Sunday, May 26, 2024

Business Briefs for 12-23-2022

by Associated Press

An inflation measure watched by the Fed eases to 5.5%

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of inflation closely watched by the Federal Reserve slowed last month, another sign that a long surge in consumer prices seems to be easing. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 5.5% in November from a year earlier, down from a revise 6.1% increase in October. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core inflation was up 4.7% over the previous year. On a month-to-month basis, prices rose 0.1% from October to November after rising 0.4% the previous month. Core prices rose 0.2%.

Ukraine president back in Kyiv, Russia keeps up attacks

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sounded another defiant note on his return to his nation’s capital following his wartime visit to the United States. He said Friday that Ukrainian forces are “working toward victory” even as Russia launched new strikes across the country. Zelenskyy posted on his Telegram account that he’s in his Kyiv office and pledged that “we’ll overcome everything.“ Zelenksyy’s return comes amid relentless Russian artillery, rocket and mortar fire and airstrikes on the eastern and southern fronts and elsewhere in Ukraine. The Ukrainian military said Russian forces fired multiple rocket launchers “more than 70 times” across Ukrainian territory overnight while fierce battles raged around the city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region.

FTX founder Bankman-Fried allowed $250M bond, house arrest

NEW YORK (AP) — Cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried has left Manhattan federal court after his parents signed a $250 million personal recognizance bond. He wore an electronic monitoring bracelet as he rushed to a car Thursday to head with his parents to their California home to await trial. Bankman-Fried is accused of swindling investors and looting customer deposits on his FTX trading platform. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos said that the 30-year-old Bankman-Fried “perpetrated a fraud of epic proportions.” Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein largely agreed to bail terms proposed by lawyers on both sides. Bankman-Fried is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 3.

Tesla offers rare year-end discounts on 2 top-selling models

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla is offering rare discounts through year’s end on its two top-selling models, an indication that demand is slowing for its electric vehicles. The Austin, Texas, company started offering a $3,750 incentive on its Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV on its website earlier this month. But on Wednesday it doubled the discount to $7,500 for those who take delivery between now and Dec. 31. The move comes ahead of a new federal tax credit of up to $7,500 that’s scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. Until the new year, Teslas weren’t eligible for a previous federal tax credit program because the company had reached a limit of 200,000 vehicles sold.

US economy grew 3.2% in Q3, an upgrade from earlier estimate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shrugging off rampant inflation and rising interest rates, the U.S. economy grew at an unexpectedly strong 3.2% annual pace from July through September, the government reported Thursday in a healthy upgrade from its earlier estimate of third-quarter growth. The rise in gross domestic product — the economy’s output in goods and services — marked a return to growth after consecutive drops in the January-March and April-June periods. Driving the third-quarter growth were strong exports and healthy consumer spending.

Microsoft will fight US over $68.7B Activision Blizzard deal

Microsoft is headed for a battle with the Federal Trade Commission over whether the U.S. will block the tech giant’s planned takeover of video game company Activision Blizzard. Microsoft on Thursday filed a formal response to the FTC lawsuit’s declaring the $68.7 billion deal an illegal acquisition that should be stopped. For years, Microsoft has avoided the political backlash that has been directed at its big tech peers Amazon, Google and Meta. But the software giant now appears to be on a collision course with U.S. regulators emboldened by President Joe Biden’s push to get tough on anti-competitive behavior. The FTC claims the merger could violate antitrust laws by suppressing competitors to Microsoft’s Xbox game console and subscription business.

Strikes over pay disrupt Christmas travel in UK, France

LONDON (AP) — Air travelers are facing possible delays at U.K. airports as government employees who check passports go on strike. The walkout Friday is the latest in a spate of walkouts over pay amid a cost-of-living crisis. France braced for similar Christmas travel disruption, with a weekend rail strike starting to bite on Friday. The strike by U.K. Border Force staff is due to continue through the end of the year, with the exception of next Tuesday. Hundreds of thousands of passengers could be affected. The strikes are putting pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government, which is refusing demands from public sector workers for substantial pay rises. Inflation stood at 10.7% in November.

US futures fall after data shows inflation eased last month

BANGKOK (AP) — U.S. markets bounced between gains and losses early Friday after a closely-watched gauge of consumer inflation showed that a long surge in consumer prices seems to be easing. Futures for the Dow and S&P briefly shot up after the report was released, but are now down about 0.2% just minutes before the opening bell. Friday’s report from the government showed that prices rose 5.5% in November from a year earlier, down from a revised 6.1% increase in October and the smallest gain since October 2021. The Federal Reserve, which has raised interest rates seven times this year, monitors the report closely.

US probing automated driving system use in 2 Tesla crashes

The U.S. government’s highway safety agency says it’s sending teams to investigate November crashes in California and Ohio involving Teslas that may have been operating on automated driving systems. The probes bring to 35 the number of crashes investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 2016 in which either Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” or “Autopilot” systems likely were in use. The California crash occurred on Thanksgiving Day involving eight vehicles on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The Ohio crash happened Nov. 18 near Toledo, when a Tesla Model 3 crashed into an Highway Patrol SUV. A message was left Thursday seeking comment from Tesla.

Group urges feds to investigate Snapchat over fentanyl sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the U.S. deals with its deadliest overdose crisis to date, a national crime-prevention group is calling on the Justice Department to clamp down on social media’s role in the spread of fentanyl, the drug largely driving a troubling spike in overdose deaths among teenagers. The National Crime Prevention Council sent a letter Wednesday to Attorney General Merrick Garland. The group known for ads featuring McGruff the Crime Dog is calling for an investigation into fake, fentanyl-laced pills sold on the popular teen platform Snapchat. The company says it has been working to address the national crisis in recent years will continue to do everything it can.

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