NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged mostly higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street but were held back by Netflix. The streaming entertainment giant lost more than a third of its value after reporting its first subscriber loss in more than a decade and predicting more grim times ahead. The S&P 500 rose 0.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1% and the Nasdaq fell 0.7%. IBM added 7.5% after reporting results that...
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged mostly higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street but were held back by Netflix. The streaming entertainment giant lost more than a third of its value after reporting its first subscriber loss in more than a decade and predicting more grim times ahead. The S&P 500 rose 0.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1% and the Nasdaq fell 0.7%. IBM added 7.5% after reporting results that beat analysts’ estimates. Health care companies, banks and a mix of household product makers made solid gains. Bond yields fell and crude oil prices slipped.
March home sales fall as mortgage rates, home prices climb
UNDATED (AP) — Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes slowed in March to the slowest pace in nearly two years as a swift rise in mortgage rates and record-high prices discouraged would-be homebuyers. The National Association of Realtors says existing home sales fell 2.7% last month from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million. That’s in line with what economists had been expecting, according to FactSet. It’s also the slowest pace since June 2020. Sales fell 4.5% from March 2021. The slowdown came as the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate home loan climbed to about 4.7% by the end of March. Buyers still pushed up the median home price in March 15% from a year ago to a record $375,300.
IMF-GLOBAL FINANCE-DEBT CRISIS
IMF, World Bank chiefs warn of debt squeeze in poor nations
WASHINGTON (AP) — The heads of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are warning that rising interest rates are squeezing the world’s poorest countries as they struggle with the coronavirus and soaring food prices. World Bank President David Malpass said in a press conference Wednesday that there is “a huge buildup of debt, especially in the poorest countries.” As interest rates rise, he said, debt pressures are mounting on developing countries, “and we need to move urgently towards solutions.‘’
Yellen, Ukraine official walk out of Russia’s G-20 remarks
WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Ukraine’s Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko walked out of a Group of 20 meeting Wednesday as Russia’s representative started talking. Several finance ministers and central bank governors also left the room, according an official familiar with the meetings who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the event wasn’t public. Some ministers and central bank governors who attended virtually turned their cameras off when Russia spoke. The move comes during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings. The brutal effects of Russia’s war against Ukraine have taken center stage, and Treasury officials said earlier this week that Yellen would try to avoid contact with Russian officials.
Japan formally revokes Russia’s ‘most favored nation’ status
TOKYO (AP) — Japan has formally revoked Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status over its invasion of Ukraine, as Tokyo steps up sanctions amid revelations of Russian military atrocities against civilians. The stripping of Russia’s most favored nation trade status is Japan’s latest move against Moscow and part of sanctions that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced last month that also included a decision to expel eight Russian diplomats and trade officials. They were taken by bus on Wednesday from the Russian Embassy to Tokyo’s airport, where they took a Russian government plane home.
AP POLL-TRAVEL-MASK MANDATE
Majority of Americans want masks for travelers: AP-NORC poll
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A new poll finds that a majority of Americans continue to support a mask requirement for people traveling on airplanes and other shared transportation. The poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 56% of Americans favor requiring people on planes, trains and public transportation to wear masks. That compares with 24% opposed and 20% who say they’re neither in favor nor opposed. Interviews for the poll were conducted before a federal judge in Florida on Monday struck down the national mask mandate on airplanes and mass transit. Airlines and airports immediately scrapped their requirements that passengers wear face coverings to protect against the coronavirus.
RAILROAD CONRACT TALKS
CSX to pay workers more in advance of expected rail raises
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX has agreed to start paying some of its employees more in advance of raises the railroad expects to agree to as part of ongoing national contract talks. CSX said the payments of up to $600 a month are expected to start next month for members of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, Transportation Division union. The Jacksonville, Florida based railroad plans to reach similar agreements with its other unions. The side deal that CSX announced late Tuesday may be an encouraging sign for the larger contract talks between the National Railway Labor Conference coalition of railroads that has been negotiating with unions since the fall of 2019. Those talks have been stalled in mediation.
Rivian electric car plant blasted by foes at Georgia meeting
MONROE, Ga. (AP) — Foes trying to derail a $5 billion electric truck plant east of Atlanta are dominating a state process to gather input on environmental concerns. Georgia state officials took oversight of plans for Rivian Automotive’s proposed 7,500-job plant after opponents overwhelmed Morgan County planning officials. The first meeting of one of the oversight committees was Monday in Monroe. The electric vehicle manufacturer in December announced a plant that would make up to 400,000 vehicles a year. Opposition to the plant has been heavy from area residents who say the plant will spoil their rural quality of life.
Power plan paused by NJ governor in minority area is back
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey sewage treatment plant in a predominantly minority neighborhood is pressing forward with its plan to build a gas-fired power plant, three months after the state’s governor halted the proposal to make sure it does not overly burden the already polluted community. In January, Gov. Phil Murphy directed the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission to halt a $180 million backup power plant after residents of Newark’s Ironbound section complained that they already bear the brunt of numerous sources of air and other pollution. But the commission is asking the state to modify its air quality permit and plans to host a public hearing on the plan next week.
New Mexico fines ‘Rust’ for willful gun safety failures
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico workplace safety regulators say they have issued the maximum possible fine against a film production company for firearms safety failures on the set where a cinematographer was fatally shot in October by actor and producer Alec Baldwin. New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau on Wednesday announced the nearly $137,000 fine against Rust Movie Productions and distributed a scathing narrative of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols. Inspectors say production managers took limited or no action to address two rifle misfires of blank rounds on set prior to the fatal shooting. The bureau also documented gun safety complaints that went unheeded and constraints on safety training.
Musk lawyer: Gag order would trample on free speech rights
DETROIT (AP) — Elon Musk’s lawyer says a federal judge would trample on the Tesla CEO’s free speech rights if he ordered Musk to stop talking about 2018 tweets saying he had the funding to make Tesla a private company. In a court document filed Wednesday, lawyer Alex Spiro says a motion from a group of Tesla shareholders seeking a gag order doesn’t establish that Musk’s comments will prejudice the pool of jurors who may hear the case. Lawyers for the shareholders have argued that Musk is trying to influence potential jurors. They contend Musk’s 2018 tweets were written to manipulate the stock price, costing shareholders money. The suit is scheduled to come to trial next January.