Tuesday, May 28, 2024

AP morning business news brief – June 9, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

The S&P 500 is in a bull market. Here’s what that means and how long the bull might run

The S&P 500 is now in what Wall Street refers to as a bull market, meaning the index has risen 20% or more from its most recent low. The S&P 500 closed Thursday at 4,294, and the bull market is considered to have begun on Oct. 13, 2022, a day after the index closed at 3,577. The rally was driven by a small group of mostly high-valued technology stocks. Wall Street’s nickname for a surging stock market is a bull market because bulls charge. In contrast, bears hibernate, so bears represent a market that’s retreating.

Smoke from wildfires, a fact of life in the West, catches outdoor workers off guard in the East

NEW YORK (AP) — The hazardous haze from Canada’s wildfires is taking its toll on outdoor workers along the Eastern U.S. who carried on with their daily jobs even as dystopian orange skies forced the cancelation of sports events, school field trips and Broadway plays. Delivery workers, construction workers, railroad and airport employees, farm laborers and others and faced risks with echoes of the pandemic and familiar to their counterparts in the West Coast. But smoky skies were a new threat in the East Coast, catching many workers and employers by surprise and uncertain about what to do. Some left their jobs in the middle of the day, unable to carry on as the air quality worsened. Most pushed through in the hopes the crisis would quickly pass with little lasting damage.

Jury returns $63M verdict after finding Chevron covered up toxic pit on California land

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — A California jury has returned a $63 million verdict against Chevron after finding the oil giant covered up a toxic chemical pit on land purchased by a man who built a house on it and was later diagnosed with a blood cancer. The lawsuit said a Chevron subsidiary had used the property as a sump pit for oil and gas production, a process that left the carcinogenic chemical benzene in the ground. The victim’s lawyer called the case a “blatant example of environmental pollution and corporate malfeasance.” Chevron said it disagreed with the judgment and would appeal.

‘Dollarization’ of North Korean economy, once vital, now potential threat to Kim’s rule

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has tolerated the widespread use of more stable foreign currencies like U.S. dollars and the Chinese yuan since a bungled revaluation of the won in 2009 triggered runway inflation and public unrest. The so-called “dollarization” phenomenon helped ease inflation and stabilize foreign exchange rates. But experts say the currency substitution may hurt leader Kim Jong Un’s authority by undermining the government’s control of the money supply and its ability to set monetary policies. Now, observers say Kim may be trying to roll back use of the dollar and yuan to tighten his grip on the economy, a move that could backfire by just confusing and angering the public.

Stock market today: Bulls run again on Wall Street as S&P 500 climbs 20% above October low

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose just enough for Wall Street to barrel into a new bull market as the S&P 500 keeps rallying off its low from last autumn. The index rose 0.6% Thursday to carry it 20% above a bottom hit in October. That means Wall Street’s main measure of health has climbed out of a painful bear market, which saw it drop just over 25% in roughly nine months. That’s shorter than a typical bear market, and it also resulted in a shallower loss than average. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5%, and the Nasdaq composite added 1%.

Europe’s economy shrank. For households that are hurting, it’s just numbers

LONDON (AP) — The European economy has contracted slightly at the end of last year and beginning of 2023. The revised figures released Thursday by the European Union’s statistics agency underline the impact of the loss of Russian natural gas and high inflation on consumer spending. Economic output in the 20 countries that use the euro currency dropped 0.1% in both the final three months of 2022 and first three months of this year from the previous quarters. Two consecutive quarters of declining output is one definition of recession. However, the economists on a panel that declares eurozone recessions use a broader set of data, including unemployment figures.

US applications for jobless benefits highest since October 2021

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week rose to its highest level since October 2021, but the labor market remains one of the healthiest parts of the U.S. economy. The Labor Department reported Thursday that U.S. applications for jobless claims were 261,000 for the week ending June 3, an increase of 28,000 from the previous week’s 233,000. Weekly jobless claims are considered representative of U.S. layoffs. The four-week moving average of claims, which evens out some of the weekly variations, rose by 7,500 to 237,250. Overall, 1.76 million people were collecting unemployment benefits the week that ended May 27.

GM’s electric vehicles will gain access to Tesla’s vast charging network

DETROIT (AP) — Electric vehicles made by General Motors will be able to use much of Tesla’s vast charging network starting early next year. In addition, GM will adopt Tesla’s connector, the plug that links an electric vehicle to a charging station. GM joins Ford in shifting its vehicles to about 12,000 of Tesla’s chargers, and both Detroit automakers are pushing to make Tesla’s connector the industry standard. GM CEO Mary Barra and her Tesla counterpart, Elon Musk, made the announcement during a Twitter Spaces conversation. Their discussion comes two weeks after Ford CEO Jim Farley joined Musk to announce that Ford’s electric vehicles would gain access to much of Tesla’s EV-charging network, the largest in the nation.

Biden picks longtime transportation official as acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has another acting leader at the controls. The White House said Thursday that President Joe Biden picked longtime government official Polly Trottenberg to run the FAA. She replaces another acting administrator, Billy Nolen, who announced in April that he would leave soon. Trottenberg held a high-ranking job in the Transportation Department in the Obama administration. Most recently, she has been deputy to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Before that, she headed the New York City Transportation Department and worked on Capitol Hill as a Senate staffer. The FAA has been without a permanent administrator for more than a year.

Barely a bear: Wall Street exits what turned out to be a fairly tame bear market

NEW YORK (AP) — While it seemed scary and interminable, Wall Street’s bear market last year was meeker than most. After the S&P 500 on Thursday closed at a level more than 20% above where it was in mid-October, Wall Street can give official dates for the birth and death of its last bear market, which is what traders call a long decline of at least 20% for the S&P 500. It started on Jan. 3, 2022, when the S&P 500 set a record high, and ended on Oct. 12, when it bottomed out 25.4% lower. It was both shorter and shallower than the average bear market since 1950.

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