Monday, May 20, 2024

AP morning business news summary – May 25, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Stock market today: AI frenzy pulls Wall Street higher despite DC debt woes

NEW YORK (AP) — A monster financial forecast from one of Wall Street’s most influential stocks is helping to support the market, even as worries worsen about political rancor in Washington. The S&P 500 was 0.4% higher Thursday after chipmaker Nvidia reported stronger profit and revenue than expected for the latest quarter, benefiting from the tech world’s rush into artificial intelligence. It helped the Nasdaq composite leap 1.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.3%, as the majority of stocks on Wall Street fell. Treasury yields rose after reports suggested the U.S. economy is in better shape than feared.

Housing crisis remains in Kentucky’s poor Appalachia region after flood waters recede

JACKSON, Ky. (AP) — Nearly a year after deadly flooding hit eastern Kentucky, a housing crisis is affecting the impoverished region. Hundreds of Appalachian families remain displaced or living in badly damaged homes, nearly all uninsured against flood damage. Experts say people in poor areas have additional obstacles to recovering their lives after a flood. Scott McReynolds, who runs a Kentucky nonprofit, says the region had a housing crisis even before the flood hit. State officials have a plan to move some flood victims onto higher ground. And the federal government has kicked in nearly $300 million to help the region, but it is unclear when that will arrive, how much will be for housing and how much longer struggling families can hang on.

Expect big crowds for the summer travel season — and big prices, too

The unofficial start of the summer travel season is here, with airlines hoping to avoid the chaos of last year and travelers scrounging for ways to save a few bucks on pricey airfares and hotel rooms. Some travelers say they will settle for fewer trips than they hoped to take, or they will drive instead of fly. Others are finding different money-saving sacrifices. AAA predicts that 37 million Americans will drive at least 50 miles from home this weekend, an increase of more than 2 million from Memorial Day last year but still below pre-pandemic numbers in 2019. The Transportation Security Administration expects to screen 10 million travelers between Friday and Monday, a 14% increase over the holiday in 2022 and slightly more than in 2019.

Companies are finding it’s not so simple to leave Russia. Others are quietly staying put

When Russia invaded Ukraine, companies were quick to respond, some announcing they would get out of Russia immediately. Others vowed to curtail sales and new investment. Billions of dollars’ worth of factories, energy holdings and power plants were written off or put up for sale. More than a year later, it’s clear: Leaving Russia isn’t as easy as the first announcements might have made it seem. Increasingly, Russia has put hurdles in the way of companies that want out, requiring approval by a government commission and in some cases from President Vladimir Putin himself, while imposing painful discounts and taxes on sale prices. They also risk running afoul of Western sanctions and public opinion.

Which companies are leaving Russia and which are staying? Here’s a look

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — More than 500 companies have suspended their business in Russia, and a similar number have withdrawn completely. A database kept by Yale University shows an additional 151 are “scaling back,” 175 are “buying time” and 230 are “digging in.” Chinese companies figure prominently in the last category. Volkswagen closed a long-delayed deal to sell its Russian business on Friday but still faces a contractor’s lawsuit. Burger King and Carl’s Jr. are both still open in Moscow. An executive at Burger King’s parent company has told employees that franchise agreements made it impossible to force the local operator to shut down while the company tries to sell its share in the joint Russia venture.

Look who’s talking: Biden goes quiet in debt-limit talks, while McCarthy can’t stop chatting

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has made a deliberate decision to go quiet as his team gets down to the wire in the debt-limit talks, according to White House officials. It’s his deeply held view that speaking in public about negotiations does nothing to produce an outcome. The already voluble House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, by contrast, is especially chatty these days, as he aggressively tries to set the terms of the public debate. He’s spoken with journalists at least a dozen times this week, according to aides, while Biden has intentionally stayed out of the spotlight.

Germany economy shrinks in first quarter, signaling one definition of recession

BERLIN (AP) — The German economy has shrunk unexpectedly in the first three months of this year, marking the second quarter of contraction that is one definition of recession. Data released Thursday by the Federal Statistical Office has Germany’s gross domestic product down by 0.3% in the period from January to March. That follows a drop of 0.5% in Europe’s biggest economy during the last quarter of 2022. Two consecutive quarters of contraction is a common definition of recession, though economists on the euro area business cycle dating committee use a broader set of data. The figures are a blow to the German government, which boldly doubled its growth forecast for this year after a winter energy crunch failed to materialize.

Supreme Court limits federal power over wetlands, boosts property rights over clean water

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has made it harder for the federal government to police water pollution. The decision from the court on Thursday strips protections from wetlands that are isolated from larger bodies of water. It’s the second ruling in as many years in which a conservative majority has narrowed the reach of environmental regulations. The justices boosted property rights over concerns about clean water in ruling in favor of an Idaho couple who sought to build a house near a lake. The couple objected when federal officials identified a soggy portion of the property as a wetlands that required a building permit.

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