Friday, May 24, 2024

Business Briefs for 12-12-2022

by Associated Press

Shoppers, workers clash over post-pandemic expectations

NEW YORK (AP) — More than two and a half years into the pandemic, many businesses have had to curb their hours of operations or services as they continue to grapple with labor shortages. The National Restaurant Association’s most recent monthly survey of 4,200 restaurant operators found that 60% of restaurants reduced hours of operation on the days they were open, while 38% closed on the days they would normally be open compared to right before the pandemic. The changes are creating a disconnect between customers who want to shop and dine like they used to during pre-pandemic times and exhausted employees who no longer want to work those long hours. That push-pull is only being heightened during the busy holiday shopping season.

Amgen to buy Horizon Therapeutics in $26.4B deal

Amgen will acquire Horizon Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on treatments for rare, autoimmune diseases, for about $26.4 billion. Each Horizon shareholder will receive $116.50 per share for each share they own. Amgen said Monday that the deal has an enterprise value of about $28.3 billion. U.S.-traded shares of Horizon soared about 30%, past $100, after the company confirmed late last month that it had begun “highly preliminary discussions” about an acquisition with Amgen, the French drugmaker Sanofi, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen division.

UK economy shrinks 0.3% in three months through October

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s economy shrank in the three months through October, confirming the toll rampant inflation and rising interest rates are having on business and industry. The Office for National Statistics said Monday that gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, fell by 0.3% in the period when compared with the three months through July. The decline came even as monthly estimates showed GDP increased by 0.5% in October after a 0.6% drop in September, when economic activity was artificially reduced by an extra public holiday to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Japanese company’s lander rockets toward moon with UAE rover

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A Tokyo company is aiming for the moon with its own private lander. The lander blasted off from Cape Canaveral on Sunday atop a SpaceX rocket. On board is the United Arab Emirates’ first lunar rover and a toylike robot from Japan that’s designed to roll around in the gray lunar dust. It will take nearly five months for the lander and its experiments to reach the moon. The company ispace designed the craft for minimal fuel. That’s why it’s taking a slow, low-energy path to the moon that will have it flying 1 million miles away, before looping back to the moon.

A breast cancer survivor on changing odds for Black women

NEW YORK (AP) — Ricki Fairley, a 11-year late stage breast cancer survivor and advocate, is fighting hard to improve the chances for Black women to overcome breast cancer. Before her diagnosis in 2011, Fairley was a seasoned marketing executive. Then, her diagnosis with a late-stage breast cancer subtype dramatically changed her life. In 2020, she helped start a nonprofit foundation called Touch, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance to help turn the tide for Black women’s survivorship after seeing a mountain of studies pointing to how Black women are disproportionately affected by breast cancer. The Associated Press recently interviewed Fairley about her work and how she was inspired by her late father Richard Fairley, a civil rights leader.

Free ride: DC unveils bold plan to boost public transit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare for the District of Columbia and other major cities that public transit was a lifeline for essential workers and that even modest fares could be a burden to them. So the nation’s capital is introducing a groundbreaking plan: It will begin offering free bus fares to residents next summer. It comes at a time when major cities including Los Angeles, Boston and Denver and states such as Connecticut are considering broader zero-fare policies to promote equity and help regain ridership that was lost with the rise of remote and hybrid work. Analysts say D.C.’s free fare system offers a good test case on how public transit can be reshaped for a post-pandemic future.

Wall Street holds steady ahead of final rate hikes for year

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is holding steady at the start of a busy week where central banks are likely to unload the year’s final barrage of hikes to interest rates. The S&P 500 was 0.3% higher in Monday morning trading. On Wednesday, markets expect the Federal Reserve to announce a more modest increase to rates than it’s been pushing through recently. Other central banks around the world are also expected to raise rates by half a percentage this week, including Europe’s. Higher rates slow the economy and risk causing a recession if they go too high, all while dragging down prices of investments.

House advances giant Texas storm surge project in water bill

HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the National Defense Authorization Act and it includes authorizations for a $34 billion plan to protect residents and the petrochemical industry near Galveston and Houston in Texas. It’s the most expensive project ever recommended by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Water Resources Development Act of 2022, passed Thursday, authorizes the Texas project plus 24 smaller ones. It also provides guidance to the Army Corps in critical areas like flood control, storm protection and navigation. The measure now heads to the Senate.

Gas prices fall again in NJ, nation as demand remains low

TRENTON. N.J. (AP) — Gas prices have again dropped sharply in New Jersey and around the country as demand remains slow and supplies continue to increase. AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price of a gallon of regular gas in New Jersey on Friday was $3.49, down 14 cents from last week. Drivers were paying $3.42 a gallon on average a year ago at this time. The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.31, down 13 cents last week. Drivers were paying $3.33 a gallon on average a year ago at this time. Analysts say gas prices will likely continue to drop next week, though not as sharply as in recent weeks given the decision by OPEC to continue cutting production.

Twitter relaunching subscriber service after debacle

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter is once again attempting to launch its premium service a month after a previous attempt failed. The social media company said it would let users buy subscriptions to Twitter Blue to get a blue checkmark and access special features starting Monday. The blue checkmark was originally given to companies, celebrities, government entities and journalists verified by the platform. After Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October he launched a service granting blue checks to anyone willing to pay $8 a month. But it was inundated by imposter accounts, so Twitter suspended the service.

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