NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising in muted trading on Wall Street as traders return from the Christmas holiday. The S&P 500 was up 1.1% in afternoon trading, led by more gains in big technology companies like Apple and Nvidia. The benchmark index is coming off its latest record high. European markets were also mostly higher, but London’s market was closed for a holiday. In Asia, Hong Kong’s market was also closed and Japan’s market ended slightly lower. Crude oil prices rose more than 2% and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged down to 1.48%.
Flight cancellations continue due to bad weather, sick crews
NEW YORK (AP) — Flight cancellations that disrupted holiday travel stretched into Monday, with major U.S. airlines each canceling dozens of flights. Staffers calling out sick because of COVID-19 have left airlines short in recent days. According to FlightAware, which tracks flight cancellations, airlines have canceled roughly 4,000 flights to, from or inside the U.S. since Friday. Delta, United, JetBlue and American have all said that the omicron variant was causing staffing problems, and European and Australian airlines also canceled holiday-season flights because staff were out sick with COVID, but other factors such as weather have played a role as well.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW YORK
NYC vaccine mandate takes effect
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s sweeping mandate requiring nearly all private-sector businesses to ban unvaccinated employees from the workplace has taken effect amid a spike in coronavirus infections. Workers at roughly 184,000 businesses were required to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday. Businesses that don’t comply could face fines starting at $1,000. But Mayor Bill de Blasio has said imposing penalties will be a last resort. Employers have to verify and keep a record of each worker’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Workers who have only received one shot will have to get a second one within 45 days.
US steps up probe into Hyundai-Kia engine failures and fires
DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators have stepped up a series of investigations into multiple engine fires that have plagued Hyundai and Kia vehicles for more than six years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says a new engineering analysis investigation covers more than 3 million vehicles from the 2011 through 2016 model years. The agency has 161 complaints of engine fires, some of which occurred in vehicles that already have been recalled. Engine failures and fires have dogged the Korean automakers’ vehicles September of 2015 when it issued an engine failure recall. Since then it has issued at least eight more recalls for a host of engine problems, according to NHTSA documents posted on its website Monday.
Iran presses on oil exports as nuclear talks resume
VIENNA (AP) — Negotiators from Iran and five world powers have resumed negotiations on restoring Tehran’s tattered 2015 nuclear deal, with Iran insisting that the United States and its allies promise to allow it to export its crude oil. The latest round of talks in Vienna opened on Monday, 10 days after negotiations were adjourned for the Iranian negotiator to return home for consultations. The previous round was marked by tensions over new Iranian demands. The United States has participated only indirectly in this year’s talks to restore the deal, which President Joe Biden has signaled he wants to rejoin after his predecessor withdrew in 2018.
Polish president vetoes media bill that targeted US company
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s president says he has decided to veto a media bill that would have forced U.S. company Discovery to give up its controlling share of Polish television network TVN. President Andrzej Duda noted that the bill was unpopular with many Poles and would have dealt a blow to Poland’s reputation as a place to do business. Many Poles saw the bill as an attempt to silence a broadcaster that broadcasts independent and often critical reporting of the authorities. The bill was pushed by the ruling Law and Justice party that Duda is aligned with. Mass nationwide protests were recently held in support of the station and of freedom of speech more broadly.
Outlets hurt by dwindling public interest in news in 2021
NEW YORK (AP) — The metrics are ugly for many television, digital and print news organizations. After record-setting engagement numbers in 2020, many people are cutting back on news consumption. To a large degree, that was predictable with the presidential election, pandemic and racial reckoning providing constant headlines the year before. Cable news and digital sites, in particular, are coping with a dramatic decrease in interest in political news after that was a major draw in 2020. Local newspapers continue to close, but one expert says 2021 shows many are making progress in shifting from a print business model to a digital one.