Thursday, May 30, 2024

Business Briefs for 12-13-2022

by Associated Press

US inflation slowed sharply to 7.1% over past 12 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation in the United States slowed again last month in the latest sign that price increases are cooling despite the pressures they continue to inflict on American households. Consumer prices rose 7.1% in November from a year ago, the government said Tuesday. That was down sharply from 7.7% in October and a recent peak of 9.1% in June. It was the fifth straight slowdown. Measured from month to month, which gives a more up-to-minute snapshot, the consumer price index inched up just 0.1%. All told, the latest figures provided the strongest evidence to date that inflation in the United States is steadily slowing from the price acceleration that first struck about 18 months ago.

Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried hit with eight count indictment

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. prosecutors charged Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, with a host of financial crimes and campaign finance violations on Tuesday, alleging he played a central role in the collapse of FTX and hid its problems from the public and investors. Bankman-Fried was charged with eight counts, ranging from wire fraud to money laundering to conspiracy to commit fraud on the U.S. He was also charged with violating campaign finance laws. Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged Bankman-Fried defrauded investors and used proceeds from investors to buy real estate on behalf of himself and family.

Stocks leap on Wall Street after cooler inflation data

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is leaping higher after a report showed inflation cooled more than expected last month, raising the chances that the economy can avoid a recession. The S&P 500 was 2.6% higher in Tuesday morning trading, adding to its strong last-hour rally from a day earlier built on anticipation of the inflation data. The Dow was up 547 points. Besides stocks, prices also leaped for everything from bonds to gold to bitcoin. The encouraging data on inflation cements investors’ expectations the Federal Reserve will ease up on its aggressive hikes to interest rates. The Fed’s next decision arrives Wednesday.

Musk’s Twitter disbands its Trust and Safety advisory group

Elon Musk’s Twitter has dissolved its Trust and Safety Council. That’s the advisory group of nearly 100 independent civil, human rights and other organizations that the company formed in 2016 to address hate speech, child exploitation, suicide, self-harm and other problems on the platform. The council had been scheduled to meet with Twitter representatives on Monday night. But Twitter informed the group via email that it was disbanding it shortly before the meeting was to take place. That’s according to multiple council members who provided images of the email to The Associated Press. They spoke on the condition of anonymity due to fears of retaliation.

Most small SUVs flunk updated insurance industry crash tests

DETROIT (AP) — Most small SUVs flunked the latest frontal crash tests done by the insurance industry, but oddly enough, they’re just as safe as they were before. That’s because the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety updated the test so it places more emphasis on keeping back-seat passengers safe. Only the Ford Escape and Volvo XC40 got the top “good” rating in this year’s testing released Tuesday. The Toyota RAV4 was rated “acceptable,” while Audi’s Q3, the Nissan Rogue and the Subaru Forester were “marginal.” The Buick Encore, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V and HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass and Renegade, Mazda CX-5 and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross got the bottom rating of “poor.”

United places huge order with Boeing to replace aging planes

United Airlines is making waves with a huge order for new planes. United said Tuesday that it will buy 100 new Boeing 787s and also add some orders for the Boeing Max. The 787 is a large, twin-aisle jetliner that flies international routes, and United will use it to replace some aging Boeing 767 and 777 jets. United and Boeing did not disclose financial terms of the sale. The Boeing 787 lists at between $248 million and $338 million per plane, but airlines routinely negotiate deep discounts on aircraft orders.

EU again seeks elusive gas price cap to contain energy costs

BRUSSELS (AP) — EU energy ministers again are seeking to overcome deep differences on a natural gas price cap that many hope would make utility bills cheaper so people can stay a little warmer during harsh winter days. The ministers have been forced into five emergency meetings because they cannot come to agreement on a maximum ceiling to pay for gas because of fear that global suppliers will simply bypass Europe when others offer more money. Despite the time pressure two days ahead of an EU leaders summit, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said Tuesday’s meeting “will not be easy also because member states do have very different views.”

Merck, Moderna detail potential skin cancer vaccine progress

Shares of Merck and Moderna jumped early Tuesday after the drugmakers said a potential skin cancer vaccine they are developing using the same technology behind COVID-19 preventive shots did well in a mid-stage study. The drugmakers said a combination of the vaccine and Merck’s immunotherapy Keytruda led to a statistically significant improvement in recurrence-free survival time in patients with phase 3 or 4 melanoma who had the tumors removed. That combination was compared with Keytruda alone. The companies say the patient group that took the combination saw a 44% reduction in the risk of death or the cancer returning.

EU makes breakthrough on climate-protection import tax

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has moved closer to pushing through an unprecedented tax on foreign companies that want to import products that do not meet climate-protection standards that EU companies have to comply with. The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism seeks to create a competitive level playing field after EU companies complained that they had to incur high costs to meet climate targets while international competitors could simply import their goods without such constraints. It could price local producers out of the market. The agreement between the EU parliament and the 27 member states still stopped short of a full deal, but brought the implementation of the system within striking distance.

Rail workers walk off job to start month of UK strikes

LONDON (AP) — Railroad workers across England have walked off the job, disrupting trains throughout the U.K. and starting what is expected to be a month of strikes by public service workers. The workers are demanding higher pay as soaring inflation erodes living standards. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union has called two 48-hour strikes this week, canceling most services on Tuesday and Wednesday then again on Friday and Saturday. The strikes come after unions rejected the latest offer on pay. Nurses, border guards and ambulance drivers are among the other workers set to strike this month. The government is considering mobilizing the army to staff vital public services this winter.

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