Business Highlights: Inflation gauge, summer travel costs

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Key inflation gauge slowed to still-high 6.3% over past year

WASHINGTON (AP) — An inflation gauge closely tracked by the Federal Reserve rose 6.3% in April from a year earlier, just below a four-decade high set in March and the first slowdown since November 2020. The report added to other recent signs showing that while high inflation continues to cause hardships for millions of households, it may finally be moderating, at least for now....

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Key inflation gauge slowed to still-high 6.3% over past year

WASHINGTON (AP) — An inflation gauge closely tracked by the Federal Reserve rose 6.3% in April from a year earlier, just below a four-decade high set in March and the first slowdown since November 2020. The report added to other recent signs showing that while high inflation continues to cause hardships for millions of households, it may finally be moderating, at least for now. The report also showed that consumer spending rose by a healthy 0.9% from March to April, outpacing the month-to-month inflation rate for a fourth straight time. The ongoing willingness of the nation’s consumers to keep spending freely despite inflated prices is helping sustain the economy.

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Prepare for sticker shock if you are traveling this summer

DALLAS (AP) — If you haven’t booked your summer vacation plans, you are already too late to snag the best deals, according to travel experts. Airfares are up, hotels rates are up, and airlines are bracing for a big summer. High prices are not the only thing travelers need to worry about. Airlines have thousands fewer employees than they did before the pandemic, and that means they could struggle to handle the expected crowds. Consumers seem to be taking it all in stride. Airlines say bookings are running at record levels, and spending on U.S. flights is running ahead of 2019 levels.

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Wall Street breaks 7-week losing streak, longest since 2001

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose on Wall Street Friday and closed higher for the week, breaking a seven-week losing streak, the longest such stretch since 2001. The S&P 500 rose 2.5%, increasing its gain for the week to 6.6%. That’s the biggest weekly gain for the benchmark index since November 2020. Technology stocks were a big factor pushing the market higher. That sent the Nasdaq composite up 3.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.8%. Retailers also made solid gains. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set mortgage rates, slipped to 2.74%. U.S. crude oil prices rose.

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‘We don’t have food’: African leaders meet as crises grow

DJIBO, Burkina Faso (AP) — African leaders have gathered for a summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to address growing humanitarian needs on the continent, which is also facing increased violent extremism, climate change challenges and a run of military coups. Leaders on Friday called for increased mobilization to resolve a humanitarian crisis that has left millions displaced and more than 280 million suffering from malnourishment. For people in Djibo in northern Burkina Faso, help can’t come soon enough. The city in the Sahel region has been besieged since February by jihadis who prevent people and goods from moving in or out and have cut water supplies. Residents are suffering with no food or water, animals are dying and the price of grain has spiked.

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G-7 pledges put coal on notice, could boost climate aid

BERLIN (AP) — Officials from the Group of Seven wealthy nations have announced they will aim to largely end greenhouse gas emissions from their power sectors by 2035. The move makes it highly unlikely that those countries will burn coal for electricity beyond that date. Ministers from the G-7 countries meeting in Berlin on Friday also announced a target to have a “highly decarbonized road sector by 2030.” That means electric vehicles would dominate the new car sales by the end of the decade. The G-7 also recognized for the first time the need to provide developing countries with additional financial aid to cope with the loss and damage caused by global warming. The agreements were largely welcomed by climate advocates.

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Biden renews sanctions license for Chevron in Venezuela

MIAMI (AP) — The Biden administration has renewed a license partially exempting Chevron from sanctions on Venezuela so it can keep operating in the oil-rich, socialist-run nation. The license issued Friday by the U.S. Treasury Department allows the California-based Chevron and other U.S. companies to perform only basic upkeep of wells it operates jointly with state-run oil giant PDVSA. Some in the Biden administration had been pushing for an expanded license so that Chevron would be allowed to resume exports and ease pricing pressure at American pumps.

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Tribal request to halt Arizona copper mine work is denied

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a request by Native American tribes to stop Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. from preparing a planned new Arizona copper mine’s site in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson. U.S. District Judge James Soto refused to issue a temporary restraining order and dismissed the lawsuit filed by the Tohono O’odham, Pasqua Yaqui and Hopi tribes and the group Save the Scenic Santa Ritas. Soto’s ruling Monday said Hudbay’s surrender of a suspended Clean Water Act Permit for a nearby project named the Rosemont Mine removed the lawsuit’s legal basis because the projects were not legally related.

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Alaska’s largest natural gas utility being sold for $800M

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The owner of the largest natural gas utility in Alaska says it is selling the company to Canada-based TriSummit Utilities Inc. The Anchorage Daily News reports the deal is worth $800 million. AltaGas Ltd. says the sale will include Anchorage-based ENSTAR Natural Gas, its associated pipelines and ENSTAR’s majority ownership in a gas storage facility. AltaGas is also based in Canada. It acquired Enstar in 2012. TriSummit has about 133,000 customers in Canada. ENSTAR has about 150,000 customers in Anchorage and parts of south-central Alaska. The companies expect the sale to close by early next year. ENSTAR Natural Gas has about 200 employees.

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The S&P 500 rose 100.40 points, or 2.5%, to 4,158.24. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 575.77 points, or 1.8%, to 33,212.96. The Nasdaq surged 390.48 points, or 3.3%, to 12,131.13. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies jumped 49.62 points, or 2.7%, to 1,887.86.

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