Friday, May 24, 2024

AP morning business news brief – Jan. 10, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Powell: Fed has only narrow role to play on climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve has a limited role to play combating climate change, Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday, a stance that puts him at odds with environmental activists who have pushed central banks to take steps to limit lending to energy companies. “Without explicit congressional legislation, it would be inappropriate for us to use our monetary policy or supervisory tools to promote a greener economy or to achieve other climate-based goals,” Powell said in prepared remarks to be delivered during a panel discussion in Stockholm hosted by Sweden’s central bank. “We are not, and will not be, a ‘climate policymaker.’ ”

Europe has avoided energy collapse. But is the crisis over?

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Warm weather is helping Europe keep the lights and heat on this winter despite Russia cutting off most of its natural gas supply to the continent. Record highs have left Europe’s gas reserves practically untouched well into the winter heating season. That’s highly unusual — and politicians and analysts say it means the risk of blackouts or rationing is over. Households and businesses may avoid further extreme price spikes, but bills will stay higher than usual because gas prices are still far above where they were in early 2021. There’s also still uncertainty. A rebound in Chinese demand for natural gas after the end of severe COVID-19 lockdowns could put new strains on the energy market.

Trump’s longtime CFO faces sentencing for tax fraud scheme

NEW YORK (AP) — A longtime Donald Trump lieutenant who became a star prosecution witness and helped convict the former president’s company of tax fraud is set to be sentenced for dodging taxes on $1.7 million in company-paid perks. Allen Weisselberg is expected to be sentenced Tuesday to five months in jail, in keeping with a plea agreement the senior Trump Organization adviser and former chief financial officer reached in August. Weisselberg, 75, was promised the short sentence in August when he agreed to plead guilty to 15 tax crimes and testify against the company where he’s worked since the mid-1980s.

House GOP kicks off majority with vote to slash IRS funding

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans have began their tenure in the majority by passing a bill that would rescind nearly $71 billion that Congress had provided the IRS. Monday’s action fulfills a campaign promise, though the legislation is unlikely to advance any further. That funding was on top of what Congress provides the IRS annually through the appropriations process. Shortly before the vote, the Congressional Budget Office projected that rescinding the IRS funding would increase deficits over the coming decade by more than $114 billion. Republicans argued that revenue collected through increased enforcement would help finance what they called reckless spending.

China economy recovering but hampered by virus outbreaks

BEIJING (AP) — The most optimistic forecasts say China’s business and consumer activity might revive as early as the first quarter of this year. But before that happens, entrepreneurs and families face a painful squeeze from a surge in cases that has left employers without enough healthy workers. It’s also kept wary customers away from shopping malls, restaurants, hair salons and gyms. Forecasters say the abrupt decision by President Xi Jinping’s government to end controls that shut down factories and kept millions of people at home will move up the timeline for economic recovery, but might disrupt activity this year as businesses scramble to adapt.

Bed Bath & Beyond 3Q results miss Street as sales slide 33%

Bed Bath & Beyond’s fiscal third-quarter sales fell 33% as the home goods company works on striking the right balance with its shoppers. Sales slid to $1.26 billion from $1.88 billion for the three months ended Nov. 26. Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer’s health, dropped 32%. Analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research expected higher revenue of $1.43 billion.

Stocks open mixed head of company earnings updates

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is opening mixed ahead of key updates this week on inflation and company earnings. The S&P 500 was moving between small gains and losses in the early going Tuesday. A day earlier, it ended down slightly after giving up an early gain. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was flat and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was just barely higher. Small-company stocks were mostly lower. Long-term Treasury yields were slightly higher and crude oil prices rose. European markets were lower and Asian markets closed mixed overnight. Several major U.S. banks report their earnings on Friday, along with Delta Air Lines.

UK space industry mulls setback after satellite launch fails

LONDON (AP) — British officials and space scientists say they are disappointed but not deterred after the first attempt to launch satellites into orbit from the U.K. ended in failure. U.S.-based Virgin Orbit attempted its first international launch late Monday, using a modified jumbo jet to carry a rocket from Cornwall in southwestern England over the Atlantic Ocean. After takeoff, the company said an “anomaly” had prevented the rocket carrying nine satellites from reaching orbit. The head of Spaceport Cornwall said the team was “feeling awful” but would get up and “go again.” The U.K.’s business secretary said the launch was “a big moment” despite its failure. The cause of the malfunction is being investigated.

Feds propose ‘student loan safety net’ alongside forgiveness

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is moving forward with a proposal that would lower student debt payments for millions of Americans now and in the future. It’s offering a new route to repay federal loans under far more generous terms. President Joe Biden announced the plan in August, but it was overshadowed by his sweeping plan to slash or eliminate student debt for 40 million Americans. Education Department officials on Tuesday called the new plan a “student loan safety net” that’ll prevent borrowers from getting overloaded with debt. The Democratic president is moving forward with the repayment plan even as his one-time debt cancellation faces an uncertain fate before the Supreme Court.

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