Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Business Briefs for 12-16-2022

by Associated Press

US stocks sink as Fed signals it will remain aggressive

Stocks have tumbled in the U.S. and Europe as investors grew increasingly concerned that the Federal Reserve and other central banks are willing to risk a recession to bring inflation under control. The S&P 500 fell 2.5% Thursday, erasing its gains from early in the week. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 3.2% and the Dow gave back 2.2%. A day earlier, the Fed said interest rates will need to go higher than previously expected in order to tame inflation. The yield on the two-year Treasury note, which tracks expectations for Fed moves, rose to 4.24% from 4.21% late Wednesday.

High inflation and efforts to tame it defined 2022 economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — At times, 2022 felt like the 1970s or early ’80s. Inflation running rampant. A bleak outlook leaving people feeling sour and anxious. It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. When the Federal Reserve’s policymakers made their 2022 forecasts a year ago, they felt almost cheery. It turns out they underestimated how much wage growth, supply shortages and the pent-up desire of consumers to spend would conspire to keep inflation high. But mainly what they didn’t foresee was that Russia would invade neighboring Ukraine in February this year — an act of shocking aggression that upended world trade in energy and farm products and sent oil, natural gas and grain prices soaring.

Lawmakers quick to unload FTX founder’s contributions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers who eagerly accepted piles of cash from Samuel Bankman-Fried now can’t move fast enough to offload contributions from the disgraced crypto mogul to anywhere but their own campaign coffers. Before Bankman-Fried’s arrest, he was a prolific political donor to individual candidates right up to President Joe Biden as well as super PACs that can wield outsized influence in campaigns. Now he’s facing a slew of charges, including making illegal campaign contributions. The Associated Press contacted more than four dozen current and incoming lawmakers who received contributions from Bankman-Fried this election cycle. Many were quick to respond, stressing that they had already donated or plan to send the money to charity.

Twitter suspends journalists who wrote about Elon Musk

Twitter has suspended the accounts of journalists who cover the social media platform and its new owner Elon Musk. Those who saw their accounts suspended include journalists working for The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and other publications. The company hasn’t explained why it took down the accounts and made their profiles and past tweets disappear. The sudden suspension of news reporters followed Musk’s decision Wednesday to permanently ban an account that automatically tracked the flights of his private jet using publicly available data.

Musk’s Twitter tweaks foreshadow EU showdown over new rules

LONDON (AP) — Elon Musk’s more unfettered version of Twitter could collide with new rules in Europe. Officials warn the social media company will have to comply with some of the world’s toughest laws targeting toxic content. The new digital rulebook means the European Union is likely to be a global leader in cracking down on Musk’s reimagined platform. But the 27-nation bloc will face its own challenges forcing Twitter and other online companies to comply. The law doesn’t fully take effect until 2024, and EU officials are scrambling to recruit enough workers to hold Big Tech to account.

California approves roadmap for carbon neutrality by 2045

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Air Resources Board has voted to approve an ambitious plan to achieve carbon neutrality in the state by 2045. The plan has a goal of cutting emissions in the energy, transportation and agriculture sectors. But its targets for capturing carbon from the atmosphere has left critics concerned that big emitters will have a pathway to keep polluting. The vote comes months after Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote a letter to the board, urging it to approve drastic steps to cut emissions. The plan has undergone multiple changes after input from the public.

How the Fed’s rate hikes could affect your finances

NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s move to raise its key rate by a half-point brought it to its highest range in 14 years. The Fed’s increase — its seventh rate hike this year — will make it even costlier for consumers and businesses to borrow for homes, autos and other purchases. If, on the other hand, you have money to save, you’ll earn a bit more interest on it. As rates increase, many economists say they fear a recession remains inevitable — and with it, job losses that could cause hardship for households already badly hurt by inflation. Here’s what to know.

CES 2023: Tech world to gather and show off gadgets

NEW YORK (AP) — CES is returning to Las Vegas this January with the hope that it inches closer to how it looked before the pandemic. Next month’s show will also come amid a tough climate for the tech industry, which has gone through a spate of layoffs and hiring freezes. Organizers say their goal for the show is to draw in 100,000 attendees. That would be a positive change from the look and feel of the past two events, which saw big drops in attendance over COVID fears or was held virtually. But even if organizers reach their goal, January’s CES would still see a 41% dip in attendance compared to the in-person show held in early 2020, before the pandemic consumed much of everyday life.

Retail sales drop at start of key holiday shopping season

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans cut back their retail spending last month as the holiday shopping season began amid high prices and rising interest rates that are forcing some families, particularly those with lower incomes, curtail their consumption. The government said Thursday that retail sales fell 0.6% from November to December, after a sharp rise the previous month. Sales fell at furniture, electronics, and home and garden stores.

Tesla closes up despite Musk selling $3.58B of its shares

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Shares of Tesla have risen slightly despite news that CEO Elon Musk sold another $3.58 billion worth of the electric vehicle maker’s stock this week. The stock closed at $157.67, faring better than the broader markets. Musk sold the shares from Monday through Wednesday. That’s according to a filing posted Wednesday night by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It wasn’t clear where the proceeds were being spent. Musk has sold nearly $23 billion worth of Tesla stock since April, with much of the money likely going to help fund his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. Tesla’s stock has lost over half its value since Musk first disclosed in April that he was buying up Twitter stock.

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