauses after a 4-day rally

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended lower as Wall Street took a pause after a four-day winning streak. The S&P 500 index fell 0.6%. Coronavirus counts are rising at a worrying degree in many countries around the world. On Tuesday, a possible safety issue led officials to pause a COVID-19 antibody therapy being developed by Eli Lilly. Johnson & Johnson had to temporarily pause its own study of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Uncertainty about the prospects for more stimulus for the economy from Washington is also hanging over markets. Several big companies kicked off the earnings reporting season with better profit reports than expected.

Apple unveils new iPhones for faster 5G wireless networks

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple unveiled four new iPhones equipped with technology for use with faster new 5G wireless networks. Starting prices range from almost $700 to almost $1100; the phones will be available starting later in October. Apple has one of the most loyal and affluent customer bases in the world, which has many analysts betting the next wave of phones will sell well. Apple boasted about the 5G capabilities, although promised ultrafast speeds remain uncommon, given that 5G networks are still being built out. In a move that may annoy some consumers, Apple will no longer include charging adapters with new phones.

Facebook bans anti-vaccination ads but not antivax posts

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Facebook says it will ban ads on its platform that discourage vaccinations and will run an information campaign to encourage people to get their flu shots. Unpaid posts by people or groups that discourage vaccinations will still be allowed — the new policy only includes paid advertisements. In addition, Facebook said ads that advocate for or against legislation or government policies around vaccines — including a COVID-19 vaccine — are still allowed. These ads will still have to be approved by the company as political advertisements and include a label identifying who is funding them.

Consumer prices rise 0.2% in September, used vehicles spike

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. consumer prices rose slightly in September, led again by sharp increases in the index for used vehicles. The Labor Department reported Tuesday that the consumer price index rose 0.2% last month. Prices for used cars and trucks rose 6.7% in September after a 5.4% gain in August and are now up 10.3% in the past 12 months. Overall inflation for the last 12 months is up 1.4% while core inflation, which excludes energy and food, is up 1.7%. As long as inflation remains below 2%, most economists think the Fed will keep borrowing rates at record lows.

The S&P 500 fell 22.29 points, or 0.6%, to 3,511.93. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 157.71 points, or 0.6%, to 28,679.81. The Nasdaq composite shed 12.36 points, or 0.1%, to 11,863.90. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 12.21 points, or 0.7%, to 1,636.85.

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