Saturday, April 20, 2024

AP morning business news brief – Aug. 14, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Thinking of buying a new pair of jeans? Breaking down the cost over time might help you decide

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers are looking beyond just the price tag of a skirt or a pair of pants in the wake of still stubbornly high inflation. Some are adopting a new calculation: how many times will they wear a piece of clothing to be able to justify the cost? Retailers like Kohl’s and Untuckit are taking note and have recently revamped their marketing campaigns to focus on durability. But the high upfront cost of some items makes the cost-per-wear calculation a nonstarter for those who can’t afford it. And fast-fashion purveyors like Shein and Temu remain popular for consumers who don’t really care how long the clothing will last just as long as it looks good for now.

US Steel rejects a $7.3 billion offer from rival Cleveland-Cliffs; considers alternatives

NEW YORK (AP) — United States Steel Corp. said Sunday that it rejected a $7.3 billion buyout proposal from rival Cleveland Cliffs and was reviewing “strategic alternatives” after receiving several unsolicited offers. Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel said it rejected the offer because Cleveland-Cliffs was pushing it to accept the terms without being allowed to conduct proper due diligence. Cleveland-Cliffs announced earlier Sunday that it had made an offer valuing the U.S. Steel at $7.3 billion, based on $17.50 a share in cash and 1.023 shares of Cliffs stock. Cleveland-Cliffs said the value of the offer was $35 a share, a premium over U.S. Steel’s closing stock price of $22.72 on Friday.

For Mark Zuckerberg’s Threads, the real rival is still TikTok — not the former Twitter

Threads, the simple, bare-bones text-based social network created by Facebook owner Meta, burst onto the scene during a particularly bad week for the rival then still known as Twitter. It quickly amassed 100 million signups — a huge feat for a newcomer in the space — and was dubbed as a “Twitter killer.” By week two, though, signups began to drop off. Is Mark Zuckerberg’s latest venture just a flash in the pan? That depends on whether it can hold its own against its biggest rival. And no, that’s not X, the former Twitter. It’s TikTok.

CNN revamps schedule, with new roles for Phillip, Coates, Wallace and Amanpour

NEW YORK (AP) — CNN is making dramatic changes to its lineup, with new roles for Abby Phillip, Laura Coates and news veterans Christiane Amanpour and Chris Wallace. Phillip and Coates will host back-to-back weeknight shows starting at 10 p.m. Eastern. They join Erin Burnett and Kaitlan Collins to give CNN a weeknight lineup hosted entirely by women, with the exception of Anderson Cooper at 8 p.m. Amanpour, who has hosted a show on CNN International but hasn’t been seen much on the domestic network, will host a new Saturday morning show. Wallace, formerly of Fox News, will host a live topical hour on Saturdays.

Russia’s currency hits the lowest level since the early weeks of the war in Ukraine

LONDON (AP) — The Russian ruble has reached its lowest value since the early weeks of the war in Ukraine as Moscow increases military spending and Western sanctions weigh on its energy exports. The Russian currency passed 101 rubles to the dollar on Monday, continuing a more than 25% decline in its value since the beginning of the year. President Vladimir Putin’s economic adviser blamed the weak ruble on “loose monetary policy” in an op-ed for state news agency Tass. He says a strong ruble is in the interests of the Russian economy and that a weak ruble “complicates economic restructuring and negatively affects people’s real incomes.”

Stock market today: Wall Street drifts as August’s doldrums continue for stocks

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is slipping ahead of a week of reports showing how strong U.S. shoppers remain, amid hopes their spending can keep the economy out of a recession. The S&P 500 was 0.2% lower Monday. The Dow was down 103 points, and the Nasdaq was 0.2% lower. It’s the latest step back in August’s lull for the stock market after what had been a gangbusters year. Trading across most of the market was relatively quiet. But U.S. Steel jumped to one of the market’s biggest gains after it said it rejected a buyout offer from Cleveland-Cliffs. Yields rose in the bond market.

Don’t expect quick fixes in ‘red-teaming’ of AI models. Security was an afterthought

BOSTON (AP) — White House officials concerned about AI chatbots’ potential for societal harm and the Silicon Valley powerhouses rushing them to market are heavily invested in a three-day competition ending Sunday at the DefCon hacker convention in Las Vegas. Some 3,500 competitors have tapped on laptops seeking to expose vulnerabilities in eight leading large-language models representative of technology’s next big thing. But don’t expect quick results. Identifying and fixing flaws will take time and many millions of dollars. Current AI models are simply too unwiedly, brittle and malleable, academic and corporate research shows. In their training, security was an afterthought.

Biden and House Democrats hope to make curbing ‘junk fees’ a winning issue in 2024

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is taking on “junk fees,” those extra charges tacked on to plane tickets, hotel rooms, hospital bills and more. Now congressional Democrats are teaming up with the Biden administration and a progressive advocacy group to try to turn a policy initiative into a political rallying cry for next year’s election. They’re betting a small but potentially potent kitchen table issue will resonate with voters. Democratic House members have already held events organized with help from the Progressive Change Institute in Detroit and Philadelphia. Similar efforts are planned with lawmakers in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere around the country.

Ro CEO charts growth past sexual health roots to obesity and beyond

Ro, the care provider formerly known as Roman, has launched a “body program.” It’s a subscription service that aims to guide customers through weight loss with help from doctors, nurses and the latest obesity treatments. CEO Zach Greitano says the subscription model for care gives patients a rare form of clarity in health care pricing. He says taking on obesity could open windows for his company into other corners of medicine. Ro built its name online by offering discreet help for problems like erectile dysfunction or hair loss. It also offers subscription services to help people grow longer eyelashes or curb excessive sweating.

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