Asian stocks mixed after Wall St rises on Congress debt deal
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks are mixed as investors wait for U.S. jobs data that might influence a Federal Reserve decision on when to roll back stimulus. That comes after legislators in Washington averted a possible government debt default.
Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney advanced. Hong Kong and Seoul retreated.
Investors are watching to see whether U.S. hiring in September was strong enough for Fed officials who are discussing when to withdraw bond purchases and other stimulus that is boosting stock prices but say they want to see a strong job market recovery. Lawmakers agreed to extend Washington’s borrowing ability into December.
Senate avoids US debt disaster, votes to delay borrowing
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has dodged a U.S. debt disaster by approving legislation to lift the federal limit on new borrowing by nearly a half-trillion dollars.
The bill, likely to be approved by the House as well, should temporarily avert an unprecedented U.S. default that experts say would have devastated the economy and harmed millions of Americans.
Approved Thursday night by the Senate, it will extend the government’s authority to borrow into December. However, that will provide only a temporary reprieve. The same battle will be revived as Democrats argue before yearend with Republicans, who say Democrats must lift the cap without their help.
Elon Musk says Tesla will move HQ from California to Texas
UNDATED (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the electric car maker will relocate its headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Texas. but Musk says the company will keep expanding its manufacturing capacity in the Golden State.
Musk gave no timeline for the move late Thursday when he addressed the company’s shareholders at Tesla’s annual meeting.
Musk stressed he plans to expand the company’s factory in Fremont, California, where Tesla’s Model S and Model X cars are built, in hopes of increasing its output by 50%.
The announcement drew cheers and applause from a small audience at Tesla’s manufacturing plant in Austin, where Musk delivered his remarks, which were webcast live.
He also touted the company’s record vehicle deliveries this year, while noting that global supply-chain disruptions that have led to a shortage of computer chips remain a challenge.
Nevada tech company asks to withdraw ‘Innovation Zones’ plan
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada-based technology company that had lobbied state lawmakers to let it form a semi-autonomous smart city in the rural desert has withdrawn its proposal. Blockchains said on Thursday that it no longer plans to construct a smart city that revolves around its technology, but plans to continue building out its platform in Nevada.
Blockchain is a digital ledger that can record nearly any transaction and is best known for facilitating cryptocurrency exchanges.
The company had proposed creating new jurisdictions called “Innovation Zones” that would initially be governed by a company-nominated board that could create court systems, impose taxes and make zoning decisions.
The proposal provoked opposition from environmentalists, local government officials and people skeptical of the growing power of technology companies.
CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES-HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
Judge blocks big California development over wildfire danger
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California judge has blocked portions of the largest proposed residential housing development in San Diego County’s history. He acted Thursday after the state attorney general and others objected that it would be too prone to wildfires.
That and a similar recent challenge in Northern California are the first known times in the nation where a state has intervened to argue that its interests in preventing wildfires overrides a county’s interest in building more housing.
The president of the state’s building association previously said the attorney general is overstepping by questioning local officials’ safety precautions.
US average mortgage rates decline; 30-year at 2.99%
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term mortgage rates declined this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan slipping back below 3%.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year mortgage eased to 2.99% from 3.01% last week. The rate stood at 2.87% this time last year. It peaked this year at 3.18% in April.
The rate for a 15-year loan, a popular option for homeowners refinancing their mortgages, fell to 2.23% from 2.28% last week.
India staring at power crisis with coal stocks down to days
NEW DELHI (AP) — An energy crisis is looming over India as coal stockpiles grow perilously low, adding to challenges for a recovery in Asia’s third largest economy from the pandemic.
Supplies at the majority of coal-fired power plants in India have dwindled to just days worth of stock. That has stoked fears of potential black-outs given that 70% of India’s power is generated through coal.
Demand has surged as the economy shows signs of recovering from a severe wave of coronavirus outbreaks in the spring. Power consumption in August jumped by nearly 20% over the same month in 2019.
SUE GRAFTON-TV ADAPTATION
Sue Grafton’s alphabet novels headed to television
NEW YORK (AP) — A TV adaptation of the late Sue Grafton’s million-selling Kinsey Millhone mystery novels is now in the works. It’s a prospect the author once swore she would return from the dead to prevent.
A+E Studios announced this week that it has acquired rights to Grafton’s famed alphabet series, with such titles as “‘A’ Is for Alibi” and “‘E’ Is for Evidence.”
Grafton told an interviewer in 1997 that her family had taken a “blood oath” against permitting television rights. But her husband Steve Humphrey says that the industry has changed.
A+E Studios says it’s currently seeking a platform and showrunner for the series.