Sunday, June 23, 2024

AP morning business news brief – July 18, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

House Republicans propose planting a trillion trees as they move away from climate change denial

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are searching for solutions to climate change without restricting American-produced energy that comes from burning oil, coal and gas. Scientists overwhelmingly agree that heat-trapping gases released from the combustion of fossil fuels are pushing up global temperatures. But Republicans remain opposed to government action to force emissions reductions. Instead, they have embraced the idea of planting a trillion trees. A 2019 study suggested that planting trees to suck up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere could be one of the most effective ways to fight climate change. But environmental scientists call the idea a distraction from cutting emissions from fossil fuels.

Bank of America net income jumps 19%, extending the rally for big banks

Bank of America said its profits grew 19% last quarter, the latest of the big banks to see its bottom line boosted by higher interest rates. The nation’s second-largest bank by assets posted a profit of $7.4 billion in the three months ended June 30, up from $6.2 billion in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, BofA earned 73 cents, the same figure as one year ago. Analysts were expecting profit of 84 cents per share. Revenue of $25.2 billion came in just ahead of targets. Bank of America’s net interest income rose 14% to $14.2 billion in the second quarter.

Stock market today: Wall Street is mixed as earnings reporting season gears up

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is drifting following some mixed reports on the economy and corporate profits. The S&P 500 was edging up by 0.1% early Tuesday. The Dow was up 125 points, or 0.4%, and the Nasdaq was 0.4% lower. Bank of America, Charles Schwab and several other big financial companies reported stronger profits for the spring than expected. Treasury yields bounced around after reports showed that growth in spending at U.S. retailers slowed and that industrial production unexpectedly contracted. The data seemed to reinforce expectations that a rate hike by the Federal Reserve next week could be the last of this cycle.

As UK housing costs soar, anxiety grips homeowners and renters: ‘I’m in meltdown’

LONDON (AP) — For millions in the U.K., the cost-of-living crisis just never seems to ease. First, it was skyrocketing energy and food costs stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Now, it’s soaring housing costs as interest rates spike to 15-year highs. Those rates have risen to 5% after being under 1% for the past decade. That has ratcheted up mortgages and rents in Britain. Around a million households are expected to face a 500-pound, or $655, monthly increase in their average mortgage repayments in the next few years. More rate hikes are expected as the Bank of England tries to bring down the highest inflation in the Group of Seven major economies.

Divisions over the Ukraine war cause a rift at EU-LatAm summit that was supposed to be a love-in

BRUSSELS (AP) — High anxiety has dominated the closing day of a summit between European Union and Latin American leaders. What was supposed to be a love-in turned into a diplomatic fracas over the war in Ukraine. Ambassadors worked through much of the night and into Tuesday morning to find even the blandest text to condemn Russia for its invasion of Russia, with talks hung up over the reservations of some Central and South American nations such as Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. The 27-nation EU wanted the summit to focus on new economic initiatives and closer cooperation to stave off surging Chinese influence, but several Latin American and Caribbean leaders brought century-old recriminations over colonialism and slavery to the table.

The Biden administration announces a cybersecurity labeling program for smart devices

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration and major consumer tech players are launching an effort to put a nationwide cybersecurity certification and labeling program in place. The program announced Tuesday is to help consumers choose smart devices that are less vulnerable to hacking. Officials liken the new U.S. Cyber Trust Mark initiative to the Energy Star program, which rates appliances’ energy efficiency. The initiative will be overseen by the Federal Communications Commission. Industry participation is voluntary. Amazon, Best Buy, Google, LG, Logitech and Samsung are among industry participants. The labels are for products including baby monitors, home security cameras, fitness trackers, TVs and smart climate control systems. The labels could be ready by next year.

Why allowing Ukraine to ship grain during Russia’s war matters to the world

LONDON (AP) — Russia has suspended a wartime deal brokered by the U.N. and Turkey that was designed to move food from Ukraine to parts of the world where millions are going hungry. The Black Sea Grain Initiative has allowed 32.9 million metric tons of grain to be exported from Ukraine since last August. The group that facilitates the initiative says more than half of that has gone to developing countries. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that the part of the deal related to Russia has not been fulfilled. Moscow has complained that its own agricultural shipments have faced hurdles. That’s despite Moscow shipping record amounts of wheat.

Microsoft and UK regulators win more time to resolve blocked $69 billion Activision deal

LONDON (AP) — Microsoft and British regulators won more time from a court Monday as the U.S. tech company uses a rare second chance to overcome opposition to its $69 billion bid for video game maker Activision Blizzard. The judge conditionally approved their joint request to delay the appeal that Microsoft set in motion after watchdogs initially rejected the deal. The regulator later pushed back its final decision so it can consider Microsoft’s argument that new developments mean its blockbuster purchase of the Call of Duty game maker should go through. The merger has already won approval in the European Union and a slew of countries but has faced opposition from antitrust regulators in Britain and the United States.

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