Friday, May 24, 2024

AP morning business news brief – June 2, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Stock market today: Wall Street up ahead of May jobs report and chance for a rate hike pause

Wall Street pointed higher ahead of a U.S. jobs market update, one day after U.S. lawmakers approved a deal to avert a government debt default. Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.5% before the bell on Friday. While the U.S. debt agreement was positive for the markets, investors are more concerned about whether the economy will fall into a recession before inflation recedes enough to convince the Federal Reserve to ease off rate hikes. Investors were optimistic of a Fed rate hike pause after comments by two Fed officials on Thursday.

Journalists to strike June 5 at the largest US newspaper chain

Journalists across the U.S. will walk off their jobs next week at publications owned by Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the U.S. Their union said Thursday that the mostly one-day strike will start June 5. It aims to protest the company’s leadership and cost-cutting measures imposed since its 2019 merger with GateHouse Media. It will coincide with Gannett’s annual shareholder meeting. Protesters will urge shareholders to express their lack of confidence in CEO Mike Reed, who has overseen the chain since the merger. Gannett shares have dropped more than 60% since that deal closed amid a tumultuous period for the news business.

US, Taiwan sign trade deal over China’s opposition

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has signed a trade agreement with Taiwan over opposition from China, which claims the self-ruled island democracy as part of its territory. The two governments say the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade will strengthen commercial relations by improving customs, investment and other regulation. The measure was signed Thursday by employees of the unofficial entities that maintain relations between the United States and Taiwan, a center for high-tech industry. They have no formal diplomatic ties but maintain unofficial relations and have billions of dollars in annual trade. The Chinese government accused Washington of violating agreements on Taiwan’s status and demanded the U.S. government stop official contact with the island’s elected government.

Meta tests blocking news content on Instagram, Facebook for some Canadians

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Meta is preparing to block news for some Canadians on Facebook and Instagram in a temporary test that is expected to last through the end of June. The Silicon Valley tech giant is following in the steps of Google, which earlier this year blocked news content from some of its Canadian users in response to a government bill that will require tech giants to pay publishers for linking to or otherwise repurposing their content online. Meta says it’s prepared to block news permanently on Facebook and Instagram if the bill passes, which the government said could happen this month.

Audit finds National Highway Traffic Safety Administration auto safety defect probes take too long

DETROIT (AP) — A government audit has found that the U.S. agency charged with keeping the roads safe is slow to investigate automobile safety defects, limiting its ability to handle rapidly changing or severe risks. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation doesn’t have an integrated computer system for its probes. The audit made public Thursday from the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General found that the office has made progress in restructuring and modernizing its data and analysis systems. But it found that weaknesses in meeting the office’s own goals for timely investigations increase possible delays in probing important safety issues.

How Biden and McCarthy struck a debt limit deal and staved off a catastrophe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Perhaps most critical to locking up the debt limit deal were President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s five handpicked negotiators, three men and two women unknown to most outside government. They were tasked to work out an agreement between Biden and McCarthy — with no direct involvement by any other members of Congress. That advice to “shrink the room” and avoid lawmakers’ constant sniping was on the advice delivered in part by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The outcome provides a tale of an underestimated House speaker and a president who tuned out the noise even from his own party to ensure a default would not happen on his watch.

Germany reports labor shortage in one-sixth of professions

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s national labor agency says the country has labor shortages in one-sixth of professions and the number is growing. Its assessment came Friday as ministers prepare to travel to Brazil to encourage the recruitment of caregivers. Germany has Europe’s biggest economy. The Federal Labor Agency said that its annual analysis showed that 200 out of about 1,200 professions it surveyed had labor shortages last year. That figure is up from 148 the previous year. The agency said that bus drivers, service jobs in hotels and restaurants, and jobs in metalwork were among those that joined the list.

Why are people in Britain talking about Boris Johnson’s WhatsApp messages?

LONDON (AP) — Critics accuse the British administration of running “government by WhatsApp” due to the popularity of the messaging app with politicians and officials. So it feels inevitable that a tussle over WhatsApp messages is at the heart of Britain’s official inquiry into how the country handled the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of messages exchanged between then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson and government ministers, aides and officials form key evidence for the investigation chaired by retired judge Heather Hallett. The Conservative government is now led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. It wants to be able to edit the messages before handing them over. The government says some are personal and irrelevant to the inquiry.

British government appoints new acting chair for BBC to ‘provide stability’

LONDON (AP) — The British government has appointed a new acting chair for the BBC five weeks after the resignation of Richard Sharp. Sharp resigned after he was found to have failed to disclose a potential conflict of interest over his role in arranging a loan for then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer on Friday appointed veteran BBC board member Elan Closs Stephens to serve as acting chair for 12 months or until a new permanent chair is named, whichever is sooner. Frazer said Friday that Stephens has the unanimous support of the board and will “provide stability” for the the publicly funded national broadcasterBBC.

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