Tuesday, July 23, 2024

AP morning business news brief – July 14, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

JPMorgan second quarter profit jumps 67% with a boost from First Republic takeover

JPMorgan Chase says its second-quarter profits rose by 67% as the nation’s largest bank made more loans to customers and took advantage of higher interest rates and its recent acquisition of First Republic. JPMorgan said Friday that it earned $14.5 billion in the three months ended June 30, compared to a profit of of $8.65 billion in the same period a year earlier. On a per share basis, the bank earned $4.75 a share. Revenue rose to $42.4 billion. The results beat Wall Street forecasts.

Wells Fargo 2Q profit jumps 57% on higher interest rates

Wells Fargo says profits jumped 57% in the second quarter thanks to higher interest rates and loan balances. San Francisco-based Wells said on Friday that it earned $4.9 billion, or $1.25 per share in the period, on $20.5 billion in revenue. That beat Wall Street analysts’ targets. In the same period last year, Like other banks, Wells has benefitted from the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes as the central bank tries to bring down the worst inflation since the 1980s. The bank did set aside additional funds to guard against potential losses on commercial real estate loans.

FTC investigating ChatGPT creator OpenAI over consumer protection issues

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation into ChatGPT creator OpenAI and whether the artificial intelligence company violated consumer protection laws by scraping public data and publishing false information through its chatbot. The agency sent OpenAI a 20-page letter requesting detailed information on its AI technology, products, customers, privacy safeguards and data security arrangements. An FTC spokesperson had no comment on the investigation, which was first reported by the Washington Post, which posted the letter online. OpenAI founder Sam Altman tweeted disappointment that the investigation was disclosed in a “leak” but added that the company will work with the FTC.

Stock market today: Wall Street ticks higher after profit reports, heads for another winning week

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are ticking higher following stronger profit reports than expected from several financial giants. The S&P 500 was 0.2% higher in early trading Friday, coming off its highest close since April 2022. The Dow was up 137 points, or 0.4%, and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.5%. UnitedHealth Group, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo all rose after reporting stronger profit for the spring than expected, as the second-quarter earnings season kicks off. Analysts have low expectations and are forecasting a third straight drop for S&P 500 earnings. But better-than-expected reports and optimism about cooling inflation have the S&P 500 on track for another winning week.

Microsoft gets more time from UK to plead case to buy video game maker Activision

LONDON (AP) — British antitrust regulators have extended their deadline to issue a final order blocking Microsoft’s $69 billion plan to buy video game maker Activision Blizzard. They said Friday that it will give them more time to consider the U.S. tech giant’s “detailed and complex submission” pleading its case. The Competition and Markets Authority had rejected the deal, set to be the biggest in tech history. They feared it would stifle competition for popular titles like Call of Duty in the fast-growing cloud gaming market. But the U.K. watchdog appears to have softened its position after a judge thwarted U.S. regulators’ efforts to block the deal. The authority says it pushed its deadline back to Aug. 29.

Disney is asking a judge to toss a lawsuit from DeSantis appointees

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Disney is asking a Florida judge to toss out a lawsuit filed by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appointees to Disney World’s governing district. The appointees are trying to void agreements that the company made in an attempt to neutralize the takeover of the district by the Florida governor. The court hearing in Orlando on Friday involves one of two cases between Disney and DeSantis or his appointees stemming from the takeover in retaliation for the company’s public opposition to their so-called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. Disney and DeSantis have been engaged in a feud that the governor has touted during his run for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

China’s Shein hit with lawsuit citing RICO violations, a law originally used against organized crime

China’s fast fashion retailer Shein is facing a lawsuit that claims the clothing maker’s copyright infringement is so aggressive, it amounts to racketeering. The filing this week claims that Shein is in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as RICO, a law originally crafted to prosecute organized crime. The lawsuit is just the latest in a series of difficulties Shein has faced. In May a bipartisan group of two dozen lawmakers asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to put the brakes on an initial public offering by Shein until it verified that it does not use forced labor from the country’s predominantly Muslim Uyghur population.

Founder of student aid startup Frank shakes head as prosecutor describes case against her

NEW YORK (AP) — The founder of student aid startup Frank shook her head repeatedly as a prosecutor claimed she tricked J.P. Morgan Chase into paying $175 million for her business by lying about its client base. The Manhattan federal prosecutor described the criminal case against Charlie Javice to a Manhattan federal judge at a pretrial hearing Thursday. Javice and newly charged codefendant Olivier Amar have each pleaded not guilty to an indictment unveiled Wednesday. Javice’s attorney has predicted that J.P. Morgan Chase communications that are yet to be given to attorneys will ultimately support his client’s contention that she did not act illegally.

Kenyan religious leaders urge the president to repeal a new tax law as protests surge

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Christian and Muslim leaders in Kenya are urging President William Ruto to repeal a finance bill whose new taxes have sparked protests and police killings of civilians. The national religious groups warn that Kenyans face a level of hopelessness that “can easily inspire insurrection.” The main political opposition group says the next protest will be next Wednesday, but Ruto says it won’t be allowed to go ahead. Human rights watchdogs have asserted that police killed as many as 10 people in the latest protests this week, while a police official told The Associated Press that officers killed at least six.

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