Saturday, April 20, 2024

Business Highlights: Crypto concerns

by Associated Press

SEC’s Gensler says crypto investors need more protection

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission said that investors need more protection in the cryptocurrency market, which he said is “rife with fraud, scams and abuse.” Gary Gensler, appointed by President Joe Biden to lead the body that regulates securities markets, listed several areas where crypto needed to be reigned in or regulated, particularly with regard to money laundering, sanctions, tax collection and extortion via ransomware. Gensler has been viewed as receptive toward cryptocurrency and other new financial technologies after a stint as a professor at MIT where he focused research and teaching on public policy and digital currencies.

Spirit cancels half its flights; American also struggling

DALLAS (AP) — It’s another difficult travel day for passengers booked on Spirit Airlines. The budget airline canceled nearly half its schedule for Tuesday by early afternoon. It’s the third straight day of extremely high cancellation numbers at Spirit. A spokesman says Spirit is dealing with problems created by bad weather, system outages and staffing shortages. American Airlines is also scrambling. It has canceled around 10% of its flights Tuesday. Both Spirit and American have been struggling with widespread delays and cancellations since the weekend.

PepsiCo to sell Tropicana, other juices, in $3.3B deal

NEW YORK (AP) — PepsiCo will sell Tropicana and other juices to a private equity firm in a $3.3 billion deal. The New York drink and snack company will keep a 39% non-controlling stake in a newly formed joint venture in the deal with PAI Partners. Juice sales began to decline significantly in the early 2000s when low-carb diets grew in popularity, and that trend has continued with more families choosing instead to buy waters, sports drinks or other no- or low-calorie drinks. In its annual report, Pepsi said falling juice sales offset gains for other products in North America, including water, sports drinks like Gatorade and energy drinks like Propel.

Hit with #MeToo revolt, Blizzard Entertainment chief is out

NEW YORK (AP) — The president of Activision’s Blizzard Entertainment is leaving the company as it continues to deal with fallout from a discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit. The state of California sued Activision Blizzard Inc. last month, claiming the company was a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women.” On Tuesday Activision Blizzard President and COO Daniel Alegre sent a letter to employees to tell them that J. Allen Brack was leaving the company to pursue new opportunities.

Stocks shake off a wobbly start, end higher on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks shook off a wobbly start and ended higher Tuesday as traders weighed another big set of company earnings reports. Investors were also closely monitoring the latest developments with COVID-19 and its potential impact on a still-recovering economy amid the spread of the more contagious delta variant. The S&P 500 rose 0.8%. Health care and technology stocks led gains. Activision Blizzard fell 3.5% after the head of Blizzard Entertainment said he would resign after the company was hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Clorox slumped 9.5% after the company’s results missed analysts’ forecasts. The yield on 10-year Treasury note inched up to 1.18%.

1st cruise ship docks in Puerto Rico since pandemic began

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The Carnival Mardi Gras docked Tuesday in Puerto Rico — the first time a cruise ship has visited the U.S. territory since the pandemic began. Some cautiously celebrated the arrival. It comes as Puerto Rico has reported an increase in COVID-19 cases blamed on the delta variant but also as it seeks to restart its crucial tourism sector, which depended largely on record numbers of cruise ship passengers in recent years. Carlos Mercado, executive director of Puerto Rico’s Tourism Company, told The Associated Press that the government took several precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including allowing only those who are fully vaccinated to disembark.

BMW reaps $5.7 billion in profit, warns on parts shortages

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — BMW reported 4.8 billion euros ($5.7 billion) in net profit in the second quarter, rounding out a strong earnings season for Germany’s three big automakers as global auto markets continue to recover from the pandemic — particularly when it comes to luxury cars. The company warned, however, that shortages of electronic parts could make production and sales for the rest of the year “volatile.” The Munich-based automaker said Tuesday it benefited from strong pricing during the quarter and a predominance of more-profitable vehicles in its sales mix.

The S&P 500 added 35.99 points, or 0.8%, to 4,423.15. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 278.24 points, or 0.8%, to 35,116.40. The Nasdaq gained 80.23 points, or 0.5%, to 14,761.29. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies advanced 8.09 points, or 0.4%, to 2,223.58.

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