Thursday, May 13, 2021
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Business Highlights: Crude oil, nautral gas down; Saudi trip canceled

The S&P 500 index shed 40.43 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,768.78. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 327.23 points, or 1.3 percent, to 25,379.45. The Nasdaq composite sank 157.56 points, or 2.1 percent, to 7,485.14. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks declined 28.85 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,560.75.

The price of U.S. crude oil lost 1.6 percent to $68.65 per barrel in New York, its lowest in a month. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 0.9 percent to $79.29 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 1.4 percent to $1.89 a gallon. Heating oil slid 0.7 percent to $2.29 a gallon. Natural gas dropped 3.7 percent to $3.20 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Job growth is found to be no cure for a community’s poverty

BALTIMORE (AP) — A healthy dose of job growth has long been seen as a likely cure for poverty. But new research suggests that poor Americans are frequently left behind even when their cities or communities benefit from hiring booms. That is among the findings of a study led by Raj Chetty, a Harvard economist whose newly launched Opportunity Atlas found no association between job growth and economic mobility for poor residents of the affected areas.


Western government officials cancel trip to Saudi event

PARIS (AP) — Senior government officials from the U.S., France, Britain and the Netherlands joined a growing list of people cancelling out of an investment conference in Saudi Arabia. Their moves come amid questions over the kingdom’s involvement in the disappearance of dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi. Many business executives and financial leaders, include IMF chief Christine Lagarde, have already canceled as well.


Stocks sink on weak industrial earnings; tech skid resumes

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks slumped again Thursday as investors continued to sell shares of technology and internet companies, industrials, and companies that rely on consumer spending. Several industrial companies tumbled after releasing weak quarterly reports, and European stocks also fell as European Union leaders criticized Italy’s spending plans.


China’s yuan sinks further after US currency report

BEIJING (AP) — China’s politically sensitive yuan has sunk to a 22-month low against the dollar after the U.S. Treasury chose not to label Beijing a currency manipulator amid a mounting tariff battle. The yuan dipped to 6.9411 per dollar, the closest it has come to breaking the symbolic level of seven to the greenback since December 2016. That helps exporters cope with U.S. tariffs of up to 25 percent imposed in a fight over Beijing’s technology policy. But it raises the risk of inflaming American complaints.


CFPB investigates controversial writings of Trump appointee

NEW YORK (AP) — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is investigating the writings and comments of Eric Blankenstein, a Republican appointee overseeing the agency’s anti-discrimination efforts, which he alleged that most hate crimes were fake and said using racial epithets did not mean a person was racist. Blankenstein’s is in charge of all investigations into discrimination by banks and other financial companies. He is also one of the highest paid government employees, making more than $250,000 a year.


US stocks typically ride midterm elections to solid gains

NEW YORK (AP) — Regardless of how midterm elections turn out, Wall Street usually ends up a big winner. The S&P 500 index has climbed in the 12 months after each of the midterm elections going back to 1946. Even so, the outcome of the Nov. 6 elections may have policy implications that could affect the market. That’s if anything ends up getting done. Should the Democrats wrest control of either the House of Representatives or the Senate, Washington could be facing two years of gridlock, analysts say.


China ‘regrets’ US leaving postal union amid trade dispute

BEIJING (AP) — China says it regrets the U.S. decision to leave the United Nations treaty that regulates international postage, amid a worsening trade dispute between the world’s top two economies. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Thursday the move should not be linked to China, despite arguments that the arrangement benefits manufacturers from China and other countries by making it cheaper to ship packages from Beijing to New York than from San Francisco to the U.S. East coast.


European and Asian leaders seek to boost trade, security

BRUSSELS (AP) — Europe and Asia should use their combined economic clout “to tackle global challenges such as trade tensions that put millions of jobs at risk” and the threat of climate change, a top European official said Thursday. European Council President Donald Tusk spoke in Brussels as he opened the Asia-Europe summit, which brought together 30 European leaders with their counterparts from 21 Asian nations.


American Express profits jump 22 percent, beating forecasts

NEW YORK (AP) — American Express said its third quarter profits jumped by 22 percent from a year earlier, as the credit card giant benefited from a lower tax rate and increased spending on the company’s credit cards. American Express card users spent $294.7 billion on their cards globally last quarter, an 8 percent jump from a year earlier.


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