Thursday, April 18, 2024

Business Briefs: Disney seeks major expansion of California theme park to add more immersive attractions

by Associated Press

Disney is seeking approval from local officials to expand its California theme park offerings over the next four decades. The proposal wouldn’t increase the company’s geographic footprint in Anaheim, but would allow for new attractions on unused spaces, including a large parking lot. Disney officials say there isn’t room to build new immersive experiences in its California theme parks without these changes. Anaheim’s planning commission is expected to review the proposal Monday, and the city council still must approve it before it to takes effect. The plan would require Disney to invest $1.9 billion in theme park-related offerings in the next decade.

Federal judge in Texas blocks US labor board rule that would make it easier for workers to unionize

A federal judge in Texas has blocked a new rule by the National Labor Relations Board that would have made it easier for millions of workers to form unions at big companies. The rule, which was due to go into effect Monday, would have set new standards for determining when two companies should be considered “joint employers” in labor negotiations. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups sued in November to block the rule. U.S. District Court Judge J. Campbell Barker granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a summary judgement Friday after concluding that the NLRB’s new rule exceeds “the bounds of the common law.”

China’s congress ends with a show of unity behind Xi’s vision for national greatness

BEIJING (AP) — China’s national congress has concluded its annual session with the usual show of near-unanimous support for the ruling Communist Party’s blueprint for the year. The weeklong event has highlighted how China’s politics have become ever more calibrated to elevate leader Xi Jinping. Monday’s agenda lacked the usual news conference by the premier, who in the past was largely in charge of economic affairs as the party’s No. 2 leader. It was the one time each year when journalists could directly question a top leader. The National People’s Congress approved a revised law that directs China’s cabinet to follow Xi’s vision.

Reddit looking to raise almost $750 million in initial public offering

Social media company Reddit is looking to raise almost $750 million in an initial public offering of its common stock. The company said in a regulatory filing that the IPO will include 22 million shares of Class A common stock. Reddit is offering approximately 15.3 million shares, while the selling stockholders are offering about 6.7 million shares. Reddit anticipates that the IPO will be priced between $31 and $34 per share.

George Soros’ Open Society Foundations name new president after years of layoffs and transition

NEW YORK (AP) — George Soros’ Open Society Foundations announced a leadership change Monday with its president Mark Malloch-Brown stepping down. A senior leader at the foundations, Binaifer Nowrojee, will take over as president. The billionaire investor, George Soros, said in a statement that Nowrojee’s appointment fulfilled an early goal of his to make the work of the foundations truly global. Nowrojee was OSF’s vice president of programs and part of a small senior leadership team overseeing a large transition. That transition kicked off last summer when the foundations announced that Alex Soros, one of George Soros’ sons, had taken over as chair of its board.

ChargePoint CEO expects more electric vehicle stations as use and EV sales keep growing

DETROIT (AP) — Sales growth of electric vehicles in the U.S. has started to slow, and polls show it’s due in part to anxiety over running out of battery power and too few charging stations. But Rick Wilmer, the new CEO of ChargePoint, an EV charging network, says the number of charging stations and plugs is increasing rapidly. ChargePoint, based in Silicon Valley, builds and maintains stations for businesses, apartment buildings and others who want them to attract customers. Wilmer says ChargePoint is seeing increased use of its 34,000 charging stations and experiencing growth that should rise as interest rates fall.

Stock market today: Wall Street slips some more ahead of this week’s inflation report

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are slipping as Wall Street prepares for a report on inflation that could show how realistic its hopes for easier interest rates are. The S&P 500 was 0.5% lower Monday, coming off just its third losing week in the last 19. It’s still near the all-time high it set on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 212 points, and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.4%. If economists are correct, Tuesday’s report on prices at the consumer level could show inflation remained at 3.1% in February. Treasury yields held relatively steady in the bond market. Bitcoin hit another record.

Biden is issuing a budget plan that details his vision for a second term

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is issuing a budget proposal aimed at getting voters’ attention. The proposal Monday calls for tax breaks for families, lower health care costs, smaller deficits and higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. The proposal for fiscal 2025 is unlikely to pass the House and Senate and become law. It is an election year blueprint that sketches what the future could hold. If it became law, deficits could be pruned $3 trillion over a decade. Parents could get an increased child tax credit. Homebuyers could get a tax credit worth $9,600. Corporate taxes would jump upward, while billionaires would be charged a minimum tax of 25%.

Japan’s economy avoids recession by growing in last year’s final quarter, according to revised data

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s economy managed to grow in the fourth quarter of last year, averting a recession, according to revised government data released Monday that had previously shown a contraction. Real gross domestic product, or GDP, grew in October-December at an annual pace of 0.4% instead of a contraction of 0.4%, according to the Cabinet Office. Real GDP is a measure of the value of a nation’s products and services. The annual rate measures what would have happened if the quarterly rate lasted a year. The revision reflects an improvement in private capital investment. It also means Japan avoided sinking into a technical recession, generally defined as two straight quarters of contraction.

Saudi oil giant Aramco announces $121 billion profit last year, down from 2022 record

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi oil giant Aramco says it made $121 billion profit last year, down from its 2022 record due to lower energy prices. Aramco made the announcement in a filing in Riyadh’s Tadawul stock market. It had reported a $161 billion profit in 2022, likely the largest ever reported by a publicly traded company. It said in the filing Sunday: “The decrease mainly reflects the impact of lower crude oil prices and lower volumes sold, and weakening refining and chemicals margins.”

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