Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Business Briefs: Trump’s social media company soars nearly 50% in its first day of trading on Nasdaq

by David Specht

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Donald Trump’s social media company jumped nearly 50% in the first day of trading on the Nasdaq, boosting the value of the former president’s large stake in the company in the process. Trump Media & Technology Group runs the social media platform Truth Social. Before trading began, Trump Media had a market value of about $6.8 billion, a figure that will rise significantly if the early gains in the shares hold. The shares are trading under the ticker symbol “DJT.” Trump holds a nearly 60% ownership stake in the company.

Stock market today: Wall Street hangs near its records as Krispy Kreme and Trump Media soar

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are ticking higher and are near their record levels. The S&P 500 was up 0.3% Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 38 points, and the Nasdaq composite was 0.5% higher. Krispy Kreme jumped after it announced a deal where McDonald’s restaurants will sell its doughnuts across the country. Trump Media & Technology Group was another big mover and soared more than 40%. Excitement around Donald Trump’s run for the White House has sent its price well beyond what some experts consider reasonable. Treasury yields were relatively steady following mixed economic reports.

Wind and sun are free, but it’s harder to get renewable energy projects built these days. Here’s why

SPRAKEBUELL, Germany (AP) — These are turbulent times for wind and solar energy. High interest rates needed to finance renewable projects are coming on top of long waits to buy equipment. And those headwinds are blowing at a time when investment needs to massively ramp up to meet ambitious climate goals by generating electricity without producing greenhouse gases. In poorer countries, financing is even costlier and projects stall even where sunshine is an obvious power source. A gusty village of 260 people in north Germany has already become self-sufficient in renewable energy and could offer ideas for solutions for other parts of the world.

Here are the big hurdles to the global push to build up renewable energy

The world’s governments have agreed they want to triple renewable energy by 2030, a goal laid out at the U.N. climate summit in December. But right now, the post-pandemic global economy is throwing up obstacles that will need to be overcome if the goal is going to be met. There are big hurdles to renewable projects from high interest rates, inflation, delays in supplies and community resistance. Things are even tougher to get going in poorer countries.

Bird flu, weather and inflation conspire to keep egg prices near historic highs for Easter

Egg prices are at near-historic highs in many parts of the world as Easter and Passover approach. The cost of filling a basket or completing a Seder plate reflect a market scrambled by disease, high demand and growing costs for farmers. While global prices are lower than they were at this time last year, they remain elevated. A senior global specialist with Dutch financial services firm Rabobank doesn’t expect them to return to 2021 levels. One major culprit is avian flu. In 2022 alone, more than 131 million poultry worldwide died or were culled on farms affected by the disease. Higher chicken feed costs due to weather and inflation have also impacted egg prices.

Visa, Mastercard settle long-running antitrust suit over swipe fees with merchants

NEW YORK (AP) — Visa and MasterCard announced a settlement with U.S. merchants related to swipe fees, a development that could potentially save consumers tens of billions of dollars. Swipe fees are paid to Visa, Mastercard and other credit card companies in exchange for enabling transactions. Merchants ultimately pass on those fees to consumers who use credit or debit cards. According to the settlement announced Tuesday, Visa and Mastercard will cap the credit interchange fees into 2030, and the companies must negotiate the fees with merchant buying groups.

US consumers remain confident, but their feelings about the near future is a bit more cloudy

U.S. consumer confidence held steady this month even as Americans are still concerned about high prices and feeling less optimistic about the short-term future. The Conference Board, a business research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index ticked down to 104.7 in March from a revised 104.8 in February. The index measures both Americans’ assessment of current economic conditions and their outlook for the next six months. The index measuring Americans short-term expectations for income, business and the job market fell further, while consumers’ view of current conditions improved. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic activity.

China to challenge Biden’s electric vehicle plans at the WTO

BEIJING (AP) — China says it has filed a complaint at the World Trade Organization over U.S. subsidies for electric vehicles. The Chinese Commerce Ministry said Tuesday that the U.S. formulated discriminatory policies for new energy vehicles in the name of responding to climate change. Starting this year, U.S. car buyers are not eligible for tax credits of $3,750 to $7,500 if critical minerals or other battery components were made by Chinese, Russian, North Korean or Iranian companies. China is the dominant player in batteries for electric vehicles globally. The credits are part of U.S. President Joe Biden’s signature climate legislation, named the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act.

Chinese EV makers challenging market leaders at auto show in Bangkok

BANGKOK (AP) — Chinese electric vehicle makers are showcasing their latest models, including a flying car, as they take on global rivals at the Bangkok International Motor Show. Companies like BYD, XPeng and Great Wall Motors have quickly expanded in Thailand in recent years, challenging longstanding market leaders like Toyota, Isuzu and Ford. The Chinese automakers are expanding exports in many parts of the world and Thailand is one of the biggest in Southeast Asia, a regional market of more than 600 million people. Also at the show: VinFast, a Vietnamese newcomer that says it plans to expand sales of its EVs to 50 countries by the end of this year.

Girl Scout troop resolved to support migrants despite backlash

NEW YORK (AP) — As government officials debate how to handle the influx of new arrivals, the Girl Scouts — whose Troop 6000 has served kids who live in the shelter system since 2017 — are quietly welcoming hundreds of the city’s youngest new residents with the support of donations. Most of the girls have fled dire conditions in South and Central America and endured an arduous journey to the U.S. Not everybody is happy about the evolution of Troop 6000. With anti-immigrant rhetoric on the rise and a contentious election ahead, some donors see the Girl Scouts as wading too readily into politically controversial waters.

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