Where are the workers? Cutoff of jobless aid spurs no influx
INDIANAPOLIS: Earlier this year, an insistent cry arose from business leaders and Republican governors: Cut off a $300-a-week federal supplement for unemployed Americans. Many people, they argued, would then come off the sidelines and take the millions of jobs that employers were desperate to fill. Yet three months after half the states began ending that federal payment, theres been no significant influx of job seekers. In states that cut off the $300 check, the workforce the number of people who either have a job or are looking for one has risen no more than it has in the states that maintained the payment.
Justice Department to expand redlining investigation efforts
WASHINGTON: The Justice Department has announced a cross-government effort to investigate and prosecute redlining, the practice of banks discriminating against racial minorities or certain neighborhoods. It is the first major expansion of redlining investigations since the Obama administration. As part of the effort, the Justice Department as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency also announced a new redlining case against Trustmark Bank for its treatment of Black and Hispanic borrowers in Memphis, Tennessee. Trustmark will be required to open a mortgage office in a majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhood in the Memphis area and contribute $3.85 million toward loan subsidies for borrowers in discriminated neighborhoods.
US budget deficit hits $2.77 trillion in 2021, 2nd highest
WASHINGTON: The U.S. budget deficit totaled $2.77 trillion for 2021, the second highest on record but an improvement from the all-time high of $3.13 trillion in 2020. The deficits in both years reflected trillions of dollars in government spending to counteract the devastating effects of a global pandemic. The Biden administration said Friday that the 2021 deficit, for the budget year that ended Sept. 30, was $360 billion lower than 2020 as a recovering economy boosted revenues, The biggest deficit the federal government recorded had been a shortfall of $1.4 trillion in 2009 during the Obama administration as the government spent heavily to lift the country out of a severe recession following the 2008 financial crisis.
Powell says inflation risks rising, but Fed can be patient
WASHINGTON: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says the tangled supply chains and shortages that have bedeviled the U.S. economy since this summer have gotten worse and will likely keep inflation elevated well into next year. But he says the Fed is not yet prepared to lift its benchmark interest rate. Powell has previously said that shortages and higher prices are mostly a result of the pandemics impact on supply lines, with factories in Asia temporarily closing amid COVID infections and dozens of cargo ships anchored offshore. The Fed chair spoke at a virtual conference Friday hosted by the South African Reserve Bank.
On Nov. 1, no GM plants will be closed due to chip shortage
DETROIT: For the first time in eight months, the global shortage of computer chips wont force General Motors to close any North American factories. The company said Friday that as of Nov. 1, all plants that had been closed on and off since February due to the shortage will be making vehicles. The shortage has forced automakers to sporadically shut down plants since late last year. That has cut supplies on dealer lots and driven new vehicle prices to record levels. But production isnt back to normal just yet. Some of the factories will only run one shift per day. And experts say chip shortages will persist well into next year.
Stock tied to Trump media venture soars in another frenzy
NEW YORK: The company planning to bring President Donald Trumps new media venture to the stock market soared again on Friday amid another frenzy of trading. Digital World Acquisition Corp. nearly tripled in the first minute of trading before trading in it was temporarily halted. It then gave up a chunk of those gains, but it still ended the day with a 107% gain to $94.20. In the morning, it climbed as high as $175. A day before, the stock more than quadrupled after it said it would merge with Trump Media & Technology Group. Experts are mixed on the companys prospects.
Stocks end mixed on Wall Street, still notch weekly gains
NEW YORK: Stocks ended up with a mixed finish on Wall Street Friday after another choppy day of trading, but major indexes still marked their third weekly gains in a row. The S&P 500 slipped 0.1% as sizable drops in several big tech companies outweighed gains in other sectors. The benchmark index had set its latest record high a day earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% and the Nasdaq retreated 0.8%. Intel sank after the giant chipmakers revenue fell short of forecasts, and Snapchats parent company plunged after saying its ad sales are being hurt by a privacy crackdown on iPhones.
American Express profits jump as travel, dining normalize
NEW YORK: American Express saw its profits surge last quarter by 70% as Americans and companies pulled out their cards to start traveling, dining out and entertaining as they had done before the pandemic. The New York-based company said Friday it earned $1.83 billion last quarter, or $2.27 a share, compared with a profit of $1.07 billion, or $1.30 per share, in the same period a year ago. The results were significantly better than what Wall Street analysts had been expecting.
The S&P 500 fell 4.88 points, or 0.1%, to 4,544.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 73.94 points, or 0.2%, to 35,677.02. The Nasdaq lost 125.50 points, or 0.8%, to 15,090.20. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies shed 4.92 points, or 0.2%, to 2,291.27.
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