Thursday, June 20, 2024

Business Highlights

by Associated Press

Blowout US economic growth in summer is already fading

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans may feel whiplashed by a report Thursday on the economy’s growth this summer, when an explosive rebound followed an epic collapse. The government will likely estimate that the economy grew faster on an annualized basis last quarter than in any such period since record-keeping began in 1947. Just be forewarned: The sizzling pace won’t last. The economy is weakening and facing renewed threats. Confirmed viral cases are surging. Hiring has sagged. Government stimulus has run out. And even last quarter’s outsize growth will leave the economy far below its level before the pandemic struck in March.

S&P 500 sinks 3.5% as surging virus cases lead to shutdowns

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 943 points Wednesday as surging coronavirus cases forced more shutdown measures in Europe and raised fears of more restrictions in the U.S. The S&P 500 dropped 3.5%, its third straight loss. The benchmark index has now given up 5.6% so far this week and is on track for its biggest weekly fall since March, when markets were in a downward spiral. Crude oil prices fell sharply as investors anticipated that demand for energy will weaken along with the economy. Treasury yields fell as investors sought shelter in safer assets.

Social media CEOs get earful on bias, warning of new limits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google have received a hectoring from Republicans at a Senate hearing for alleged anti-conservative bias in the companies’ social media platforms. And the CEOs are being put on notice about potential restrictions that may be coming. Some lawmakers are looking to challenge the companies’ long-enjoyed bedrock legal protections for online speech. Senators in the hearing extracted promises from Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai that their companies will take needed measures to help ensure election security.

Deeper job cuts at Boeing as pandemic throttles air travel

CHICAGO (AP) — Boeing said Wednesday that it will cut 7,000 more jobs as it continues to bleed money during a pandemic that has smothered demand for new airline planes. The company said that when retirements and other employee departures are included, its workforce will shrink to about 130,000 by the end of next year, or 30,000 fewer people than it had at the start of 2020. Just three months ago, the company figured 19,000 workers would leave. Boeing Co. outlined the job cuts on the same day it reported a $449 million loss for the third quarter.

Fiat Chrysler posts record Q3 profit ahead of PSA merger

MILAN (AP) — A rebound in car production in Fiat Chrysler on Wednesday reported record third-quarter earnings as production returned to nearly pre-pandemic levels. The Italian-American automaker, which is finalizing its full merger with French rival PSA Peugeot, reported a net profit in the three months ending Sept. 30 of 1.2 billion ($1.4 billion). That compares with a loss of 179 million euros a year earlier. To meet regulatory concerns, the French carmaker is selling a small stake in a components maker to get below 40% ownership. The new automaker, to be called Stellantis, will be the fourth biggest producer in the world.

Demand for delivery boosts UPS revenue, but costs rise too

ATLANTA (AP) — UPS, whose brown delivery trucks have become omnipresent on neighborhood streets during the pandemic, said profits and revenue surged in its most recent quarter. With so many people getting what they need delivered to the front door, the consolidated average daily volume at UPS jumped 13.5%. Profit jumped 12% to $1.96 billion in the third quarter, or $2.24 per share. But costs are rising too, and that is weighing on the company’s shares. Excluding one-time items, UPS says it earned $2.28 per share, which is 42 cents more than Wall Street had expected. Its revenue of $21.24 billion also easily tops analyst projections.

Ford posts better-than-expected 3Q profit as sales recover

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. posted a stronger-than-expected third-quarter net profit as demand for cars and trucks recovered from coronavirus shutdowns and the company sold more high-margin trucks. The automaker says it made $2.39 billion, or 60 cents per share, as factories edged back to normal after the pandemic forced them be to close earlier in the year. Net income was more than five times what it was a year ago.

Tupperware profits soar as pandemic shut-ins store leftovers

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Tupperware relied on social gatherings for explosive growth in the mid 20th century. In the 21st century, it is social distancing that is fueling sales. Restaurant pain has turned into Tupperware’s gain with millions of people in a pandemic opening cookbooks again and looking for solutions to leftovers. They’ve found, again in Tupperware, suddenly an “it brand” five decades after what seemed to be its glory days. The company had appeared to be on life support, posting negative sales growth in five of the last six years, a trend that seemed to be accelerating this year. Then the pandemic struck. On Wednesday, Tupperware reported that its profit had more than quadrupled in the most recent quarter.

The S&P 500 lost 119.65 points, or 3.5%, to 3,271.03. The Dow lost 943.24 points, or 3.4%, to 26,519.95. The Nasdaq composite slumped 426.48 points, or 3.7%, to 11,004.87. The Russell 2000 of smaller-company stocks fell 47.21 points, or 3%, to 1,543.28.

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