Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Markets tumble worldwide, bear market growls on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Fears about a possible recession are pounding markets worldwide, and Wall Street’s S&P 500 tumbled into the maw of what’s known as a bear market after sinking more than 20% below its record set early this year.

The S&P 500 dropped 2.4% in the first chance for investors to trade after getting the weekend to reflect on the stunning news...

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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Markets tumble worldwide, bear market growls on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Fears about a possible recession are pounding markets worldwide, and Wall Street’s S&P 500 tumbled into the maw of what’s known as a bear market after sinking more than 20% below its record set early this year.

The S&P 500 dropped 2.4% in the first chance for investors to trade after getting the weekend to reflect on the stunning news that inflation is getting worse, not better.

Prices are also falling sharply for everything from bonds to bitcoin as speculation rises the Federal Reserve will get more aggressive to get inflation under control, even if it risks a recession.

CRYPTOCURRENCY-PRICES

Bitcoin plunges as major crypto lender halts operations

NEW YORK (AP) — Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were collapsing in price, after the major crypto lender Celsius halted all withdrawals citing “extreme market conditions.”

It is the second collapse of a part of the crypto world in the last two months. The stablecoin Terra imploded in early May, erasing tens of billions of dollars worth of value in a matter of hours.

Bitcoin was trading at roughly $22,600 as of midday Monday, down more than 17% in the past day. Ethereum, another widely-followed cryptocurrency, was down more than 20%.

GERMANY-RUSSIA-ENERGY

Germany slips behind China as top importer of Russian energy

BERLIN (AP) — An independent research group says China has overtaken Germany as the biggest buyer of Russian energy exports since the start of the war in Ukraine.

The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air says Russia received about 93 billion euros in revenue from the sale of oil, natural gas and coal since the Feb. 24 invasion. The Helsinki-based group says about 61% of the fossil fuels worth some 57 billion euros was exported to the European Union during the conflict’s first 100 days. This included 12.1 billion euros worth of exports to Germany, compared with 12.6 billion euros to China.

AUTOMAKERS-EV CREDIT-CONGRESS

Automakers ask Congress to lift electric vehicle tax cap

NEW YORK (AP) — Major automakers are asking Congress to lift the cap on how many people would be offered tax credits if they buy a hybrid or fully electric vehicles.

In a letter to leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives, the chief executives of Ford, Toyota, GM and Stellantis asked that tax credits be extended to anyone who seeks to buy a qualified vehicle. Currently the number of tax credits allowed are capped at 200,000 per company. General Motors and Tesla have already reached the cap and Toyota is close to it.

Automakers say they want the cap lifted until “the EV market is more mature,” without giving a time frame.

BUFFETT LUNCH AUCTION

Early bids for final charity lunch with Buffett top $2.3M

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Bidding on the final private lunch investor Warren Buffett plans to auction off to raise money for a California homeless charity has already topped $2.3 million. The online auction that raises money to support the Glide Foundation’s work to help the homeless in San Francisco began Sunday and continues through Friday night.

Buffett has said that this year’s auction — which is the first one since before the pandemic — will be the final one. The lunch is already proving pricey but the bidding remains well below the record set in 2019 of $4,567,888. The biggest bids usually come near the end of the eBay auction.

PROLOGIS-DUKE REALTY

Prologis buying Duke Realty in $26 billion all-stock deal

UNDATED (AP) — Real estate investment trust Prologis is buying Duke Realty in an all-stock deal valued at about $26 billion.

Duke Realty shareholders will receive 0.475 of a Prologis share for each Duke Realty share they own. The transaction includes the assumption of debt. Both companies’ boards have approved the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter. It still needs approval from both companies’ shareholders.

The transaction comes about a month after San Francisco-based Prologis made an unsolicited bid for Duke Realty of Indianapolis worth 0.466 of a Prologis share following months of talks.

EMIRATES-LIGHTYEAR

United Arab Emirates bans Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’ from showing

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates has banned the upcoming Pixar animated feature “Lightyear” from showing in movie theaters after its inclusion of a kiss between two lesbian characters.

The UAE — which is home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai — announced through its Media Regulatory Office of the country’s Ministry of Youth and Culture that the film would not be opening in the country this Thursday. It didn’t elaborate.

The movie features actor Chris Evans voicing the inspiration for the Buzz Lightyear action figure from the “Toy Story” films. It includes a female character voiced by actress Uzo Aduba kissing her female partner.

CZECH-BUDVAR

Czech brewer Budvar reports record export increase in 2021

PRAGUE (AP) — Budvar, the Czech brewer that has been in a long legal dispute with U.S. company Anheuser-Busch over use of the “Budweiser” brand, has increased its beer exports last year despite the pandemic.

Budejovicky Budvar NP, a 126-year-old state-owned brewery, says its exports were up a record of 11% in 2021, reaching 34.3 million gallons.

Budvar sells its beer in more than 70 countries. It says all its major markets, including Germany, Britain and Slovakia, contributed to increased sales. Budvar previously said it registered a record output for the second straight pandemic year in 2021.

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