Asian stocks climb after Wall Street rebound led by Big Tech
BANGKOK (AP) — Shares are mostly higher in Asia after a rally on Wall Street snapped a three-day losing streak that included the biggest drop for the S&P 500 since February.
Shares rose in most regional markets apart from Singapore. Technology stocks, which were hurt hard earlier in the week, were among the bigger gainers on Thursday as Apple, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet all rose. The S&P 500 surged 1.2%.
The price of Bitcoin dropped 10% after Tesla CEO Elon Musk reversed his earlier position on the digital currency and said the electric car maker would no longer accept it as payment. Bond yields fell.
State Street Corporation to pay $115M criminal penalty
BOSTON (AP) — State Street Corporation has agreed to pay a $115 million criminal penalty to resolve charges that it schemed to defraud clients by secretly overcharging some of its customers for as long as 17 years.
All told, the Massachusetts-based global financial services company defrauded its customers to the tune of more than $290 million.
Investigators say that according to State Street’s admissions, between 1998 and 2015, bank executives conspired to add secret markups to “out-of-pocket” expenses charged to the bank’s clients while letting clients believe that State Street was billing expenses as pass-through charges on which the bank was not earning a profit.
Company officials said they regret the overcharges and have agreed to fully reimburse victims of the misconduct for amounts they were overcharged.
The company says it will continue to invest significant resources to “improve and strengthen invoicing processes, controls and governance.”
Airbnb reports 1Q loss of nearly $1.2 billion, revenue rises
UNDATED (AP) — Airbnb says it lost nearly $1.2 billion in the first quarter, about three times as much as it lost a year ago, as travel remains depressed because of the pandemic.
But, Airbnb’s revenue was not only better than a year ago, it was higher than it was during the first quarter of 2019, before the pandemic.
The company is telling shareholders that it expects a travel rebound unlike any other. Still, Airbnb is expressing concern about travel restrictions and lockdowns in Europe, a key market for summer rentals. And the company says it’s too early to tell whether the pace of the travel recovery will continue in the second half of the year.
APPLE APP STORE TRIAL
Apple holds edge in app store trial despite nagging issues
SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Apple seems to be prevailing in an antitrust trial examining whether its mobile app store illegally skims profits from smaller companies.
But the tech giant’s apparent edge has been carved out amid nagging questions about the financial vise it holds people in when they buy digital services on iPhones, iPads and iPods.
If nothing else, the skirmish has sharpened the focus on the exclusive payment system that Apple has built into transactions occurring within apps installed on its family of mobile devices.
Apple has collected a 15% to 30% commission on those in-app purchases for the past 13 years, fueling a moneymaking machine that has helped the company increase its market value from about $150 billion in 2008 to more than $2 trillion today.
Those apps avoid a commission when their customers pay for their services through other options, such as a web browser. But Apple forbids apps from posting any links or making any other suggestions that steer people toward those other alternatives.
RAILROAD BIDDING WAR
Canadian National ups offer to seal deal for US railroad
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Canadian National has sweetened its offer to buy Kansas City Southern railroad. Its latest move aims to derail rival Canadian Pacific’s bid for the railroad that handles traffic in the United States and Mexico.
Kansas City Southern said Thursday that it determined Canadian National’s revised $33.6 billion offer was better than the $25 billion agreement it had with Canadian Pacific.
Canadian National’s President and CEO says the combined railroad will connect Canada with the United States and Mexico and take advantage of expected growth in trade between the three countries.
Kansas City Southern has been reviewing both bids and holding talks with its Canadian suitors since CN joined the bidding last month.
So far, Canadian Pacific has declined to increase its offer for Kansas City Southern. CP officials have said they believe the Canadian National deal would have trouble getting approved by regulators who are concerned about its impact on competition.
California governor to reveal booming budget proposal
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) —California Gov. Gavin Newsom is preparing to deliver a booming budget proposal to the Legislature.
Newsom revealed his initial budget proposal in January. Friday, he will update that proposal based on more than $100 billion in new money — a combination of a surplus of state revenues plus $27 billion in federal coronavirus aid.
Newsom has said he wants to give 11 million people direct payments of up to $1,100 and pay for all 4-year-olds to go to kindergarten for free. He also said he would give $1.5 billion to small businesses hurt by the pandemic. Meanwhile, state workers are waiting to see if he will restore their pay cuts.