AP Business SummaryBrief at 11:51 p.m. EDT

Sky-high diesel prices squeeze truckers, farmers, consumers

NEW YORK (AP) — High diesel prices are driving up the cost of everything, from groceries to Amazon orders and furniture. That’s because nearly everything that’s delivered, whether by truck, rail or ship, uses diesel fuel. Truckers are turning down hauling jobs in the states with the most expensive diesel. They’re choosing lighter loads and in some cases working longer hours to make up for the money lost...

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Sky-high diesel prices squeeze truckers, farmers, consumers

NEW YORK (AP) — High diesel prices are driving up the cost of everything, from groceries to Amazon orders and furniture. That’s because nearly everything that’s delivered, whether by truck, rail or ship, uses diesel fuel. Truckers are turning down hauling jobs in the states with the most expensive diesel. They’re choosing lighter loads and in some cases working longer hours to make up for the money lost on fuel. Farmers harvesting hay and planting corn with diesel-fired tractors are taking a hit of thousands of dollars per week. And many of these high costs are passed down to consumers.

Asia shares slip on inflation, China fears despite US rally

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares have mostly fallen on persistent concerns about inflation and the Chinese economy, despite an overnight rally on Wall Street. Eyes are on the Bank of Japan, set to announce a decision after a two-day policy meeting, although analysts expect no major changes. The central bank has not indicated it will follow suit with others around the world, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, in raising interest rates to curb inflation. Japan has suffered years of stagnation, when deflation was a major problem. Regional benchmarks fell in morning trading except in Seoul.

Tesla 2Q profit falls from 1Q, but is stronger than expected

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla’s second-quarter profit fell 32% from record levels in the first quarter. That’s because supply chain issues and pandemic lockdowns in China slowed production of its electric vehicles. But the Austin, Texas, company still surprised Wall Street with a $2.26 billion net profit for the quarter. Tesla stuck with a prediction of 50% annual vehicle sales growth over the next few years, but said that depends on the supply chain, equipment capacity and other issues. Tesla’s sales from April through June fell to 254,000 vehicles, their lowest quarterly level since last fall. But the company predicted record-breaking production in the second half and said that in June it had the highest production month in its history.

United Airlines 2Q profit of $329M misses Wall Street target

United Airlines says its latest quarterly profit is $329 million, thanks to summer vacationers who are packing airplanes. But United’s second-quarter profit fell short of Wall Street expectations. The airline is blaming the miss on jet fuel prices, which were higher than it was expecting. United says strong revenue trends are carrying over into the third quarter, with figures indicating higher average fares. United says it earned $1.43 per share in the second quarter. Analysts were looking for $1.85 per share.

Biden: Military say a Pelosi Taiwan trip ‘not a good idea’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says that U.S. military officials believe it’s “not a good idea” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan at the moment. Biden’s comments came in an exchange with reporters on Wednesday. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has said it would take “resolute and strong measures” should Pelosi proceed with reported plans to visit Taiwan in the coming weeks. Pelosi’s office says it doesn’t comment on her international travel plans for security reasons. She would be the highest-ranking American lawmaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

Can green hydrogen save a coal town and slow climate change?

DELTA, Utah (AP) — Developers in rural Utah who want to create big underground caverns to store hydrogen fuel won approval for a $504 million federal loan this spring. They plan to convert the site of a 40-year-old coal plant to cleanly-made hydrogen by 2045. The seasonal storage project is one of of several undertakings that could help determine how big a role hydrogen will play in providing reliable, carbon-free energy in the future. In Utah, it’s won support across the political spectrum. Officials hope efforts to transition the power plant to cleanly-made hydrogen could offset job loss in the declining coal industry.

US home sales fell in June as prices reach new heights

Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes slowed for the fifth consecutive month in June as higher mortgage rates and rising prices kept many home hunters on the sidelines. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that existing home sales fell 5.4% last month from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.12 million. That’s lower than what economists were expecting, according to FactSet. Sales fell 14.2% from June last year. Sales have now fallen to the slowest pace since June 2020, near the start of the pandemic. Excluding the pandemic slowdown, sales in June were running at the slowest pace since January 2019. The national median home price jumped 13.4% in June from a year earlier to $416,000.

Baidu unveils latest autonomous electric vehicle: Apollo RT6

HONG KONG (AP) — Baidu, a Chinese search engine and artificial intelligence firm, has unveiled its latest electric autonomous driving vehicle. The company says the Apollo RT6 will be soon be part of its robotaxi fleet, as China pushes forward with its autonomous driving ambitions. It is a fully electric vehicle with a steering wheel that can be removed or installed when required, and will cost 250,000 yuan ($37,000) per unit. Baidu already runs Apollo Go, an autonomous ride-hailing service using self-driving robotaxis with safety staff seated in the driver or passenger seat. China aspires to lead autonomous driving technology globally but lags the U.S. in introducing such services. Alphabet’s Waymo began offering driverless taxi services in Phoenix, Arizona in 2020.

CSX rail profit grows 5% even with ongoing delivery delays

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX delivered slightly better profit in the second quarter. That’s even though volume was flat and the railroad still struggled to handle all the goods companies wanted to ship because it is having a hard time hiring. The Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad said its profits grew 5% to $1.18 billion, or 54 cents per share. That’s up from $1.17 billion, or 52 cents per share, a year ago. Without a one-time gain, the railroad earned 50 cents per share. The results beat Wall Street expectations. CEO Jim Foote said CSX hasn’t been able to keep up with all the demand for shipments because it needs more employees, but hiring is difficult.

US demands talks on Mexican energy policies it calls unfair

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is putting pressure on Mexico over energy policies that Washington says unfairly favor Mexico’s state-owned electricity and oil companies over American competitors and clean-energy suppliers. Among the specific issues in dispute is an amendment to Mexican law last year that the United States says gives an unfair edge to electricity produced by Mexico’s state-owned utility Federal Electricity Commission over cleaner sources of energy such as wind and solar. The United States also protests a 2019 regulation that gives only state oil and gas company Petroleos Mexicanos extra time to comply with tougher environmental standards.

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