Business Highlights

Apple’s iPhone privacy clampdown arrives after 7-month delay

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Apple is following through on its pledge to crack down on Facebook and other snoopy apps that secretly shadow people on their iPhones in order to target more advertising at users. The new privacy feature is rolling out Monday as part of a free update to the operating system powering the iPhone and iPad. The anti-tracking shield is coming out after a seven-month delay during which Apple and Facebook attacked each other’s business models and motives for decisions that affect billions of people around the world. Now, the big questions will revolve around the financial fallout on Facebook and whether other companies will become more aggressive about protecting people’s privacy.

Biden plan for cleaner power system faces daunting obstacles

NEW YORK (AP) — If the nation is to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of cutting America’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by the end of the decade, it will have to undertake a vast transformation toward renewable energy. And to achieve that, the near-impossible will be required: A broad network of transmission lines will have to be built to carry solar and wind power across the continent to deliver electricity to homes and businesses — something the administration envisions accomplishing by 2035. What’s more, utility-scale batteries on a widespread scale, to store renewable energy for peak-use periods, would be needed.

Even as economy heats up, Fed to stick with near-zero rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring is accelerating as Americans increasingly venture out to shop, eat at restaurants, and travel, and inflation is even picking up after lying dormant for years. Yet this week, the Federal Reserve is all but sure to reiterate its commitment to ultra-low interest rates. At a news conference after the Fed’s latest policy meeting ends, Chair Jerome Powell will likely underscore his view that the economy is far from fully recovered and needs the central bank’s continued support in the form of low borrowing costs.

Stocks reach more records as earnings kick into high gear

NEW YORK (AP) — Modest gains for stocks nudged the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to more record highs on Wall Street as investors brace for a deluge of earnings reports from big U.S. companies. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% Monday, while the Nasdaq added 0.9%. The Dow Jones industrials ended slightly lower. Of the 500 members of the S&P 500 index, 181 will report their results this week. Apple, Microsoft, McDonald’s and Caterpillar are among the big-name companies that will be telling investors how they did in the first three months of the year. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.57%.

Apple announces 1st East Coast campus in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Apple plans to invest more than $1 billion in North Carolina to build the company’s first East Coast campus. The move is expected to bring at least 3,000 new jobs to the state. The company announced Monday that the development is part of an effort to up its U.S. investment as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The North Carolina project falls under a commitment from Apple to invest $430 billion and add a total of 20,000 new jobs over the next five years. Apple is expanding its teams in Colorado, Massachusetts, Texas, Washington, New York, California and other states.

Tesla posts $438M 1Q profit on strong electric vehicle sales

DETROIT (AP) — Charged up by strong sales of its electric cars and SUVs, Tesla has reported its seventh-straight profitable quarter. The company made $438 million in the three-month period that ended March 31. Its sales more than doubled the same period last year to nearly 185,000 vehicles. Excluding stock-based compensation and non-recurring items, Tesla made 93 cents per share. That beat Wall Street estimates of 75 cents per share. Once again, the company needed regulatory credits purchased by other automakers in order to make a profit. Without $518 million in credits, Tesla would have lost money. Other automakers buy the credits when they can’t meet emissions and fuel economy standards.

Continental Europe could allow US tourists back this summer

BRUSSELS (AP) — Officials say the European Union is completing plans to allow American tourists to travel to the 27-nation bloc this summer. More than a year after the EU restricted travel to the region to a bare minimum in a bid to contain the pandemic, the European Commission said Monday it would make a recommendation to member states to allow American travelers back. The commission didn’t say when exactly tourists will be allowed back inside the bloc, and if a reciprocal approach will apply to European tourists willing to travel to the U.S.

Survey: Business economists more optimistic about US growth

WASHINGTON (AP) — The accelerated rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, along with the Biden administration’s rescue aid policies, have brightened the outlook for the U.S. economy as it extends its recovery from the pandemic recession. That is the view of a majority of business economists that emerges from a survey being released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics. The results, based on responses from 97 NABE members earlier this month, found that two-thirds say the vaccines and the administration’s policies have increased their optimism.

The S&P 500 rose 7.45 points, or 0.2%, to 4,187.62. The Nasdaq gained 121.97 points, or 0.9%, to 14,138.78. The Dow slipped 61.92 points, or 0.2%, to 33,981.57. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies climbed 26.15 points, or 1.2%, to 2,298.01.

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