Friday, April 12, 2024

Morning business headlines: Oct. 23, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

UAW’s confrontational leader makes gains in strike talks, but some wonder: Has he reached too far?

WAYNE, Mich. (AP) — Throughout its 5-week-old strikes against Detroit’s automakers, the United Auto Workers union has cast an emphatically combative stance, reflecting the style of its pugnacious leader, Shawn Fain. Armed with a list of what even Fain has called “audacious” demands for better pay and benefits, the UAW leader has embodied the exasperation of workers who say they’ve struggled for years while the automakers have enjoyed billions in profits. Yet as the strikes have dragged on, analysts and even some striking workers have begun to raise a pivotal question: Does Fain have an endgame to bring the strikes to a close?

Stock market today: Wall Street sinks as pressure from the bond market keeps rising

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is drifting lower as pressure from the bond market continues to build. The S&P 500 was down 0.7% Monday. The Dow lost 181 points, and the Nasdaq composite was off 0.9%. Rapidly rising yields in the bond market have been knocking stock prices lower since the summer. The yield on the 10-year Treasury briefly topped 5.02% early Monday to touch its highest level since 2007. Oil prices fell to take some pressure off inflation. Chevron dropped after saying it would buy rival Hess for $53 billion, the latest huge deal in the oil-and-gas industry.

A price cap on Russian oil aims to starve Putin of cash. But it’s largely been untested. Until now

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Prices for Russian oil have risen well above a price cap imposed by Western allies as part of sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine. And that is putting the cap to its first serious test. The idea is to limit President Vladimir Putin’s earnings from oil by barring Western insurers and shippers from handling oil above $60 per barrel. But some traders and shippers are finding ways around the restrictions. And Russia’s profits have risen even before the Israel-Hamas war pushed up global oil prices. The first signs of enforcement are appearing 10 months after the price cap was imposed, but sanctions advocates say the crackdown needs to go further to really hurt Russia.

Biden names technology hubs for 32 states and Puerto Rico to help the industry and create jobs

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) — The White House says the dozens of U.S. technology hubs President Joe Biden is announcing will help communities across the country become centers of innovation critical to its competitiveness. Biden is designating 31 technology hubs that reach 32 states and Puerto Rico. The tech hubs are designed to help spur innovation in industries concentrated in these areas and to create jobs. The Democratic president is scheduled to announce the tech hubs Monday. The tech hubs are the result of a process the Commerce Department launched in May for cities to share $500 million in grants. The hubs tie into Biden’s economic message that people should able to find good jobs wherever they live.

Deal to force multinational companies to pay a 15% minimum tax is marred by loopholes, watchdog says

WASHINGTON (AP) — An ambitious 2021 agreement by more than 140 countries and territories to weed out tax havens and force multinational corporations to pay a minimum tax has been weakened by loopholes and will raise only a fraction of the revenue that was envisioned, a tax watchdog backed by the European Union has warned. The landmark agreement, brokered by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, set a minimum global corporate tax of 15%. The idea was to stop multinational corporations from using accounting and legal maneuvers to shift earnings to low- or no-tax havens. Those havens are typically places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands where the companies actually do little or no business.

Apple supplier Foxconn subjected to tax inspections by Chinese authorities

BANGKOK (AP) — Chinese state media report that Foxconn, a Fortune 500 company known globally for making Apple iPhones, was recently subjected to searches by Chinese tax authorities. Such a move, reported Sunday, against a major Taiwanese enterprise in China is rare. Tensions have been high between China and Taiwan in recent years. China claims the democratic self-governing island as part of its own territory. Foxconn’s founder, Terry Gou, said in August that he would be running as a candidate in Taiwan’s presidential elections, which will be held early next year. He then resigned from his seat on the board of Foxconn. Gou is seen as a China-friendly candidate.

A Swiss populist party rebounds and the Greens sink in the election. That’s a big change from 2019

GENEVA (AP) — Official results in Switzerland election show that the anti-immigration Swiss People’s Party has rebounded from searing losses four years ago to cement and expand its hold as the largest faction after the parliamentary election. Two environmentally-minded parties lost ground in the election despite record glacier melt in the Alpine country. The final tally showed the people’s party gained nine seats compared to the last vote in 2019. It climbed to 62 overall in parliament’s 200-seat lower house. The Socialists were in second and they added two seats to reach 41 in the lower chamber. Pollsters said climate change, rising migration and higher health care costs were the main concerns on voters’ minds.

A US watchdog says the Taliban are benefiting from international aid through ‘fraudulent’ NGOs

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The watchdog for U.S. assistance to Afghanistan is warning that the Taliban are benefiting from international aid through the establishment of fraudulent nongovernmental groups. The Taliban have exerted greater control over national and international NGOs since seizing power in August 2021. They have barred Afghan women from NGO work and sought to push out foreign organisations from the education sector. A report published this month by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said the Taliban extort and infiltrate existing NGOs to obtain or direct international donor aid. An Education Ministry spokesman said Monday the report was baseless.

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