Stocks higher as Wall Street’s momentum swings back
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are climbing, recovering some of last week’s losses to pull closer to their record highs. The S&P 500 was 0.5% higher in late morning and got back within 1% of its record set earlier this month.
Markets are rising on enthusiasm about a coming economic recovery as COVID-19 vaccines roll out and amid expectations that Washington will soon try to deliver another round of economic stimulus. President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, former Fed Chair Janet Yellen, called on Congress to do more for the economy in testimony before the Senate.
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Pandemic support at center of Yellen confirmation hearing
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Finance Committee has begun its confirmation hearing for Treasury Secretary-nominee Janet Yellen with Democrats and Republicans squaring off immediately over how much more support the economy, hammered during the pandemic, requires.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon told Yellen that his top priority was avoiding the mistake made a decade ago when Congress withdrew support for the economy too soon and delayed the recovery from the last recession. Wyden said he hoped that the Senate will be able to get Yellen’s nomination approved “as quickly as possible” given the challenges facing the country.
But Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said he was concerned that the incoming Biden administration will enact massive spending programs.
Stores drop MyPillow after CEO pushes election conspiracies
NEW YORK (AP) — The founder of MyPillow, a vocal and in the past few weeks very visible supporter of President Donald Trump, says a backlash against the company has begun after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol this month.
Mike Lindell, who is the company’s CEO, said major retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s have dropped the brand. Both companies confirmed the decision not to carry the brand in their stores Tuesday, but cited flagging sales rather than Lindell’s actions or his support for Trump.
European aviation agency: 737 Max to be cleared next week
BERLIN (AP) — The head of the European aviation safety agency says the Boeing 737 Max will be green-lighted to resume flights in Europe next week, following nearly two years of reviews after the aircraft was involved in two deadly crashes that saw the planes grounded worldwide.
Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency told reporters Tuesday the planes will be permitted to fly so long as they meet conditions specified by the agency and that pilots are up to date on their training.
The plane already has been cleared to fly in the U.S. and Brazil, and will be allowed to fly in Canada from Wednesday.
EARNS-BANK OF AMERICA
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Bank of America 4Q profit falls 18% on lower interest rates
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Bank of America’s fourth-quarter profit fell 18% from a year ago, as lower interest rates weighed down the bank. However the bank was able to release more than $800 million from its credit reserves in a sign that it sees the U.S. economy improving in the coming months.
The North Carolina-based company said Tuesday that it earned a profit of $5.47 billion, or 59 cents a share, down from $6.99 billion, or 74 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Analysts were expecting BofA to earn 56 cents a share, according to Zacks Investment Research.
Goldman Sachs’ profits more than double, despite pandemic
NEW YORK (AP) — Goldman Sachs said its profits more than doubled from a year earlier thanks to a surge in both trading and advising revenue.
The Wall Street investment bank earned $4.36 billion, or $12.08 per share, up from a profit of $1.72 billion, or $4.69 a share, in the same period a year earlier. The earnings were significantly better than the $7.45-per-share profit that analysts were expecting.
Goldman’s results reflect that Wall Street had a strong year, despite the pandemic and millions of Americans out of work.
TRUMP-CLEAN POWER PLAN
Federal court strikes down major Trump climate rollback
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has thrown out a rule that made one of the Trump administration’s most momentous climate rollbacks.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia says the administration acted illegally under the Clean Air Act in easing federal regulation of pollution from power plants. The ruling is expected to give the Biden administration a freer hand to regulate emissions from power plants. The power sector is one of the major sources of climate-damaging fossil fuel emissions.
The Environmental Protection Agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the court decision.
The decision came in a court challenge by environmental groups, some state governments, and others.
Canada in touch with incoming Biden admin about oil pipeline
TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his officials are in frequent contact with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration about a long disputed oil pipeline that reports say Biden will cancel on his first day in office.
Trudeau says over the last number of days, including Tuesday, his officials have communicated arguments in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline to the highest levels of his administration.
A few Canadian media outlets reported Sunday that Biden plans to scrap the pipeline immediately upon taking office.
FEDERAL AGENCIES HACKED-FIREEYE
Cybersecurity firm: Booting hackers a complex chore
BOSTON (AP) — The cybersecurity firm that discovered a cyberespionage campaign that has badly shaken U.S. government agencies and the private sector says efforts to assess the impact and boot the intruders remain in their early stages.
FireEye has released a tool and a white paper to help potential victims scour their installations of Microsoft’s cloud-based email and collaboration software to determine if hackers broke in and remain active. Government officials blame Russia for the hack, which a FireEye executive says he believes persists given the intruders’ skills and discipline.
Unions strike over job cuts at French vaccine maker Sanofi
MARCY L’ETOILE, France (AP) — Unions at French drug maker Sanofi held a one-day strike at the lab where it is developing a COVID-19 vaccine. They’re protesting job cuts the company plans despite a boost in investment amid the pandemic. The workers said that hundreds of planned job cuts in France could slow the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The strike action occurred amid ongoing negotiations between unions and management.
The job losses are part of a plan Sanofi announced last year to slash jobs across Europe as part of restructuring and savings efforts. Sanofi and British partner GlaxoSmithKline said last month that their potential COVID-19 vaccine won’t be ready until late 2021.
GM teams up with Microsoft on driverless cars
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — General Motors is teaming up with Microsoft to accelerate its rollout of electric, self-driving cars. In the announcement Tuesday, the companies said Microsoft’s Azure cloud and edge computing platform would be used to “commercialize its unique autonomous vehicle solutions at scale.”
Microsoft joins General Motors, Honda and other institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing its valuation to about $30 billion. Cruise, which GM bought in 2016, has been testing its automated vehicles in San Francisco without backup drivers.
Shares in GM jumped more than 8% Tuesday morning.
Stellantis CEO: New car company will protect jobs and brands
MILAN (AP) — The CEO of the new car company created from the merger of PSA Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler said Tuesday that the tie-up will help preserve jobs, factories and the 14 storied brands.
Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Stellantis, said jobs only accounted for 10% of manufacturing costs — and that he had many other levers to improve profitability. He repeated a pledge that no factories would shut as a result of the merger and said the brands represented an asset to preserve. Tavares said Stellantis would launch 10 new models with electrified engines in 2021, adding to the 29 already available.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — FedEx plans to cut up to 6,300 jobs in Europe after its acquisition of TNT Express.
FedEx said Tuesday that the cuts will take place over 18 months and include express-delivery operations and back-office employees of TNT across the continent. FedEx says severance payments will cost between $300 million and $575 million through 2023, but that job cuts will save it between $275 million and $350 million a year beginning in 2024.
FedEx bought Netherlands-based TNT back in 2016, but the deal has suffered many hiccups including a cyberattack that cost $300 million to fix.
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