Thursday, June 20, 2024

AP morning business headlines – Sept. 25, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Writers’ union reaches tentative deal with Hollywood studios to end historic strike

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Screenwriters’ union leaders and Hollywood studios have reached a tentative agreement to end a historic strike after nearly five months. That is raising hopes that a crippling shutdown of movie and television filming is near an end. Actors remain on strike, but movement on the writers’ demands could mean that the actors will find a resolution soon as well. The Writers Guild of America announced the deal Sunday in a joint statement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The agreement must be approved by the guild’s board and members, and that could happen this week. The writers walked off the job over issues including the size of staffs on shows, long-term payment for their work and the use of artificial intelligence in scripts.

Hollywood’s writers strike is on the verge of ending. What happens next?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Now that a tentative deal has been struck to end Hollywood’s writers strike after nearly five months, several steps remain before the industry gets back to normal. First, the board members of the Writers Guild of America must vote to approve the agreement. Then the more than 11,000 members of the union must vote to approve it. That could take place within a matter of days. Writers can then get back to work. Late night talk shows could be back on the air quickly. But with Hollywood’s actors still on strike, the industry is still far from being back in business.

Amazon is investing up to $4 billion in AI startup Anthropic in growing tech battle

Amazon is investing up to $4 billion in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic and taking a minority stake in the company. The investment announced Monday underscores how Big Tech companies are pouring money into AI as they race to capitalize on the opportunities that a new generation of the technology is set to bring. Amazon and Anthropic said the deal is part of a broader collaboration to develop so-called foundation models, which underpin the wave of generative AI systems that have captured global attention. Under the agreement, Anthropic is making Amazon its primary cloud computing service and using the online retail giant’s custom chips as it part of its work to train and deploy its generative AI systems.

Interest rates will stay high ‘as long as necessary,’ the European Central Bank’s leader says

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The head of the European Central Bank says interest rates will stay high enough to restrict business activity for “as long as necessary” to beat back inflation because upward pressure on prices “remains strong.” Christine Lagarde said Monday that “strong spending on holidays and travel” and increasing wages were slowing the decline in price levels even as the economy in the 20 countries that use the euro currency stays sluggish. The ECB last week raised its benchmark deposit rate to an all-time high of 4% after a record pace of increases. Analysts think the ECB may be done raising rates given signs of increasing weakness in the European economy.

Stock market today: Wall Street is mixed as the pressure keeps mounting from the bond market

NEW YORK (AP) — A sluggish day for stocks is keeping September on track to be the worst month of the year for Wall Street. The S&P 500 was 0.1% lower Monday, coming off its worst week in six months. The Dow fell 73 points and the Nasdaq composite was virtually unchanged. They fell as Treasury yields rose again to near their highest levels in more than a decade. Stocks have struggled recently as the realization sinks in that the Federal Reserve will likely keep interest rates high well into next year. The Fed wants to ensure inflation gets back down to its target.

FDA skeptical of experimental ALS treatment pushed by patient advocates

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration meets this week to consider a much-debated treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease. The deadly neurological disease has few treatment options. NurOwn, a stem cell therapy, is at the center of a yearslong lobbying campaign by patients seeking access to experimental medicines. But the FDA has repeatedly rebuffed drugmaker Brainstorm. The agency says the company’s only study failed to show a benefit for patients. The review is the starkest test yet of FDA’s commitment to “regulatory flexibility” to help patients with rare, deadly conditions. Advocates see reasons for optimism. The FDA has approved two new treatments for ALS in the past year after intense lobbying by patients.

Walmart’s head of fashion Denise Incandela talks about changing discounter’s staid image in fashion

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, has been long known for its basic socks, T-shirts and pull-on pants. Now, it’s aiming to be a destination for affordable stylish fashion for middle America so it can take a bigger space in customers’ closets. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based discounter has been making sweeping changes to the shopping experience _ adding mannequins and colorful displays of its clothing, while bolstering its fashion to include casual work wear like cargo pants and trendy dresses. It’s also brought in more than 1,000 brands like Reebok, Justice, and Champs and partnered with celebrities like Sofia Vergara for a jeans line.

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