Asian shares mostly higher after Wall Street gains
UNDATED (AP) — Shares retreated in Asia today ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 edged 0.1% higher while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.2%. South Korea’s Kospi gave up 0.4% and the S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney jumped 1%. The Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.4%. India’s Sensex edged 0.1% higher.
Yesterday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.5% to 3,401.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up less than 0.1%, to 27,995.60. The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with tech stocks, climbed 1.2% to 11,190.32.
Backup driver in fatal Arizona Uber autonomous crash charged
PHOENIX (AP) — Prosecutors have filed a criminal charge against the backup driver of an autonomous Uber vehicle that fatally struck a pedestrian in suburban Phoenix.
Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel’s office said on Tuesday that Rafaela Vasquez faces one count of negligent homicide in the 2018 crash in Tempe that killed Elaine Herzberg. Her death was the first fatality involving a self-driving vehicle.
Federal investigators concluded Vasquez’s failure to monitor the road as she watched a TV show on her mobile phone was the main cause of the crash.
Prosecutors declined in 2019 to file criminal charges against Uber, as a corporation, in Herzberg’s death.
Vasquez has pleaded not guilty.
FedEx’s profit jumps as business deliveries improved
NEW YORK (AP) — FedEx’s profit jumped 67% in its latest quarter, as online shopping remained popular among customers avoiding stores and shipments between businesses improved.
The delivery giant reported Tuesday that it earned $1.25 billion during the three months that ended Aug. 31, FedEx’s fiscal first quarter. That was up from $745 million a year earlier.
Many people are shopping online during the pandemic, which is helping some delivery companies.
FedEx’s stock jumped 8% in after-hours trading. The Memphis-based company did not provide an outlook for its full 2021 fiscal year, citing uncertainties created by the pandemic.
KOHL’S JOB CUTS
Kohl’s to cut 15% of office jobs due to virus-related slump
NEW YORK (AP) — Kohl’s said Tuesday that it will cut 15% of its office staff to save money as sales continue to be hard-hit by the pandemic.
The company declined to say how many people will lose their jobs. The layoffs will be at its headquarters in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, as well as offices in New York and Milpitas, California.
Other major retailers like Levi’s and Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands have also recently announced job cuts for corporate staff.
KRAFT HEINZ-CHEESE SALE
Struggling Kraft Heinz sells dairy brands to Lactalis
UNDATED (AP) — Kraft Heinz says it is selling its natural cheese business — including its Cracker Barrel brand — to French dairy company Lactalis Group as part of a larger restructuring.
The $3.2 billion sale includes Kraft Heinz production facilities in California, New York and Wisconsin that employ about 750 people.
Kraft Heinz will retain the Philadelphia cream cheese brand, Kraft singles and the Velveeta and Cheez Whiz brands.
The company has been struggling as consumers seek out fresh, less processed food. It says the sale will help it focus its resources on other brands.
The sale is expected to close in the first half of next year.
Google exec on hot seat in Congress over advertising power
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel put a top Google executive on the defensive over the company’s powerful position in online advertising as some lawmakers look hopefully toward an expected antitrust case against the tech giant by the Trump administration.
Google’s president for global partnerships, Donald Harrison, insisted at a hearing Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee that Google’s ad business faces ample competition, has kept prices low for advertisers and publishers such as local newspapers, and benefited consumers.
A Minnesota Democrat, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, said an expected antitrust action against Google by the Justice Department “could be the beginning of a reckoning.”
Some JPMorgan traders catch COVID as bank reopens offices
NEW YORK (AP) — A number of JPMorgan Chase traders have been sent home after employees tested positive for COVID-19, less than a week into the bank’s push to start bringing its workers back into the office.
A bank spokesman said Tuesday that JPMorgan Chase has been managing individual positive cases over the last few months.
JPMorgan has been starting to insist its traders and senior management return to their physical offices, setting a required start date of Sept. 21. President Donald Trump last week congratulated JPMorgan for its push.
The spokesman declined to say whether JPMorgan would continue its effort to reopen the offices.
For television executives, return of football is good news
NEW YORK (AP) — Pro football has probably never been more important to television executives than this year, and its return has them ready to do a happy dance in the end zone.
A schedule of opening week games brought viewers back to their sets, led by a Hall of Fame caliber matchup between Tom Brady, a new member of the Tampa Bay Bucs, and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. The Nielsen company says that game was seen by just under 26 million people on Sunday afternoon on Fox. The network had its best viewership for an opening weekend of football since 2016.
But ratings for NBC’s games on Thursday and Sunday night were down from opening week last year. CBS’ five-game average for Sunday afternoon games was 13.59 million viewers, down 12 percent from 2019.
The games faced competition from the NBA playoffs and news networks, stuffed with news on the presidential race, the pandemic and California wildfires.
CNBC host: Calling Speaker Pelosi ‘Crazy Nancy’ was ‘stupid’
NEW YORK (AP) — CNBC personality Jim Cramer is apologizing for calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ‘crazy Nancy’ during an interview Tuesday.
Cramer was interviewing Pelosi on CNBC’s “Squawk On The Street” show about the prospects for a deal between Democrats and Republicans on a new coronavirus economic aid bill when he asked: “What deal can we have, Crazy Nancy?”
Cramer quickly followed the remark by apologizing, saying that he was channeling President Donald Trump’s use of the nickname to make a point about how difficult it is to pass legislation with a toxic environment in Washington. He said he’d never say it himself, although Pelosi replied, “you just did.”
With criticism mounting online, Cramer at first defended himself. But he came on the ‘Mad Money’ Tuesday evening and apologized, saying it was a tongue-in-cheek attempt to make a commentary on Washington that fell flat.
Japan exports fall 15% in August as pandemic pummels trade
MITO, Japan (AP) — Japan’s trade surplus widened in August as the pandemic pummeled a wide array of industries and sapped consumer demand.
The 15% drop in exports from a year earlier was outpaced by a more than 20% decline in imports. In one rare bright spot, exports to China rose 5%, but both exports and imports with the U.S. fell more than 20%.
Trade in most categories of products declined in August, with exports of transport equipment such as vehicles falling 23%. Helping to boost the trade surplus, imports of oil, gas and other fuels plunged 45%. Exports had helped drive growth in recent years but have suffered as China’s economy slowed and the pandemic took hold.