Thursday, June 20, 2024

AP morning business news brief – July 7, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Stock market today: Wall Street is mixed after jobs report comes in warm but hopefully not too hot

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is holding relatively steady after data suggested the U.S. job market is still warm enough to keep the economy growing but maybe not so hot that it stokes inflation much higher. The S&P 500 was 0.1% lower Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 56 points, or 0.2%, and the Nasdaq composite was 0.1% higher. A lot is riding on whether the economy can navigate the narrow pathway to avoid a long-predicted recession. Friday’s report showed U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs last month, a slowdown from May and not far off economists’ expectations. Treasury yields were mixed.

Yellen appeals to China to revive talks and not let technology tensions disrupt ties

BEIJING (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has appealed to China’s No. 2 leader not to let frustration over U.S. curbs on access to processor chips and other technology disrupt economic cooperation during a visit aimed at improving strained relations. Meeting with Premier Li Qiang, Yellen said Washington and Beijing have a duty to cooperate on issues that affect the world. She appealed for communication at a time when relations are at their lowest in decades due to disputes over technology, security and other irritants. Yellen is one of a series of senior U.S. officials due to visit Beijing to try to encourage Chinese leaders to revive interaction.

Yellen’s visit to Beijing aims to heal rifts over a daunting array of China-US antagonisms

BEIJING (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is visiting Beijing as part of efforts to revive U.S.-Chinese relations that are at their lowest level in decades due to disputes over technology, security and other irritants. Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping met in November and agreed to improve relations. But neither government has shown willingness to make major policy changes. China’s Finance Ministry on Friday said it was hoping for “win-win results” from Yellen’s visit. It follows one by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met with Xi last month in an encounter that lasted just 30 minutes. Here’s a look at some areas of contention.

Food delivery services sue NYC over minimum pay rates for app-based workers

NEW YORK (AP) — Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub have sued New York City to block its new minimum pay rules for food delivery workers. The recently announced rules could nearly triple average earnings for app-based delivery workers in the coming years. An increased pay rate of $17.96 an hour is set to take effect July 12. In the lawsuits filed Thursday, food delivery services are seeking a temporary restraining order in state Supreme Court in Manhattan to stop the changes from going into effect on July 12. The companies claim the changes would result in higher costs for consumers. An email seeking comment was sent to city officials.

Twitter threatens legal action against Meta over its new rival app Threads

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter has threatened legal action against Meta over its new text-based app called Threads. The offering launched this week as a rival to Elon Musk’s social media platform and has drawn tens of millions of users. In a letter Wednesday to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, an attorney for Twitter accused Meta of unlawfully using Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property by hiring former Twitter employees to create a “copycat” app. The move ramps up the tensions between the social media giants as Threads targets people seeking out Twitter alternatives amid unpopular changes Musk has made to the platform. A Meta spokesperson wrote on Threads that “no one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee.”

Elevated mortgage rates are leading to sharply higher monthly payments even as home prices ease

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Would-be homebuyers are willing to take on sharply higher mortgage payments, even as home prices have begun to pull back this year. The median monthly payment listed on applications for home purchase loans jumped 14.1% in May from a year earlier to an all-time high $2,165, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The May figure also represents a 2.5% increase from April. The size of the mortgage and the interest rate on the loan influence how large the monthly payment on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will be — two housing market variables that have ballooned in recent years.

Countries agree to slash shipping emissions but not enough to stay within warming limits

Maritime nations agreed Friday to slash emissions from the shipping industry to net zero by about 2050 in a deal that many experts and some nations say falls well short of what’s needed to curb warming to agreed temperature limits. Negotiators at the meeting of the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization in London, seen as key to curb global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, rubber-stamped a deal for shipping emissions to reach net zero “by or around” 2050.

Biden launches a new push to limit health care costs hoping to show he can save money for families

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has rolled out a new set of initiatives to reduce health care costs. The initiatives out Friday include a crackdown on scam insurance plans, new guidance to prevent surprise medical bills and an effort to reduce medical debt tied to credit cards. Biden’s remarks will build on previous initiatives to limit health care costs. The Department of Health and Human Services is releasing new estimates showing 18.7 million older adults and other Medicare beneficiaries will in 2025 save an estimated $400 a year in prescription drug costs because of the Democratic president placing a cap on out-of-pocket spending as part of last year’s Inflation Reduction Act.

Robots take questions at Geneva press conference, say they could be better leaders than humans

BERLIN (AP) — Humanoid robots say they could lead more efficiently than humans, but wouldn’t take anyone’s job away and had no intention of rebelling against their creators. Nine AI-enabled humanoid robots sat or stood with their creators at a podium in a Geneva conference center on Friday for what the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union billed as the world’s first news conference featuring humanoid social robots. Reporters were asked to speak slowly and clearly when addressing the robots, and informed that time lags in responses would be due to the internet connection and not to the robots themselves. That didn’t prevent awkward pauses, audio problems and some robotic moments.

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