Business Highlights: Social media’s slump, retirement woes

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Social media hammered by mounting questions over advertising

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media has had a rough 2022 with lingering questions about advertising spending and a $44 billion takeover of Twitter that may or may not be happening, depending on which Elon Musk tweet you read. And late Monday, Snap issued a rather dire profit warning, saying that “the macroeconomic environment has deteriorated further and faster than anticipated,” since just last month. All...

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Social media hammered by mounting questions over advertising

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media has had a rough 2022 with lingering questions about advertising spending and a $44 billion takeover of Twitter that may or may not be happening, depending on which Elon Musk tweet you read. And late Monday, Snap issued a rather dire profit warning, saying that “the macroeconomic environment has deteriorated further and faster than anticipated,” since just last month. All social media competes for advertising money, which is increasingly under threat from spiking inflation and also changes at Apple Inc. that can restrict the information social media platforms can collect on users, a big selling point for advertisers. Shares of Snap plunged 43% Tuesday and shares of Meta Platforms, Twitter and Alphabet all slumped alongside it.

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Stock market slump unsettling Americans eying retirement

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans on the cusp of retiring are facing a tough choice as they watch their nest eggs shrink: Stay the course or keep working. A stock market slump this year has taken a big bite out of investors’ portfolios, including retirement plans like 401(k)s. The S&P 500, the benchmark for many index funds, is down about 17% since its all-time high in early January. The sharp reversal after a banner 2021 for Wall Street has been particularly unsettling for those who have been planning to retire sooner, rather than later, and banking on a healthier stock portfolio to help fund their post-work lifestyle.

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Slumping technology stocks pull Wall Street lower

NEW YORK (AP) — A slump in several big companies weighed down the stock market Tuesday, leaving most major indexes lower. The S&P 500 index fell 0.8% and the Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology companies, lost 2.3%. Big gains for McDonald’s and UnitedHealth helped push the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.2%. A stark profit warning from Snapchat’s parent company spooked investors into dumping the stocks of major social media companies. Snap sank 43.1%, while Facebook’s parent company lost 7.6%. Retailers and banks also fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell sharply, to 2.76%.

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US to end Russia’s ability to pay international investors

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will close the last avenue for Russia to pay back its billions in debt to international investors on Wednesday, making a Russian default on its debts for the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution all but inevitable. The Treasury Department said in a notification Tuesday that it does not plan to renew the license to allow Russia to keep paying its debtholders through American banks. That window closes at midnight Wednesday. Without a legal avenue to pay its debtholders, Russia will certainly default on its bonds this summer.

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Ford pays $19M to settle claims on fuel economy, payload

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Ford Motor Company has settled claims by 40 U.S. state attorneys general that the company made misleading claims about the fuel economy and payload capacity of some of its vehicles. The company agreed Tuesday to pay $19.2 million to the states and refrain from making misleading advertising claims. The attorneys general say Ford misled consumers about how far its 2013-2014 C-Max hybrid cars could travel on a tank of gas. They also saidsay Ford inflated the payload capacity of its 2011-2014 Super Duty pick-up trucks. Ford says in a statement that it is pleased the investigation was settled with no judicial finding of improper conduct.

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Lawsuit accuses 3 automakers and parts maker in air bag case

DETROIT (AP) — A class action lawsuit is accusing three automakers and a parts manufacturer of knowingly selling vehicles containing air bag inflators that are at risk of exploding. Two deaths and at least four injuries have been linked to such explosions. The federal lawsuit names ARC Automotive Inc. of Knoxville, Tennessee, which made the inflators and sold them to air bag manufacturers. The air bag makers, in turn sold them to General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen, which are named in the lawsuit, too. The five plaintiffs are the owners of vehicles with ARC inflators who contend the defective air bag parts were not disclosed when they made their purchases.

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Best Buy lowers outlook as Q1 results show inflation’s bite

NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy Co. posted first-quarter results that showed shoppers pulled back on their spending and higher costs ate into profits. The nation’s largest consumer electronics chain also cut its annual outlook on Tuesday, citing a deteriorating economic environment. Best Buy was among a handful of big winners in the pandemic, as shoppers flocked to its stores and website to buy equipment to furnish home offices or cater to their children’s needs for virtual learning. But like many retailers, Best Buy is struggling with rising costs for everything from labor to shipping as supply chain backups hit companies worldwide. The electronics chain also has had to navigate global chip shortages, soaring fuel costs and another round of COVID-19 lockdowns in China.

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US safety, savings rules set stage for baby formula shortage

WASHINGTON (AP) __ A massive recall is getting most of the blame for the U.S. baby formula shortage, but experts say the products have long been vulnerable to this type of crisis. They point to decades-old policies that have allowed a handful of companies to corner the market. Safety and manufacturing rules imposed by U.S. regulators make it hard for smaller companies to enter the market. And federal contracting rules also favor the largest manufacturers who can offer the lowest prices on formula. Those government rules are aimed at assuring safe, affordable formula. But they are now getting renewed scrutiny because of the shortage.

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The S&P 500 fell 32.27 points, or 0.8%, to 3,941.48. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48.38 points, or 0.2%, to 31,928.62. The Nasdaq gained 270.83 points, or 2.3%, to 11,264.45. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dipped 27.94 points, or 1.6%, to 1,764.83.

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