Monday, July 15, 2024

Morning business headlines: Oct. 24, 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?

Strikes trim profit at GM in an otherwise strong quarter; more losses likely if picketing spreads

DETROIT (AP) — A strike by autoworkers against General Motors is expected to cut the automaker’s pretax earnings by $800 million this year, and another $200 million per week after that. That’s according to the company’s chief financial officer. And those figures just include factories that are on strike now by the United Auto Workers union. So if more plants are added, the losses will pile up further, CFO Paul Jacobson told reporters. His statements came as GM reported Tuesday just over $3 billion in net income from July through September, a figure that was 7% below a year ago due to lost production from the strike and increased warranty costs. But the results soundly beat Wall Street estimates.

UAW strikes at General Motors SUV plant as union begins to target automaker profit centers

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union is turning up the heat on General Motors as 5,000 workers walked off their jobs at a highly profitable SUV factory in Arlington, Texas. The walkout Tuesday comes just a day after the union went on strike at Stellantis’ pickup truck factory in Sterling Heights, Michigan, north of Detroit. The Texas strike brings the total of UAW members that have walked off their jobs to 46,000 in a series of strikes that is entering its sixth week.

Spain’s acting government to push for a 37½-hour workweek. That’s if it can remain in power

MADRID (AP) — The parties forming Spain’s acting government say they will push for a 37½-hour workweek. The coalition partners struck the agreement on Tuesday as they try to remain in power following an inconclusive election in July. Spain has had a 40-hour workweek for the past two decades. The proposal is for Spain to have a 38½-hour workweek next year and for that to fall to 37½ hours in 2025. Spain’s Socialist Party and its junior leftist coalition partner Sumar or Joining Forces have until Nov. 21 to earn the backing of the majority of Spain’s Parliament to form a new government. Another election will be held in January if they fail.

Women in Iceland including the prime minister go on strike for equal pay and an end to violence

HUSAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland’s prime minister and women across the island nation are on strike to push for an end to unequal pay and gender-based violence. Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir says she’ll stay home as part of the strike on Tuesday. Organizers are calling on women and nonbinary people to refuse both paid and unpaid work during the one-day strike. Schools and the health system, which have female-dominated workforces, say they’ll be heavily affected. It comes almost half a century after Iceland’s first women’s strike on Oct. 24, 1975. Then, 90% of women refused to work, clean or look after children, to voice anger at discrimination in the workplace. The following year Iceland passed a law guaranteeing equal rights irrespective of gender.

Coke raises full-year sales forecast after stronger-than-expected third quarter

Coca-Cola is raising its full-year revenue forecast after a stronger-than-expected third quarter. The Atlanta beverage giant said its net revenue grew 8% to $11.9 billion. That topped the $11.4 billion Wall Street forecast, according to analysts polled by FactSet. Net income was up 9% to $3.1 billion. Adjusted for one-time items, Coke earned 74 cents per share, higher than the 69 cents analysts had forecast. Coke said its global case volumes rose 2% for the July-September period. The company continued to raise prices to offset higher ingredient costs, but at a more moderate pace. Prices were up 9%; Coke raised prices by double-digit increases in the previous five quarters.

Stock market today: Wall Street climbs after profits at big companies top forecasts

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is rising after Verizon and other big companies reported fatter profits for the summer than expected. The S&P 500 was 0.5% higher Tuesday and on track to break a five-day losing streak. The Dow was up 165 points, and the Nasdaq composite was 0.7% higher. The pace is picking up for profit reports, and the hope is that the S&P will report its first growth in a year. Such strength is crucial for the stock market, which has slumped since the summer under the weight of higher bond yields. The 10-year yield was up slightly on Tuesday but remained below 5%.

Love it or hate it, feelings run high over candy corn come Halloween

NEW YORK (AP) — Cruel joke for trick-or-treaters or coveted seasonal delight? The great Halloween debate over candy corn is on. In the pantheon of high-emotion candy, the shiny tricolor kernels in white, orange and yellow are way up there. Fans and foes alike point to the same attributes: a texture that’s plastic or candle-like, depending on who you ask. And the mega-sugar hit it packs. Some say it conjures childhood memories. Love it or loathe it, market leader Brach’s churns out about 30 million pounds of candy corn for the fall season each year. Last year, that amounted to $75 million of $88.5 million in candy corn sales.

The 2023 Soros Arts Fellows plan to fight climate change and other global issues with public art

NEW YORK (AP) — Palestinian artist Nida Sinnokrot, one of 18 artists receiving the 2023 Soros Arts Fellowships from the Open Society Foundations on Tuesday, says that art provides hope and resilience, even in the midst of war. Members of this year’s class of Soros Arts Fellows, including Sinnokrot, will receive $100,000 in unrestricted funding from Open Society Foundations to develop a public art project that confronts climate change with community-based solutions in the next 18 months, said Tatiana Mouarbes, Open Society’s Team Manager for Culture, Art, and Expression. At a time when many in philanthropy are reevaluating priorities, Mouarbes said artists’ work can be just as impactful as other more traditional investments.

Chevron buys Hess for $53 billion, 2nd megadeal in the oil patch this month as energy prices soar

Chevron is buying Hess Corp. for $53 billion and it’s not even the biggest acquisition in the energy sector this month as major producers seize the initiative while oil prices surge. The Chevron-Hess deal comes less than two weeks after Exxon Mobil said that it would acquire Pioneer Natural Resources for about $60 billion. Crude prices are up 9% this year and have been hovering around $90 per barrel for about two months. Chevron said Monday that the acquisition of Hess adds a major oil field in Guyana as well as shale fields in North Dakota.

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