NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are pushing higher on Wall Street after a lukewarm report on the job market raised hopes the Federal Reserve will keep the accelerator floored on its support for the economy. U.S. employers added 559,000 jobs in May, according to the Labor Department, fewer than economists expected. Technology stocks are the biggest gainers, pushing the broader market higher. The gains put the benchmark S&P 500 index back on track for a weekly gain after several choppy days of trading.
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US adds 559K jobs as firms still struggle to fill positions
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring in the United States picked up in May, yet was slowed again by the struggles of many companies to find enough workers to keep up with the economy’s swift recovery from the pandemic recession. The Labor Department said Friday that U.S. employers added 559,000 jobs last month. That’s an improvement from April’s sluggish increase of 278,000, but the gain fell well short of employers’ need for labor. The unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1%. The speed of the rebound, fueled by substantial federal aid and rising vaccinations, has created a disconnect between businesses and the unemployed. While companies are rushing to add workers immediately, many of the unemployed are still holding back. A temporary $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit, on top of regular state jobless aid, has likely led many unemployed Americans to take time to consider their options.
Senate Republicans reject Biden infrastructure plan, prep new offer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are panning President Joe Biden’s latest infrastructure proposal. Republicans view his proposed 15% corporate minimum tax as unnecessary, according to a person granted anonymity to discuss the private talks. They are preparing to bring their own revised offer Friday. Biden and lead GOP negotiator Sen. Shelley Moore Capito are set to talk again Friday as negotiations grind on. The White House has said next week is a deadline to see if there can be for progress toward a deal. Meanwhile, Democrats are taking steps to pass it on their own, if talks with Republicans fall apart.
Judge: US can’t delay challenge to public land coal sales
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. judge has rejected the Biden administration’s attempt to delay a lawsuit from several states and environmental groups that would end sales for coal mining leases on federal lands. The coal program was temporarily shut down under President Barack Obama because of concerns about climate change. It was revived by the Trump administration, but there have been few sales in the years since because the use of coal has plummeted as utilities turn to cleaner-burning fuels. Environmentalists want to shut down the program permanently. U.S. District Brian Morris issued an order late Thursday denying the Biden administration’s attempt to delay the case for another three months, after already being granted a two-month extension in March.
Fed chief Powell: Climate policy is for elected officials
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says the U.S. central bank is studying how climate change might affect banks. But the Fed doesn’t see itself as getting involved in how to fight climate change. Powell said the bank has a mandate from Congress to supervise banks and financial stability, so it is gathering data and studying how climate change might affect those topics. But it will be the private sector and elected officials who decide climate policy. Powel made the remarks at an online conference on how the financial sector can take immediate action against climate risks.
Facebook suspends Trump for 2 years, then will reassess
UNDATED (AP) — Facebook says it will suspend former President Donald Trump’s accounts for two years following its finding that he stoked violence ahead of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection. Facebook also plans to end a contentious policy championed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg that automatically exempted politicians from certain moderation rules on its site. The social media giant said on Friday that it will still apply this “newsworthiness” exemption to certain posts it deems to be in the public interest even if it violates Facebook rules, it will no longer treat material posted by politicians any differently from what’s posted by anyone else.
European regulators launch fresh probes of Facebook, Google
LONDON (AP) — European Union and British regulators have opened dual antitrust investigations into whether Facebook distorts competition in the classified advertising market by using data to compete unfairly against rival services. The coordinated effort represents an escalation by European regulators in their battle to rein in the dominance of big tech companies. EU officials said they’re looking into whether Facebook’s “vast troves of data” on user activity give it an undue advantage. The U.K. competition watchdog said its investigation includes Facebook’s online dating service. Facebook said it “will cooperate fully with the investigations to demonstrate that they are without merit.”
UK Treasury chief optimistic on tax deal targeting big tech
LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Treasury chief says he’s optimistic finance ministers from the world’s richest countries will agree on plans to help low-income countries combat COVID-19, slow global warming and confront tax avoidance during two days of meetings in London. Finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations are meeting amid growing support for a global minimum corporate tax, which is backed by U.S President Joe Biden. Rishi Sunak says he’s anticipating “concrete outcomes” this weekend.’’ The meeting prepares the way for a June 11-13 summit of G-7 heads of state and government hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.
EU bans overflight of its territory by Belarus airlines
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has slapped a ban on the overflight of the 27-nation bloc’s airspace and the use of its airports by Belarus airlines, in the wake of Minsk’s decision to divert a Ryanair passenger plane to arrest a dissident journalist last month. EU headquarters said in a statement Friday that member countries will “be required to deny permission to land in, take off from or overfly their territories to any aircraft operated by Belarusian air carriers, including as a marketing carrier.” Belarus’ international isolation has deepened since the May 23 incident.
Biden widens list of Chinese firms off-limits for investment
UNDATED (AP) — China has vehemently objected to U.S. President Joe Biden’s expansion of a list of Chinese companies whose shares are off-limits to American investors. The executive order issued late Thursday nearly doubled the number of companies subject to the ban. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson says Beijing will take unspecified “necessary measures” to protect the rights and interests of Chinese companies. The new executive order expanded a list first announced by Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, to 59 companies from 31. It targets investments in shares of Chinese defense and surveillance technology firms that the U.S. says take part in surveillance of religious and ethnic minorities, repression or “serious human rights abuses.”
Universal Music attracts the attention of US billionaire
UNDATED (AP) — Universal Music Group is in talks to sell a 10% stake in a deal that would value the record label at about $40 billion. Confirmation of those talks comes four months after Vivendi SE, the French media conglomerate that owns Universal, said that it might spin off the record label that is home to Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish (EYE’-lish), Lady Gaga, as well as the Beatles. The company last year acquired Bob Dylan’s entire catalog. Universal, with its massive portfolio of artists, has benefited from the adaptation of music streaming across numerous platforms. Vivendi and Pershing Capital, run by billionaire William Ackman, confirmed the talks Friday.
Bargain hunters pounce as Trump condo prices hit decade lows
NEW YORK (AP) — Bargain hunters are scooping up units in Trump buildings as hostility toward Donald Trump combines with the pandemic to push prices for condos and hotel rooms to decade lows. It’s a stunning reversal for a brand that once lured the rich and famous willing to pay a premium to live in a building with Trump’s gilded name over the door. Now buyers in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and Honolulu are betting people will forget the name or, better yet, it will be stripped from the facade. Says one buyer, “They’re giving them away.”
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