Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks waver after falling into bear market

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is wobbling in its first trading after tumbling into a bear market on worries central banks will clamp the brakes too hard on the economy.

The S&P 500 was 0.2% lower in afternoon trading as investors brace for the Federal Reserve’s announcement on Wednesday about what it will do with interest rates. It was an unsteady move, though, and...

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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks waver after falling into bear market

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is wobbling in its first trading after tumbling into a bear market on worries central banks will clamp the brakes too hard on the economy.

The S&P 500 was 0.2% lower in afternoon trading as investors brace for the Federal Reserve’s announcement on Wednesday about what it will do with interest rates. It was an unsteady move, though, and the index swung between an earlier loss of 0.5% and gain of 0.8%.

Trading across markets was calmer, if still tentative, following Monday’s worldwide rout. A couple of big companies flexed financial strength with stronger profits and payouts to shareholders.

PRODUCER PRICES

US producer prices soar 10.8% in May as energy costs spike

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. producer prices surged 10.8% in May from a year earlier, underscoring the ongoing threat to the economy from a bout of inflation that shows no sign of slowing.

The report from the Labor Department showed that the producer price index — which measures inflation before it reaches consumers — rose at slightly slower pace last month than in April, when it jumped 10.9% from a year earlier, and is down from an 11.5% yearly gain in March.

The figures indicate that rising prices will continue to erode Americans’ paychecks and play havoc with household budgets in the coming months.

BIDEN-UNIONS

Biden focuses on workers as high inflation remains a risk

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — President Joe Biden has told the largest federation of labor unions that he’s rebuilding the U.S. economy around workers. He’s drawing a contrast with Republicans who have increasingly attracted blue-collar votes.

Biden says, “We should encourage unions.” His speech at the AFL-CIO convention in Philadelphia was an attempt to reset the debate on the economy. His approval ratings have slid as consumer prices and the cost of gasoline have surged. That’s overshadowed strong job gains and a healthy unemployment rate.

Biden says the GOP is focused on cutting taxes for companies and the wealthy. Republicans argue that their 2017 tax overhaul helped growth by reducing corporate tax rates, making U.S. companies more competitive.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-FRAUD

US failed to stop fraud in COVID loan program, Clyburn says

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of a congressional panel says the U.S. government failed to take basic steps at the start of the coronavirus pandemic to prevent fraud in a federal aid program intended to help small businesses.

Democratic Rep. James Clyburn blamed the Trump administration for problems in the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program amid revelations tens of billions of dollars may have been awarded to fraudsters. The program is overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration, whose inspector general says there was a struggle at the agency about the “need for speed versus the need for controls.”

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise says Democrats are undermining the successes.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINES-MODERNA

FDA advisers consider Moderna’s COVID shots for older kids

NEW YORK (AP) — A government advisory panel is meeting to decide whether to recommend a second brand of COVID-19 vaccine for school-age children and teens.

The expert panel will vote today on whether the vaccine made by Moderna is safe and effective enough to give to U.S. kids ages 6 to 17. A vaccine made by Pfizer has been available since last year for that age group.

The Food and Drug Administration will consider the panel’s advice and decide whether to authorize the shots. The same FDA panel will meet Wednesday to consider shots from Moderna and Pfizer for the littlest kids, those under 5.

MUSK-TWITTER

Musk to address Twitter employees for 1st time this week

UNDATED (AP) — Elon Musk will address Twitter employees Thursday for the first time since the billionaire and Tesla CEO offered $44 billion to buy the social media platform.

Musk reached a deal to acquire Twitter in April, but he has clashed with the company repeatedly since then over the number of bots, or fake accounts, that exist on the social media platform. Musk said he was putting the deal on hold on May 13, saying he needed more data from the company about those bot accounts.

It’s not clear if this week’s meeting means that the two sides have come closer together on resolving those issues.

AUTOMATED VEHICLE CRASHES

US likely to cite Tesla crashes with automated systems

DETROIT (AP) — The government plans soon to release data on collisions involving vehicles with autonomous or partially automated driving system that will likely single out Teslas for a disproportionately high number of such crashes.

In coming days, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to issue the figures, which it’s been gathering for nearly a year. Last week, the agency said in a separate report that it had documented more than 200 crashes involving Teslas that were using one of the company’s partially automated systems. The number of such Tesla crashes was revealed as part of a NHTSA investigation of Teslas on Autopilot that had crashed into emergency and other vehicles stopped along roadways.

A message was left seeking comment from Tesla.

BUDGET AIRLINES-CONSOLIDATION

Spirit Air engages with JetBlue ahead of shareholder vote

NEW YORK (AP) — Spirit Airlines, the target of a budget airline bidding war, says it has been in talks with JetBlue about last week’s buyout offer while remaining engaged with Frontier Airlines, with which Spirit has already signed a merger agreement.

Spirit said its board expects to complete its due diligence on the two offers and have an update for shareholders before the June 30 vote on which deal to accept.

JetBlue has offered more in cash than Colorado-based Frontier’s stock and cash bid, but Spirit’s board has rebuffed JetBlue, saying federal antitrust regulators are more likely to shoot down that deal.

BACK TO SCHOOL SALES-FORECAST

Mastercard SpendingPulse: Back-to-school sales to be up 7.5%

NEW YORK (AP) — The 2022 back-to-school shopping season should enjoy strong sales increases from a year ago, fueled by heavy demand for trendy fashion, though the growth won’t be as robust as last year when business was rebounding from pandemic-related virtual schooling.

Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks spending across all payment forms, forecasts that back-to-school spending will be up 7.5% between July 14 through Sept. 5 compared with the year-ago period when sales rose 11%. For the 2020 back-to-school period, sales fell 0.8% as the pandemic wreaked havoc on schools’ reopening plans and back-to-school shopping.

Inflation is helping to prop up back-to-school sales, but overall spending should be healthy despite surging prices.

COINBASE-JOB CUTS

Coinbase Global plans to cut 1,100 jobs, or 18% of staff

UNDATED (AP) — Coinbase Global says it plans to cut about 1,100 jobs, or approximately 18% of its global workforce, as part of a restructuring in order to help manage its operating expenses in response to current market conditions.

The cryptocurrency trading platform said in a regulatory filing that it expects to have about 5,000 total employees at the end of its current fiscal quarter on June 30. The restructuring plan is anticipated to be substantially complete in the second quarter.

The company reported last month that active monthly users fell by 19% in the first quarter amid the decline in crypto values.

CASH FOR WORKERS-WEST VIRGINIA

West Virginia cash-for-worker program welcomes new residents

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A program offering cash incentives for out-of-state workers to move to West Virginia has welcomed its second round of new residents.

The public-private program says 33 newcomers were chosen for the Greenbrier Valley in the southeastern corner of the state. The program’s first phase last year chose dozens of applicants for the northern college town of Morgantown. The next round of applicants will include those two areas along with the state’s Eastern Panhandle.

The program leverages West Virginia’s natural beauty to reverse an exodus of people. The 2020 census found that West Virginia lost a greater percentage of its residents than any other state in the past decade.

MLS-APPLE

Apple, MLS announce 10-year streaming partnership

UNDATED (AP) — Apple and Major League Soccer have announced a 10-year partnership on a streaming service that will allow fans to watch every game without local blackouts or restrictions. The service will be available exclusively through the Apple TV app beginning next year. The details of the streaming service will be announced in the coming months.

The deal is Apple’s second venture into streaming professional sports. In April, it began airing “Friday Night Baseball,” an exclusive weekly doubleheader of Major League Baseball games.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber says Apple is not paying a rights fee but a minimum guarantee against revenues that will be generated with both selling subscriptions.

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