US stocks rise ahead of testimony from Fed Chair Powell
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising on Wall Street as traders wait for more clues on the Federal Reserve’s thinking on inflation.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell will testify before Congress later Tuesday on the central bank’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. In prepared remarks, Powell reaffirmed the Fed’s position that while inflation has accelerated recently, the Fed expect the effects to be transitory.
The S&P 500 rose 0.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% and the Nasdaq rose 0.4%. Technology stocks made some of the biggest gains. Bond prices didn’t move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury remained at 1.48%.
US existing home sales fall again as prices continue to soar
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of previously-occupied homes fell for the fourth straight month in May, as soaring prices and a limited number of available properties discouraged many would-be buyers.
The National Association of Realtors says existing home sales dropped 0.9% last month from April to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.8 million units. The string of sales declines comes after sharp gains last fall and through the winter, as many Americans sought more living space during the pandemic.
Sales are up nearly 45% from last May, when purchases fell to their lowest point of the COVID-19 outbreak.
EU investigates Google’s conduct in digital ad tech sector
LONDON (AP) — European Union regulators have launched a fresh antitrust investigation of Google, this time over whether the company is stifling competition in digital advertising technology.
The EU’s executive Commission says it has opened a formal investigation into whether Google violated the bloc’s competition rules by favoring its own online display advertising technology services at the expense of rival publishers, advertisers and advertising technology services. The commission said it’s looking in particular at whether Google is restricting access by third parties to user data for ad purposes on website and apps.
GUN SALES-DENIALS UP
Background checks blocked a record high 300,000 gun sales
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Records show the number of people stopped from buying guns through the U.S. background check system hit an all-time high of more than 300,000 last year amid a surge of firearm sales.
The records obtained by the group Everytown for Gun Safety and provided to The Associated Press show the background checks blocked nearly twice as many gun sales in 2020 as in the year before. About 42% of those denials were because the would-be buyers had felony convictions on their records.
The increase in blocked gun sales largely tracks with the record-setting surge in sales that took hold along with the coronavirus pandemic and has continued this year.
Oshkosh Defense to build Postal vehicles in South Carolina
DETROIT (AP) — Oshkosh Defense says it will make new delivery vehicles for the U.S. Postal Service in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, creating 1,000 new jobs. The Wisconsin company says it will reconfigure a warehouse with features needed to do large-scale manufacturing. Parts supply companies are expected to create more jobs in the area.
In February, Oshkosh Defense won the multi-billion-dollar contract to build the Postal Service’s next generation delivery vehicle. The company will build 50,000 to 165,000 van-like vehicles during the next 10 years. Some will be powered by batteries, while others will have internal combustion engines. Production in South Carolina is expected to begin in the summer of 2023.
Philip Morris moving corporate headquarters to Connecticut
NEW YORK (AP) — Philip Morris International is moving its corporate headquarters from New York to Connecticut. The company said Tuesday the relocation will bring about 200 new jobs to Connecticut.
The new office will include employees on the Americas teams and members of other corporate functions. Its operations center will stay in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Philip Morris’ new headquarters are expected to be running by the summer of 2022.