Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks rebound as Wall St futures gain after holiday

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks have rebounded as Wall Street futures moved higher today. U.S. markets were closed for the Juneteenth holiday yesterday.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney gained today. Oil prices rebounded to above $110 per barrel.

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks rebound as Wall St futures gain after holiday

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks have rebounded as Wall Street futures moved higher today. U.S. markets were closed for the Juneteenth holiday yesterday.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney gained today. Oil prices rebounded to above $110 per barrel.

The future for Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index is up 1.4% after a three-day holiday weekend. Investors worry efforts by U.S. and European central banks to cool inflation that is running at a four-decade high might derail global economic growth. The S&P 500 has fallen by more than 20% from its Jan. 3 peak.

Investors are looking for clues of Federal Reserve plans for possible additional rate hikes when Chair Jerome Powell speaks before congressional committees this week.

CRYPTO-WINTER

Crypto investors’ hot streak ends as harsh ‘winter’ descends

NEW YORK (AP) — The wealth-generating hot streak for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has turned brutally cold. As prices plunge, companies collapse and skepticism soars, fortunes and jobs are disappearing overnight, and investors’ feverish speculation has been replaced by icy calculation, in what industry leaders are referring to as a “crypto winter.”

On Monday, the price of bitcoin traded at $20,097, more than 70% below its November peak of around $69,000.

Experts say the selloff signals growing trepidation on Wall Street and Main Street about the crypto industry’s fundamentals, which right now are looking shaky.

CALIFORNIA-GAS PRICES

California Democrats to investigate cause of high gas prices

SACRAMENTO (AP) — California lawmakers say they’ll investigate why the state’s gas prices are the highest in the U.S. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced a bipartisan committee on Monday to investigate gas price gouging. The average price per gallon was $6.40 in California on Monday compared to the national average of $4.98.

Republican leaders say gas prices are high because Democrats refuse to suspend the state’s gas tax. Democrats say they fear suspending the tax would just boost oil company profits. Instead, they want to send rebates to taxpayers.

The Western States Petroleum Association blamed bad energy policy as the cause of the state’s high gas prices.

JETBLU-SPIRIT

JetBlue raises offer again in bidding for Spirit Airlines

NEW YORK (AP) — JetBlue is boosting its offer to buy Spirit Airlines, raising the stakes again in the bidding war over the nation’s biggest budget airline. JetBlue said Monday that it offered $33.50 per share, or $2 per share more than its last bid two weeks ago.

JetBlue is trying to outbid Frontier Airlines, which struck a deal to buy Spirit back in February.

Shareholders of Florida-based Spirit are scheduled to vote on the Frontier bid next week. JetBlue is trying to convince investors to kill the Frontier offer and drive Spirit into JetBlue’s arms.

AFRICA-UKRAINE-FOOD CRISIS

Africa ‘taken hostage’ by Russia’s invasion, Zelenskyy says

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ukraine’s leader has told the African Union that the African continent has been “taken hostage” in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amid the catastrophic rising of food prices.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s closed-door speech Monday followed weeks of requests for him to address African nations. Many of them retain close ties to Russia and failed to support a U.N. General Assembly resolution condemning the invasion.

Ukraine and the West hope to weaken those ties by emphasizing that Russia’s actions are to blame for dramatic shortages of wheat and edible oils and skyrocketing food and fuel prices across Africa.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE-AUCTION

Nobel sold for Ukrainian kids shatters record at $103.5M

NEW YORK (AP) The Nobel Peace Prize that Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov was auctioning off to raise money for Ukrainian child refugees has sold for $103.5 million.

Monday’s sale shatters the old record for a Nobel. Previously, the most ever paid for a Nobel Prize medal was $4.76 million.

Muratov was awarded the medal in October 2021. He helped found the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and was the publication’s editor-in-chief when it shut down. That was in March, amid the Kremlin’s clampdown on journalists and public dissent in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

PUERTO RICO-LABOR REFORM

Puerto Rico law to boost private sector worker benefits

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s governor has signed legislation that will award more rights to private sector workers in the U.S. territory. In signing the measure Monday, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi defied a federal control board that said the move would be considered a violation of a federal statute.

The measure increases private sector worker benefits and time off, including for those who only work part-time. It also reinstates protections against unjustified dismissals.

The federal control board overseeing Puerto Rico’s finances contends the legislation will hurt the island’s economy as it tries to emerge from the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

NUCLEAR POWER INDUSTRY-OUTLOOK

Nuclear industry hopes to expand output with new reactors

UNDATED (AP) — The trade association for U.S. nuclear plant operators says it hopes to nearly double their output over the next three decades. Those plans hang on the functionality of a new type of nuclear reactor that’s far smaller than traditional reactors.

The industry is generating less electricity as reactors retire. Even so, utilities that are members of the Nuclear Energy Institute say they could add 90 gigawatts of nuclear power with the bulk of that coming online by 2050. That translates to about 300 new small modular reactors.

The institute’s president will talk about doubling U.S. nuclear output in a speech today to industry leaders and policymakers.

TV-PARAMOUNT PLUS

Stallone, Costner, Chastain help launch Paramount+ in UK

LONDON (AP) — Paramount+ flexed the star power of its shows as it prepares to launch in the United Kingdom with a London event attended by Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Kevin Costner, Jessica Chastain and more. The expansion delivers overseas popular programs like Costner’s “Yellowstone” and “Star Trek Discovery” to U.K. audiences.

Subscribers will also get to see Stallone’s scripted television debut in “Tulsa King,” in which he plays a Mafia capo.

Paramount+ launches Wednesday with more than 8,000 hours of programs. They include Chastain and Michael Shannon in the series “George & Tammy,” along with Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson in “The First Lady,” about U.S. presidents’ wives.

HONG KONG-FLOATING RESTAURANT

Hong Kong’s iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant capsizes at sea

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant has capsized in the South China Sea, less than a week after it was towed away from the city.

Its parent company says the restaurant encountered “adverse conditions” as it was passing the Paracel Islands. It says water entering the vessel made it tip before it capsized on Sunday. No one was injured.

The Jumbo Floating Restaurant was a Hong Kong landmark for four decades, serving Cantonese cuisine to more than 3 million guests including Queen Elizabeth II and Tom Cruise. It closed in 2020 due to the pandemic and laid off all its staff.

The parent company had planned to move it to a lower-cost site while searching for a new operator.

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