Sunday, April 14, 2024

Morning business headlines – Oct. 6, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Stock market today: Wall Street opens lower as a hot jobs report fans inflation worries

NEW YORK (AP) — Worries about a too-hot job market are sending Wall Street lower, keeping stocks on track to close out a fifth straight losing week. The S&P 500 was 0.6% lower in early trading Friday. The Dow fell 138 points and the Nasdaq composite was down 0.7%. Once again, it was rising yields in the bond market driving down stocks. Yields rallied after a report said U.S. employers added nearly twice as many jobs last month as economists expected. Average wages rose at a slower rate than economists expected, however, which could remove some inclination by companies to raise their prices.

Auto worker strike highlights disparities between temporary and permanent employees

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Among the many changes being sought by striking United Auto Workers is an end to a system that pays workers much different wages for doing the same job. The biggest disparity is with temporary workers employed by the Detroit automakers who are making roughly half of what their co-workers bring home. The UAW says eliminating the uneven wage scales is a big priority because companies are abusing the system to save money. GM and Jeep maker Stellantis have made offers to increase temporary worker starting pay and Ford is offering to make temporaries full-time workers after 90 days of work.

The US government seems ready to order a recall of millions of air bag inflators for safety concerns

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government appears poised to order a recall of millions of air bag inflators due to a manufacturing flaw that could send metal shrapnel rocketing through a car interior. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration held a public hearing Thursday on air bags made by ARC Automotive of Tennessee. At least 25 million vehicles containing ARC-made air bags could be affected. ARC has refused to issue a full-scale recall, setting the stage for the possible court fight. Thursday’s hearing was one of the final steps before the agency can issue a formal recall order and take the case to court for enforcement. The company maintains that no safety defect exists.

Shares in troubled British lender Metro Bank bounce back by a third as asset sale speculation swirls

LONDON (AP) — Shares in the troubled British lender Metro Bank have bounced back by a third on reports that it has been sounding out bigger rivals to buy a chunk of its assets. Sky News reported Friday that advisers to the bank have contacted Lloyds Banking Group and NatWest Group among others. That helped the company’s share price rally by 30% to 48.5 pence on the London Stock Exchange. The bank has now recouped the losses sustained Thursday, when it acknowledged the need to raise new capital. Analysts have said that Metro Bank will need to raise around 600 million pounds ($730 million).

Health care strike over pay and staff shortages heads into final day with no deal in sight

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A massive health care strike over wages and staff shortages is heading into its final day without a deal between industry giant Kaiser Permanente and the unions representing the 75,000 workers who picketed this week. The three-day strike will officially end on Saturday morning. Workers are scheduled to return to their jobs in Kaiser’s hospitals and clinics that serve nearly 13 million Americans. The two sides did not have any bargaining sessions scheduled after concluding their talks midday Wednesday. Union officials and Kaiser representatives say they both want an agreement.

Meta and X questioned by lawmakers over lack of rules against AI-generated political deepfakes

US Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York sent a letter Thursday to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and X CEO Linda Yaccarino expressing “serious concerns” about the emergence of AI-generated political ads on their platforms and asking each to explain any rules they’re crafting to curb the harms to free and fair elections. The pressure on the social media companies comes as both lawmakers are helping to lead a charge to regulate AI-generated political ads. A House bill introduced by Clarke earlier this year would amend a federal election law to require disclaimers when election advertisements contain AI-generated images or video.

Taiwan probes firms suspected of selling chip equipment to China’s Huawei despite US sanctions

HONG KONG (AP) — Taiwan’s economy minister has confirmed that regulators are investigating four Taiwanese companies suspected of helping China’s Huawei Technologies to build semiconductor facilities. The Ministry of Economic Affairs has summoned the semiconductor and factory services suppliers for questioning after a Bloomberg report. The report said the companies allegedly were working with Huawei as it builds a network of semiconductor plants, despite U.S. sanctions prohibiting such business. The companies provide cleanrooms and other services that are crucial for making computer chips. Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua said Friday that the investigation will determine if the companies have violated regulations. They could be fined up to 25 million Taiwan dollars ($777,665).

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