Wednesday, April 17, 2024

AP morning business news brief – Aug. 22, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Europe’s sweeping rules for tech giants are about to kick in. Here’s how they work

LONDON (AP) — Google, Facebook, TikTok and other Big Tech companies operating in Europe are facing one of the most far-reaching efforts to clean up what people encounter online. The first phase of the European Union’s groundbreaking new digital rules will take effect this week. The Digital Services Act is part of a suite of tech-focused regulations crafted by the 27-nation bloc. The biggest platforms must start following the DSA starting Friday. The law is designed to keep users safe online and stop the spread of harmful content that’s either illegal or violates a platform’s terms of service. Some online platforms have already started making changes, and they could have worldwide effects.

Microsoft budges on video game streaming rights in push for UK to approve Activision Blizzard deal

LONDON (AP) — British competition regulators have opened a new investigation into Microsoft’s revamped bid to buy video game maker Activision Blizzard. It represents the last major hurdle to closing one of the biggest deals in tech history. The Competition and Markets Authority said Tuesday that it has until Oct. 18 to decide whether to approve the deal or do a deeper investigation. That’s also the deadline for the transaction to close. Xbox maker Microsoft has been on a quest to acquire the maker of the popular Call of Duty game franchise since announcing the $69 billion deal in January 2022. It’s secured approvals from antitrust authorities covering 40 countries but has been held up in Britain.

Dubai International Airport sees 41.6 million passengers in first half of year, more than in 2019

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest for international travel, says it served 41.6 million passengers in the first half of this year. That exceeds figures for the same period in 2019 as travelers return to the air after the lockdowns of the coronavirus pandemic. The airport made the announcement Tuesday. The new figures at the airport known as DXB reflect figures offering by the International Air Transport Association that traffic worldwide is at 94% of pre-COVID levels. The Dubai airport, home to the long-haul carrier Emirates, long has served as a barometer for the aviation industry worldwide.

Macy’s discounted spring goods amid cautious spending in 2Q, but results beat Wall Street views

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy’s heavily discounted spring goods to make room for fall and holiday merchandise amid customers’ cautious spending in a challenging economy. Still, adjusted profits and sales beat Wall Street expectations. Macy’s reaffirmed its annual sales and profits forecasts, noting uncertainty about the economy in the second half. Macy’s also said it would open new small format stores in the West and Northeast in a bid to increase customer visits and attract new shoppers.

Stock market today: Wall Street ticks higher in early trading, led again by Big Tech

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is ticking higher in early trading, on track for its first back-to-back gain in what’s been a miserable August. The S&P 500 was up 0.3% early Tuesday, coming off a gain powered by Big Tech stocks. The Dow was little changed and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.6%. Stocks have struggled this month as yields shot higher in the bond market. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was holding steady, a day after reaching its highest level since 2007. Tech stocks were again helping to lead the market ahead of what could be a pivotal earnings report from chipmaker Nvidia on Wednesday.

Dick’s 2Q profit falls, and the retailer lowers its full-year outlook on worries about theft

Dick’s Sporting Goods profit slipped in its second quarter and missed Wall Street’s expectations as the retailer cut its full-year profit outlook, citing worries over theft at its stores. For the period ended July 29, Dick’s earned $244 million, or $2.82 per share. A year earlier the company earned $319 million, or $3.68 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet predicted earnings of $3.81 per share.

Looking for a new car under $20,000? Good luck. Your choice has dwindled to just one vehicle

DETROIT (AP) — Just five years ago, a price-conscious auto shopper in the United States could choose from among a dozen new small cars selling for under $20,000. Now, there’s just one: The Mitsubishi Mirage. And even the Mirage appears headed for the scrap yard. At a time when Americans increasingly want pricey SUVs and trucks rather than small cars, the Mirage remains the lone new vehicle whose average sale price is under 20 grand — a figure that once marked a kind of unofficial threshold of affordability. With prices — new and used — having soared since the pandemic, $20,000 is no longer much of a starting point for a new car.

A rice shortage is sending prices soaring across the world. And things could get worse

Countries worldwide are scrambling to secure rice after a partial ban on exports by India cut global supplies by roughly a fifth. Global food security is already under threat since Russia halted an agreement allowing Ukraine to export wheat and the El Nino weather phenomenon hampers rice production. Now, rice prices are soaring, and it’s putting the most vulnerable people in some of the poorest nations at risk. Vietnam’s rice export prices, for instance, have reached a 15-year high. Even before India’s restrictions, countries already were frantically buying rice in anticipation of scarcity later when the El Nino hit, creating a supply crunch and spiking prices.

Thailand threatening to shut down Facebook, alleging it doesn’t screen ads well enough

BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai Cabinet minister is threatening to try to shut down Facebook in the country, saying the social media platform does not do enough to screen the advertisements it runs, leaving people vulnerable to costly scams. Thailand’s minister of Digital Economy and Society said in a statement that he is ready to go to criminal court by the end of the month arguing for Facebook to be shut down in Thailand. Reached by phone on Tuesday, Facebook parent Meta asked for queries to be sent by email to its press department, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the minister’s allegations.

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