Wall Street climbs, on track to break 7-week losing streak
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose in afternoon trading on Wall Street Friday, keeping the market on track for its first weekly gain after seven weeks of losses. The S&P 500 rose 1.8%, and is headed for a 5.9% gain for the week. Technology stocks were again helping to push the market higher. That sent the Nasdaq composite up 2.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.1%. Retailers also made solid gains. European markets were higher and Asian markets closed higher overnight. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which helps set mortgage rates, held at 2.75%. U.S. crude oil prices were relatively steady.
Key inflation gauge slowed to still-high 6.3% over past year
UNDATED (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. Friday’s report follows other recent signs 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.
Judge dismisses Trump’s lawsuit, allowing NY probe to go on
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge on Friday dismissed Donald Trump’s lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James, allowing her civil investigation into his business practices to continue. In a 43-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Brenda Sannes said she based her decision on case law that bars federal judges from interfering in state-level investigations in most cases. Sannes’ ruling came a day after a New York appeals court ruled that Trump must answer questions under oath in James’ probe, upholding a lower-court ruling requiring him to sit for a deposition. A lawyer for Trump said his legal team would appeal Friday’s ruling.
TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING-NRA
Amid protests, NRA meets in Texas after school massacre
HOUSTON (AP) — With protesters shouting outside, the National Rifle Association is beginning its annual convention in Houston, just days after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school on the other side of the state. Former President Donald Trump and other leading Republicans are scheduled to address the three-day gun industry marketing and advocacy event. Some scheduled speakers and performers backed out, including several Texas lawmakers and performers. Protesters demonstrated outside, including some holding crosses with photos of the Uvalde shooting victims. The NRA said in an online statement that people attending the gun show would “reflect on” the Uvalde school shooting.
Shooter warning signs get lost in sea of social media posts
WASHINGTON (AP) — The 18-year-old man who slaughtered 19 children and two teachers in Texas left a digital trail that hinted at what was to come. He posted an Instagram photo of a hand holding a gun magazine. In his TikTok profile he warned, “Kids be scared.” And he pinned the image of two AR-style semi-automatic rifles displayed on a rug to the top of his profile. But those foreboding posts hardly stick out on an endless grid of Instagram photos that feature semi-automatic rifles, handguns and ammunition. There’s even a popular hashtag devoted to encouraging Instagram users to upload daily photos of guns with more than 2 million posts attached to it.
PERSIAN GULF TENSIONS
Iran seizes 2 Greek tankers in Persian Gulf, tensions spike
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard says it has seized two Greek oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. The Guard’s statement on Friday night said the ships were seized over unspecified violations. It did not elaborate. The U.S. Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet had said it was investigating earlier reports that Iran seized two Greek tankers. Iran had threatened to take “punitive action” earlier in the day over Athens being involved in the U.S. seizure of an Iranian oil tanker in Greek waters. The Guard’s announcement comes as tensions remain high between Iran and the West over stalled negotiations regarding its rapidly advancing nuclear program.
G-7 pledges put coal on notice, could boost climate aid
LONDON (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 today 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.
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.
BABY FORMULA SHORTAGE-RACIAL DISPARITIES
Baby formula shortage highlights racial disparities
COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) — A massive safety recall and supply disruptions have swept many leading formula brands off store shelves. Many parents are having problems finding formula, but some experts point out systemic inequities contribute to lower rates of breastfeeding among Black and Hispanic women, making their babies more dependent on formula. The majority of formula in the U.S. is bought by low-income families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20% of Black women and 23% of Hispanic women exclusively breastfeed through six months compared to 29% of white women. Overall, 26% of mothers in America breastfeed their babies.
Blaze destroys landmark restaurant in Detroit’s Midtown
DETROIT (AP) — Fire has destroyed a landmark restaurant and brewpub in Midtown Detroit, but spared the neighboring Third Man Records store owned by musician Jack White as well as Shinola’s flagship watch store. Fire officials say no one was inside Traffic Jam & Snug at the time of the early Friday blaze and the restaurant was believed to be a total loss. No injuries were reported and the cause wasn’t immediately known. White, who was born in Detroit and founded The White Stripes, wrote on Instagram that “his heart and support goes out to them and their workers for this loss.” The blaze did not spread to the record store, the Shinola store or other nearby businesses.