Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stock markets advance after new Wall St high

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets have followed Wall Street higher after U.S. inflation ticked up and Japanese machinery orders fell.

Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney rose, while Tokyo was off less than 0.5%. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index closed 0.3% higher after a choppy day of trading. Tech and consumer stocks gained on optimism the vaccine rollout will allow business activity to return to normal, while regulators suspended use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose version to investigate possibly dangerous blood clots. U.S. inflation accelerated to 0.6%, the fastest rate since 2012.

IRS-CHILD TAX CREDIT

IRS chief expects new child payments to start this summer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS says it expects to meet the July 1 deadline under the new pandemic relief law for starting a groundbreaking tax program aimed at reducing child poverty.

That means new advance monthly payments of as much as $300 per child could begin flowing to lower-income families this summer. In testimony to a Senate hearing, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said it will cost nearly $400 million and require the hiring of 300 to 500 people to get the new monthly payment system and electronic portal in place.

BOEING ORDERS

Boeing sees uptick in airplane orders as travel picks up

UNDATED (AP) — Boeing is reporting a pickup in orders for commercial airplanes.

The company said Tuesday that last month it booked 196 orders while taking 156 cancellations for its 737 family of jets. That’s a net gain of 40 orders.

Southwest Airlines provided most of the upside for Boeing, with a previously announced order for 100 Max jets. The biggest setback for Boeing came from Turkish Airlines, which canceled orders for 50 Max planes and replaced some of them with options. Boeing orders have slumped over the past two years because of the long grounding of all 737 Max jets and the pandemic.

JAPAN-TOSHIBA

Japan’s Toshiba president steps down amid acquisition talks

TOKYO (AP) — The president of Toshiba Corp. has stepped down, a week after the Japanese technology and manufacturing giant said it was studying an acquisition proposal from a global fund where he previously worked.

Tokyo-based Toshiba said Nobuaki Kurumatani tendered his resignation at a board meeting today, and it was accepted. Kurumatani was the head of the Japan operations of CVC Capital Partners, and questions had been raised about Kurumatani leading the board discussions on the acquisition.

urumatani will be replaced by his predecessor, Satoshi Tsunakawa. Toshiba was long a respected brand but has suffered losses in recent years over its investments in nuclear power.

TEXAS POWER GRID

Despite normal spring, Texas electric grid seeks power boost

DALLAS (AP) — The electric grid manager for most of Texas has appealed to customers to conserve electricity despite typical spring weather.

Woody Rickerson, vice president of grid planning and operations for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, cites “a combination of high generation outages typical in April and higher-than-forecasted demand from a stalled cold front over Texas.”

Most afternoon temperatures ahead of the front were in the upper 70s and 80s and the 50s and 60s behind it. Rickerson said no power outages were expected but wanted to act as a precaution. ERCOT previously came under fire after it was accused of mismanaging its resources in preparing for the historic freeze in February that killed more than 100 people.

MEXICO-TELEVISA UNIVISION MERGER

Televisa, Univision to jointly produce Spanish TV content

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Grupo Televisa, Mexico’s largest television network, says it is joining with U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision to form a third company that will produce content for both that will be the “definitive global leader in Spanish-language media.”

The new company will be known as TelevisaUnivision. Both firms have been struggling to capture a share of the booming over-the-top video services sector. Televisa says the new company will be in charge of producing shows, distributing and marketing for both Televisa and Univision and also will create a new streaming channel.

TROPICANA SALE-BALLY’S

Bally’s to pay $308M for Tropicana hotel on Las Vegas Strip

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino is being sold to Bally’s Corp.

The company announced Tuesday it will acquire the iconic Las Vegas Strip property from Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. for about $308 million. The agreement also involves a sale-and-leaseback transaction relating to Bally’s Black Hawk, Colorado, and Rock Island, Illinois, properties.

Bally’s President and CEO George Papanier says having a nearly 1,500-room property on the Las Vegas Strip is a key step for the Rhode Island-based company. The transaction is expected to close early next year. Bally’s Corp. does not own Bally’s Las Vegas on the Strip. It is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Inc.

SERENA WILLIAMS-AMAZON

Serena Williams signs programming deal with Amazon Studios

UNDATED (AP) — Serena Williams says she has signed a deal with Amazon Studios under which she will create scripted and non-scripted programming, including a docuseries that follows her exploits on and off the court.

Williams made the announcement during a conversation with actor Michael B. Jordan that was part of a charitable event organized by Vanity Fair magazine. The 39-year-old Williams said she hopes to “bring really special stories to film, and to people’s homes.” Williams who ranks second all-time with 23 Grand Slam singles titles.

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