Thursday, June 13, 2024

Business Highlights

by Associated Press

AP-NORC/SAP poll: 1 in 4 US workers have weighed quitting

NEW YORK (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has put millions of Americans out of work. But many of those still working are fearful, distressed and stretched thin. A quarter have even considered quitting their jobs as worries related to the pandemic weigh on them, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. About 7 in 10 workers cited juggling their jobs and other responsibilities as a source of stress. Fears of contracting the virus also was a top concern for those working outside the home. The good news is that employers are responding. The poll finds 57% of workers saying their workplaces are doing “about the right amount” to respond to the pandemic, and 24% say they are “going above and beyond.”

ConocoPhillips buying Concho in $9.7B all-stock deal

NEW YORK (AP) — ConocoPhillips is buying shale producer Concho Resources in an all-stock deal valued at $9.7 billion. That gives the companies a major presence in the Permian Basin, the top-producing oil field in the U.S. The combined company, if approved, would be among the largest U.S. oil producers, with production of more than 1.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. The deal comes as many oil producers are struggling to make ends meet. Oil prices have remained low for months. The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, could help the companies save $500 million annually.

Pandemic air travel milestone; 1 million passengers screened

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The number of passengers screened for flights in the U.S. topped one million in a day for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak last March, but it’s still about 60% fewer air travelers than this time last year. The Transportation Security Administration said Sunday’s one million-plus passenger screenings were the most since before March 17. For perspective, 2.6 million passengers were screened on the same Sunday one year ago. On several days in early April after the pandemic broadsided the U.S. economy, fewer than 100,000 people were screened to board planes.

China’s economy accelerates as virus recovery gains strength

BEIJING (AP) — China’s shaky economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is gaining strength as consumers return to shopping malls and auto dealerships while the United States and Europe endure painful contractions. Official data show the world’s second-largest economy expanded by 4.9% over a year ago in the latest quarter. Retail spending rebounded to above pre-virus levels for the first time and factory output rose, boosted by demand for exports of masks and other medical supplies. China, where the pandemic began in December, became the first major economy to return to growth after the ruling Communist Party declared the disease under control in March and began reopening factories, shops and offices.

6 Russian military officers charged in vast hacking campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — Six Russian military officers sought to disrupt through computer hacking the French election, the Winter Olympics and U.S. businesses. A Justice Department indictment details attacks on a broad range of political, financial and athletic targets. It accuses the defendants, all alleged officers in the Russian military agency known as the GRU, in destructive attacks on Ukraine’s power grid and in a hack-and-leak effort directed at the political party of French President Emmanuel Macron during the 2017 election. The indictment does not charge the defendants in connection with interference in American elections.

Stocks fall on Wall Street as hopes for new virus aid fade

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed lower on Wall Street as optimism faded that Washington will deliver more badly needed aid for the economy before the election next month. The benchmark S&P 500 index fell 1.6% after starting the day higher. Investors are also preparing for a busy week of corporate earnings. Procter & Gamble, Netflix and IBM are among the companies that will report how they did over the summer, when the virus lockdowns were in full swing. Stocks had been up in the early going following a report that China’s economy grew at a 5% annual rate in the last quarter.

IMF: Nearly all Mideast economies hit by pandemic recession

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The International Monetary Fund’s latest report shows that the coronavirus pandemic has pushed nearly all Mideast nations into the throes of an economic recession this year. All but two — Lebanon and Oman — are expected to see some level of economic growth next year. This comes as the IMF estimates that the global economy will shrink 4.4% this year, marking the worst annual plunge since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Well before the coronavirus swept across the globe, several Mideast countries were struggling from lower oil prices and sluggish economic growth to corruption and high unemployment.

The S&P 500 fell 56.89 points, or 1.6.% to 3,426.92. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 410.89 points, or 1.4%, to 28,195.42. The Nasdaq composite lost 192.67 points, or 1.7%, to 11,478.88. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 20.18 points, or 1.2%, to 1,613.63.

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