Business Highlights: Floating gas terminals, GM venture

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Europe plan for floating gas terminals raises climate fears

NEW YORK (AP) — As winter nears, European nations, desperate to replace the natural gas they once bought from Russia, have embraced a short-term fix: A series of roughly 20 floating terminals that would receive liquefied natural gas from other countries and convert it into heating fuel. Yet the plan, with the first floating terminals set to deliver natural gas by year’s end, has raised...

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Europe plan for floating gas terminals raises climate fears

NEW YORK (AP) — As winter nears, European nations, desperate to replace the natural gas they once bought from Russia, have embraced a short-term fix: A series of roughly 20 floating terminals that would receive liquefied natural gas from other countries and convert it into heating fuel. Yet the plan, with the first floating terminals set to deliver natural gas by year’s end, has raised alarms among scientists who fear the long-term consequences for the environment. They warn that these terminals would perpetuate Europe’s reliance on natural gas, which releases climate-warming methane and carbon dioxide when it’s produced, transported and burned.

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Inflation hits 9.1% in countries using euro currency

LONDON (AP) — Inflation in the European countries using the euro currency hit another record in August, fueled by soaring energy prices mainly driven by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Annual inflation in the eurozone’s 19 countries rose to 9.1% in August, up from 8.9% recorded in July. That’s according to the latest figures released Wednesday by the European Union statistics agency. Inflation is at the highest levels since record-keeping for the euro began in 1997. Energy prices surged by 38.3%, while food prices rose by 10.6%. Prices for goods were up 5% and the cost of services rose 3.8%.

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Silver lining: Northeast drought benefits some businesses

BOSTON (AP) — There is a silver lining to the drought affecting the northeastern U.S. that has frustrated farmers, dried up rivers and reservoirs, and brought water use restrictions and brush fires to the region. The arid conditions have benefited amusement parks, minor league baseball teams, construction contractors and other businesses that need warm, dry weather to attract paying customers and get jobs completed on time. While several factors have affected the bottom line this summer, including inflation, staffing shortages, and supply chain issues, some businesses say things are generally going well, in part because of the weather.

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Stocks end lower in choppy trading, on pace for weekly loss

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed lower in another day of choppy trading on Wall Street, on pace for a weekly loss after several days of declines. Losses in technology and retail stocks outweighed gains in communications and other sectors. The S&P 500 lost nearly 1% Wednesday after wavering between gains and losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite also lost ground. Bed Bath & Beyond lost almost a quarter of its value after announcing a major restructuring and a stock sale. Treasury yields rose and energy prices fell. The market closed August broadly lower after surging in July.

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German prosecutors search JPMorgan offices in tax probe

BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors have raided the office of JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Frankfurt as part of a broader tax evasion investigation targeting numerous banks in Germany and beyond. Cologne prosecutors said Wednesday that dozens of investigators began searching the offices Tuesday of a Frankfurt-based financial institution and several auditing and tax firms. The raids also targeted private apartments of four suspects. Prosecutors said the raids were linked to an investigation into so-called cum-ex share transactions and related tax evasion practices that are said to have cost the German government billions of euros. JPMorgan said in a statement that its Frankfurt offices were “visited” this week and said it was cooperating with German authorities.

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Bed Bath & Beyond to close stores, cut jobs in rebound bid

NEW YORK (AP) — Bed Bath & Beyond says that it will shutter stores and lay off workers in a bid to turn around its beleaguered business. The home goods retailer based in Union, New Jersey, said Wednesday it will close about 150 of its namesakes stores and slash its workforce by 20%. It estimated those cuts would save $250 million in the company’s current fiscal year. It also said it is considering selling more of its stock to shore up its finances and had lined up more than $500 million of new financing. But it will keep its buybuy Baby chain, which earlier this year it considered selling. Bed Bath & Beyond’s stock fell more than 20%.

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GM venture starts building battery cells at new Ohio factory

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says a new electric vehicle battery plant built in Ohio has started producing cells, which could help customers get federal tax credits. The joint-venture plant near Warren, Ohio, is focused on training as it prepares to ramp up manufacturing. A spokeswoman for the venture says it is producing cells but they are not yet being shipped. They’ll go into vehicles with GM’s Ultium batteries, which currently include Hummer EVs, Chevrolet Silverado EV pickups and the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV. Eventually the plant should help GM’s EVs meet requirements to qualify for a $7,500-per-vehicle federal tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act.

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States tapping historic surpluses for tax cuts and rebates

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — State governments flush with money are returning billions of dollars to their residents. Already this year, at least 31 states have enacted some form of tax cut or rebate. That’s likely to grow when Missouri and Idaho convene special sessions in September to consider tax breaks. The number of states enacting tax breaks is far beyond usual. States have extra money because of surging tax revenue and federal pandemic aid. But there are divisions about how far to go. Democratic states generally have tended toward targeted tax breaks and one-time rebates while some Republican states have enacted permanent income tax rate reductions.

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The S&P 500 slipped 31.16 points, or 0.8%, to 3,955. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 280.44 points, or 0.9%, to 31,510.43. The Nasdaq fell 66.93 points, or 0.6%, to 11,816.20. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 11.48 points, or 0.6%, to 1,844.12.

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