Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian shares jump as Chinese leaders pledge help for economy

UNDATED (AP) — Stocks have advanced after Chinese leaders pledged to step up efforts to support the economy. Oil prices also rose while U.S. futures were mixed.

Chinese state media reported that the Politburo, top leaders of the ruling Communist Party, had pledged to step up efforts to boost growth while also curbing coronavirus outbreaks.

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian shares jump as Chinese leaders pledge help for economy

UNDATED (AP) — Stocks have advanced after Chinese leaders pledged to step up efforts to support the economy. Oil prices also rose while U.S. futures were mixed.

Chinese state media reported that the Politburo, top leaders of the ruling Communist Party, had pledged to step up efforts to boost growth while also curbing coronavirus outbreaks.

Major stock indexes on Wall Street notched their biggest gains in more than six weeks Thursday, as technology companies clawed back some of the ground they had lost recently.

ELON MUSK-TESLA STOCK SALE

Musk sells $4B in Tesla shares, presumably for Twitter deal

DETROIT (AP) — Elon Musk has sold more than 4 million shares of Tesla stock worth roughly $4 billion, most likely to help fund his $44 billion purchase of Twitter. Musk reported the sale in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. The shares were sold over the past few days, at prices ranging from $872.02 to $999.13.

The world’s richest man tweeted that no further sales of Tesla shares are planned. Most of the sales took place on Tuesday, when Tesla shares closed down 12%.

Analysts said Tesla investors are fearful that Musk will be distracted by Twitter and less engaged in running the electric car company.

AMAZON RESULTS

Amazon reports rare quarterly loss as online shopping slows

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon reported its first quarterly loss since 2015 on Thursday, its money-making juggernaut stalled by a slowdown in pandemic-induced online shopping and a huge write-down of its investment in an electric-vehicle startup.

The Seattle-based e-commerce giant’s stock fell 9% in after-hours trading. Amazon reported a loss of $3.84 billion, or $7.56 a share, for the first three months of the year.

A year ago, it reported a profit of $8.1 billion, or $15.79 a share, for the first quarter. Wall Street analysts expected $8.35 a share in the latest quarter.

The ocean of red ink in Amazon’s report came mostly from the accounting for a $7.6 billion loss in value of its stock investment in Rivian Automotive.

APPLE EARNS

Apple delivers strong quarter, but warns of trouble ahead

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Apple on Thursday reported strong quarterly results despite supply shortages, but warned that its growth slowdown is likely to deepen. The big issues: its struggle to get enough chips to meet demand and COVID-related shutdowns at factories in China that make iPhones and other products.

Although its initial results for the January-March period topped analysts’ projections, the good news was quickly eclipsed when management warned of trouble ahead during a conference call. The main takeaway:

Apple’s sales will sustain a $4 billion to $8 billion revenue hit because of chip shortages and curtailed iPhone production in China.

EARNS-ROBINHOOD

Robinhood’s revenue fell more than expected at year’s start

NEW YORK (AP) — Growth slammed into reverse at the start of this year for Robinhood Markets, whose trading app has turned millions of people into investors for the first time.

The company said Thursday that it took in $299 million in revenue during the first three months of the year, down 43% from a year earlier. It also reported a net loss of $392 million.

Both a drop in revenue and a net loss were expected for the quarter. But the results were worse than Wall Street analysts had forecast and shares fell more than 8% in after-hours trading.

ENERGY-EUROPE PIPELINES

New gas pipeline boosts Europe’s bid to ease Russian supply

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Crossing a remote border area of Greece and Bulgaria, a new pipeline nearing completion will help countries in the region dependent on Russian imports get greater access to the global natural gas market.

The pipeline will ensure that large volumes of gas will flow between the two countries in both directions. It’s a project seen as being an urgent priority in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and this week’s gas supply cutoff by Moscow of EU member states Poland and Bulgaria. It’s one of many efforts as member states scramble to edit their energy mix to reduce reliance on Russia.

RENEWABLE ENERGY TRANSMISSION

Big US energy transmission projects inch closer to approval

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. government has finished another environmental review of a proposed multibillion-dollar transmission line that would send wind-generated electricity from rural New Mexico to big cities in the West.

The U.S. Interior Department also announced Thursday plans to review two other projects designed to funnel renewable energy across parts of Utah and Nevada.

The regulatory steps come a day after the Biden administration announced a $2.5 billion initiative to make the nation’s power grid better able to withstand catastrophic disasters caused by climate change.

The project in New Mexico has been more than a decade in the making. A final decision is expected this summer.

PLASTIC POLLUTION-CALIFORNIA

California subpoenas ExxonMobil in probe of plastics waste

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s attorney general has subpoenaed ExxonMobil as part of what he called a first-of-its-kind investigation into the petroleum industry for its alleged role in causing a global plastic pollution crisis.

Attorney General Rob Bonta on Thursday said the industry has encouraged the development and use of petroleum-based plastic products. ExxonMobil called the allegations meritless.

Bonta says ExxonMobil was subpoenaed as a major source of global plastics pollution and for allegedly deceiving the public.

The American Chemistry Council says U.S. plastic makers are committed to a more sustainable future.

POSTAL DELIVERY-ELECTRIC VEHICLES-LAWSUIT

16 states that want to electrify USPS fleet file lawsuits

UNDATED (AP) – California and 15 other states want the U.S. Postal Service to buy electric-powered delivery vehicles. They’re suing to halt purchases of thousands of gas-powered trucks. Three lawsuits were filed Thursday in New York and California by the states and environmental groups. They’re demanding the Postal Service conduct a more thorough environmental review before moving forward with the next-generation vehicle program.

All told, the Postal Service’s fleet includes 190,000 local delivery vehicles, most of which went into service between 1987 and 1994.

The Postal Service plans to buy up to 165,000 new vehicles over the next 10 years.

CASINO REPORT-LAS VEGAS

‘March Madness’ atmosphere lifts Vegas economy from pandemic

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada casinos reported near-record March house winnings, while the airport in Las Vegas reported passenger traffic almost as heavy as pre-pandemic levels and tourism officials marked another big jump in visitors.

The Gaming Control Board said Thursday the $1.35 billion that casinos statewide reaped was just shy of the best-ever monthly mark of $1.36 billion set last July.

A board analyst dubbed it a return to a March Madness atmosphere. T

he number of Las Vegas visitors increased to over 3.3 million in March, up almost 50% from March 2021, and a return of international travelers helped Harry Reid International Airport tally nearly 4.3 million passengers in March, down only slightly from its pre-pandemic total in March 2019.

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