A surprising burst of US hiring in January: 517,000 jobs
WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly a year, the Federal Reserve has been on a mission to cool down the job market to help curb the nation’s worst inflation bout in four decades. The job market hasn’t been cooperating. Consider what happened in January: The government reported Friday that employers added a sizzling 517,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate dipped to 3.4%, the lowest level since 1969. The job gain was so large it left economists scratching their heads and wondering why the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes haven’t slowed hiring at a time when many foresee a recession nearing.
An unexpected job surge confounds the Fed’s economic models
WASHINGTON (AP) — Does the Federal Reserve have it wrong? For months, the Fed has been warily watching the economy’s robust job gains out of concern that employers, desperate to hire, will keep boosting pay and, in turn, keep inflation elevated. But January’s blowout job growth coincided with an actual slowdown in wage growth. And it followed an easing of numerous inflation measures in recent months. The past year’s consistently robust hiring gains have defied the fastest increase in the Fed’s benchmark interest rate in four decades — an aggressive effort by the central bank to cool hiring, economic growth and spiking prices. Instead, economists were astonished when the government reported Friday that employers added an explosive 517,000 jobs last month.
Wall Street rally hits wall of hot jobs, cold earnings data
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street’s rally hit a wall after a surprisingly strong jobs report fueled worries about inflation and higher interest rates. The S&P 500 fell 1% Friday for its first drop in four days, though it took an up-and-down route to get there. The bond market was more decisive in thinking the strong jobs data could push the Federal Reserve to stay firm on high interest rates, which hurt the economy and markets. Treasury yields zoomed higher. Tech stocks also weighed on the market following profit reports that were weaker than expected. The Nasdaq gave back 1.6% and the Dow lost 0.4%.
Jury: Musk didn’t deceive investors with 2018 Tesla tweets
SAN FRANCISO (AP) — A jury has decided Elon Musk didn’t deceive investors with tweets in 2018. The verdict by the nine jurors was reached after less that two hours of deliberation following a three-week trial. The trial pitted Tesla investors represented in a class-action lawsuit against Musk, who is CEO of both the electric automaker and the Twitter service he bought for for $44 billion a few months ago. In 2018, Musk tweeted that he had the financing to take Tesla private even though it turned out he hadn’t gotten an iron-clad commitment for an aborted deal that would have cost $20 billion to $70 billion to pull off. The verdict is a major vindication for Musk.
G-7, Europe reach deal for price cap on Russian diesel
BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says industrialized countries in the Group of Seven are imposing a price cap on refined Russian oil products such as diesel and kerosene, as part of a coalition that includes Australia and a tentative agreement from the European Union. The cap follows similar price limits put on Russian oil exports, with the goal of reducing the financial resources Russian President Vladimir Putin has to wage the war in Ukraine. On Friday, EU governments tentatively agreed to set a $100-per-barrel price cap on sales of Russian diesel to coincide with an EU embargo on the fuel.
Treasury makes more electric SUVs eligible for tax credits
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department said Friday it is making more electric vehicles — including SUVs made by Tesla, Ford and General Motors — eligible for tax credits of up to $7,500 under new vehicle classification definitions. The revised standards for EV tax credits follow lobbying by automakers that had pressed the Biden administration to change vehicle definitions to allow higher priced vehicles to qualify. Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with top aides to President Joe Biden last week to discuss the EV industry. Under the sweeping climate law approved last year, pickup trucks, SUVs and vans with a sticker price up to $80,000 qualify for EV tax credits, while new electric cars and sedans can only be priced up to $55,000.
Google, Apple, Amazon give investors reason to fret
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street has its eyes on big tech after some of the biggest companies in the world posted lackluster quarterly financial performances. On Thursday several businesses announced their quarterly results, including Apple Inc. The company posted its first quarterly revenue drop in nearly four years after pandemic-driven restrictions on its China factories curtailed sales of the latest iPhone during the holiday season.
Indian tycoon Adani hit by more losses, calls for probe
NEW DELHI (AP) — Shares in troubled Adani Enterprises have tumbled 30% and then rebounded after more than a week of heavy losses that have cost it tens of billions of dollars in market value. The company is the flagship of India’s second-largest conglomerate. It canceled a share offering meant to raise $2.5 billion earlier this week after U.S. short-selling firm Hindenburg Research accused it of market manipulation and other fraudulent practices. Adani denies the allegations. Opposition lawmakers blocked Parliament proceedings for a second day Friday. They chanted slogans and demanding a probe into the business dealings of coal tycoon Gautam Adani.
Spanish court: Amazon violated labor law with delivery app
MADRID (AP) — A Spanish court says Amazon broke labor laws by forcing more than 2,000 delivery drivers to use an app that the company controlled for scheduling work and payments as well as requiring them to use their own cars and cellphones on the job. In a decision released Friday, the court declared that Amazon couldn’t treat workers using its Flex app as self-employed. It follows a lawsuit from Spain’s social security body, which is seeking to recoup payments that it says Amazon should have made on behalf of the drivers. Amazon says it disagrees with the ruling and will appeal. It’s the latest legal measure in Spain designed to stop delivery apps and e-commerce companies from incorrectly designating workers as self-employed.
US tells owners to park old Hondas until air bags are fixed
DETROIT (AP) — Honda and the U.S. government are urging owners of about 8,200 older vehicles not to drive them until dangerous air bag inflators are replaced. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday issued a “Do Not Drive” advisory for the 2001 through 2003 vehicles with Takata inflators that have a high possibility of exploding in a crash. The safety agency says the risk to drivers and passengers is dire because the so-called “Alpha” inflators have a 50% chance of exploding in a crash. They can shoot shrapnel toward a driver’s face that could kill them or cause serious injuries. The agency says the Honda and Acura vehicles were recalled previously but records show that repairs have not been made. Honda already has replaced 99% of the dangerous inflators.
The S&P 500 fell 43.28 points, or 1%, to 4,136.48. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 127.93 points, or 0.4%, to 33,926.01. The Nasdaq composite shed 193.86 points, or 1.6%, to 12,006.95. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dropped 15.69 points, or 0.8%, to 1,985.53.
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