Wednesday, December 1, 2021
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Business Highlights: What to watch for from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday; Crude, nautral gas up

🕐 4 min read

___The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 51.74 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,579.96. The benchmark S&P 500 index dropped 3.85 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,640. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell 57.39 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,028.29. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 2.09 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,471.45.

U.S. crude oil rose 2.5 percent to settle at $53.31 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 2.3 percent to $61.32 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 1.3 percent to $1.35 a gallon. Heating oil climbed 3.3 percent to $1.90 a gallon. Natural gas gained 1.3 percent to $2.95 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Apple opens new chapter as iPhone sales fall and stock sinks

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple hoped to offset slowing demand for iPhones by raising the prices of its most important product, but that strategy seems to have backfired after sales sagged during the holiday shopping season. Results released Tuesday revealed the magnitude of the iPhone slump — a 15 percent drop in revenue from the previous year. That decline in Apple’s most profitable product caused Apple’s total earnings for the October-December quarter to dip slightly to $20 billion.

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China-US row over tech giant Huawei overshadows trade talks

BEIJING (AP) — A bitter dispute between China and the U.S. over Huawei has intensified as Beijing demanded Washington back off its sweeping “crackdown” on the telecom giant the U.S. has charged with stealing technology secrets and violating Iran sanctions. The developments have complicated trade talks between the world’s two biggest economies. China’s foreign ministry says it will “firmly defend” its companies while Huawei Technologies Ltd. has denied committing any of the violations in the U.S. indictment.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — When he speaks with reporters Wednesday, Chairman Jerome Powell could shed further light on the Federal Reserve’s views of the pressures facing the U.S. economy — from a global slowdown and a trade war with China to slowing corporate earnings and a nervous stock market.

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Utility bankruptcy could be costly to wildfire victims

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., the nation’s biggest utility, has filed for bankruptcy reorganization in a bid to relieve itself of some of the billions of dollars in damages it could face as a result of California’s devastating wildfires. The Chapter 11 filing allows PG&E to continue operating while it puts its finances in order. But it could mean higher rates for customers and smaller payouts for fire victims.

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Arrests in Brazil dam disaster, dead fish wash up downstream

BRUMADINHO, Brazil (AP) — Brazilian authorities have issued arrest warrants for five people in connection with a dam collapse that killed at least 65 people as it plastered part of a small city with reddish-brown mud and mining waste. Police issued the detention orders Tuesday. The warrants came as crews worked for the fifth day to search for survivors or bodies. Signs of possible ecological damage have turned up downstream from the dam, where dead fish were visible in a river that an indigenous community depends on.

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Apple to fix FaceTime bug that allows eavesdropping

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple says a fix is coming for a software bug that could let FaceTime callers activate another person’s microphone remotely. With the bug in a group-chat feature, a FaceTime user calling another iPhone, iPad or Mac could hear audio — even if the receiver did not accept the call.

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US consumers rattled by shutdown, roiling markets

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence tumbled this month to its lowest reading in a year and a half, tested by the partial government shutdown and roiling financial markets. Still, consumer spirits remain robust by historic standards. The Conference Board, a business research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index fell to 120.2 in January, down from 126.6 in December and the lowest level since July 2017.

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UK’s May seeks Brexit deal changes, but EU stands firm

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May has won a few weeks to salvage a Brexit deal but headed toward a clash with the European Union by promising to overhaul the divorce agreement she spent a year and a half negotiating with the bloc. Trying to break the Brexit deadlock, May got Parliament’s backing for a bid to change an Irish border guarantee in the withdrawal deal — a provision May and the EU both approved, and which the bloc insists cannot be changed.

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Tappy the robot is behind part of charges against Huawei

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. government is alleging Chinese tech company Huawei went so far as to steal a robot’s arm in its bid to get its hands on T-Mobile’s trade secrets. The T-Mobile robot case portrays a company going to what the government calls illegal lengths to gain access to others’ intellectual property.

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‘My happy place.’ Workspaces for women rise in #MeToo era

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Women-only and women-focused workspaces are popping up around the U.S. While many predate the #MeToo movement, their growth has been interlinked with it as it put combating workplace harassment on the national agenda. Companies like The Wing and The Riveter are rapidly expanding across the country.

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