Saturday, April 13, 2024

Business Highlights

by Associated Press

Dow crests 30,000 points on vaccine hopes, Biden transition

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke through 30,000 points Tuesday as investors were encouraged by the latest progress on developing coronavirus vaccines and news that the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden will finally begin. Traders were also encouraged to see that Biden had selected Janet Yellen, a widely respected former Federal Reserve chair, as treasury secretary. The Dow rose 454 points, or 1.5%, to close at 30,046. The S&P 500, which has a far greater impact on 401(k) accounts than the Dow does, rose 1.6% to its own record high. Treasury yields rose as investors became more optimistic about the economy.

Awaiting Yellen at Treasury: Yet another daunting crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — Janet Yellen is in line for another top economic policy job — just in time to confront yet another crisis. Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden’s apparent choice for treasury secretary, served on the Federal Reserve’s policymaking committee during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. She became Fed chair in 2014 when the economy was still recovering from the Great Recession. In the late 1990s, she was President Bill Clinton’s top economic adviser during the Asian financial crisis. And now, according to a person familiar with Biden’s transition plans, she has been chosen to lead Treasury with the economy in the grip of a surging viral epidemic. Yet many see Yellen as ideally suited for the role.

Left for dead, twice, RadioShack gets another shot online

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — RadioShack, a fixture at the mall for decades, has been pulled from brink of death, again. It’s the most prized name in the basket of brands that entrepreneur investors Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez have scooped up since the coronavirus pandemic bowled over the U.S. retail sector and sent a number of chains into bankruptcy protection. Mehr and Lopez plan to make RadioShack a competitive again, this time online, rather than on street corners or in malls. However, unlike RadioShack’s glory years, it’s Amazon’s world now. The new owners say they hope to have open for business by the end of the month.

As virus cases spike, financial outlook for airlines dims

NEW YORK (AP) — With coronavirus cases spiking in the U.S. and Europe, the financial outlook of the world’s airlines is getting worse. The International Air Transport Association said Tuesday that around the world, airlines will lose more than $157 billion this year and next. That’s worse than the group was predicting back in June. It’s because fewer people are flying due to travel restrictions like quarantine requirements. The airline trade group says airlines carried 4.5 billion passengers last year, but that’s going to plunge to 1.8 billion this year and recover only partly next year, to about 2.8 billion passengers.

Americans turn up heat and Cholula sells for $800 million

NEW YORK (AP) — With millions dining at home for safety and a swing to the spicier side in the U.S. in recent years, Cholula, the hot sauce with the distinctive wooden cap, has become a very valuable brand. McCormick & Co., the spice maker that dominates U.S. grocery shelves, said Tuesday that it was buying Cholula for $800 million. McCormick made a notable tilt toward the hot sauce shelf three years ago when it acquired Frank’s RedHot, the preferred fuel for heat Buffalo wing recipes. The acquisition arrives with the pandemic warping how America and the rest of the world eats, meaning largely at home. In late September, McCormick reported that revenue surged 8% during the third quarter as people replaced the contents of outdated spice racks, or started new ones.

Best Buy reports 3Q results that exceed Wall Street views

NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy Co. reported fiscal third-quarter results that blew through analysts’ expectations. The nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer saw surging demand for items like home theater and appliances that help people learn, cook, work and connect in their homes. The Richfield, Minnesota-based retailer said third-quarter profits rose 33% while sales were up 21%. Sales at stores opened at least a year rose 23%, while domestic online sales rose 174%. Best Buy joins big box stores like Walmart, Target, Home Depot and Lowe’s, which all reported strong quarterly results. Big box retailers were allowed to stay open during the lockdown in the spring and have seen their dominance increase as consumers focus on necessities and home-related activities.

US consumer confidence drops to 96.1 as virus spreads

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence fell to a reading of 96.1 in November as rising coronavirus cases pushed Americans’ confidence down to the lowest level since August. The Conference Board said the November reading represented a drop from a revised 101.4 in October. The decline reflected a big drop in consumer expectations for income , business and labor market conditions. The consumer confidence index is set on a scale with 100 equaling the confidence level in 1985.

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