Biden, CEOs, biz leaders meet on COVID-19 vaccine mandates
WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden has invited CEOs and business leaders to the White House to discuss COVID-19 mandates. The meeting Wednesday follows Bidens announcement last week that the Labor Department is working to require that businesses with 100 or more employees order their workers to be fully vaccinated or submit a negative COVID-19 test at least weekly. Biden said 100 million workers would be subject to the requirement. Biden announced the new mandate and several other steps last week as part of a new effort by the administration to curb the surging delta variant of the coronavirus.
Chinese property developers debt struggle rattles investors
BEIJING: One of Chinas biggest real estate developers is struggling to avoid defaulting on billions of dollars of debt, prompting concern about broader impacts and protests by apartment buyers over delays in completing projects. Rating agencies say Evergrande Group looks likely to be unable to repay all of the 572 billion yuan ($89 billion) it owes banks and other bondholders. That might jolt financial markets, but analysts say Beijing is likely to step in to prevent wider damage. Evergrande ran into a cash crunch after its borrowing to build apartments, office towers and shopping malls collided with pressure from the ruling Communist Party to reduce corporate debt loads that are seen as a threat to the economy.
After humble beginnings, Oregons Dutch Bros launches IPO
SALEM, Ore.: After humble beginnings as a pushcart operation by an Oregon towns railroad tracks, Dutch Bros Coffee has launched an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Dutch Bros Coffee Executive Chairman Travis Boersma was on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for the IPO. The companys shares priced at $23 on Wednesday and the price of the companys stock had jumped by more than 50% by midday. The drive-through coffee shops sporting windmill emblems have sprouted up across the West and are now located as far east as Texas and Oklahoma.
UK posts the biggest jump in annual inflation on record
LONDON: The U.K. posted the biggest jump in annual inflation on record last month as global supply shortages and rising wages magnified the scale of price increases after pandemic-related discounts a year ago. The Office for National Statistics says consumer price inflation accelerated to 3.2% in the 12 months through August from 2% the previous month. Economists had forecast an inflation rate of 2.9%. The unexpected jump in prices may mean that inflation will peak at a higher level and will remain elevated for a longer period than previously expected, according to economists at Berenberg Bank. That would increase pressure on the Bank of England to boost interest rates as it targets 2% inflation.
Canadian Pacifics acquisition of KCS railroad back on track
OMAHA, Neb.: The path is now clear for Canadian Pacifics $31 billion acquisition of Kansas City Southern railroad to move forward after Canadian National dropped out of the bidding war Wednesday. The deal could still face tough scrutiny from regulators at the federal Surface Transportation Board, which hasnt approved any major railroad mergers since the 1990s, but KCS shareholders will be set to get paid once shareholders of both companies and Mexican regulators approve regardless of what the STB ultimately decides. Canadian Pacific triumphed in the bidding war even though it offered less federal regulators rejected part of CNs plan. Canadian National will receive $1.4 billion in breakup fees for its trouble.
DoorDash sues New York City over rights to customer data
DoorDash is suing New York City over a new law that requires delivery companies to share customer data with restaurants. The San Francisco company says the law passed by the New York City Council in late July is unconstitutional and violates customer privacy. The law requires delivery companies to share data on customers including names, addresses and phone numbers with any restaurant that requests that information. Customers can opt out of allowing delivery companies to keep such data, but only on an order-by-order basis. The NYC Hospitality Alliance supported the measure, saying it gives restaurants more leverage and the ability to market directly to customers.
Stocks post broad gains, led by energy companies and tech
NEW YORK: Stocks closed solidly higher Wednesday, shaking off some recent doldrums and giving the S&P 500 its biggest gain since late August. Energy companies did particularly well as prices for crude oil and natural gas climbed, and Microsoft helped pull the tech sector higher after announcing a dividend increase and a new stock buyback program. The S&P 500 added 0.8%, as did the Nasdaq composite. Small-company stocks did even better with a 1.1% gain. Utilities, which investors shun when theyre more willing to take on risk, were the only sector to fall. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.30%.
After Ida hits, August industrial output gains slow to 0.4%
WASHINGTON: U.S. industrial production slowed to a 0.4% gain in August as shutdowns of petroleum refineries and petrochemical plants caused by Hurricane Ida curbed manufacturing activity. Plant closures long the Gulf Coast as well as lost oil production during last months hurricane shaved 0.3 percentage points from output, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday. Industrial output had risen a revised 0.8% in July. Industrial production covers manufacturing, utilities and mining. For just manufacturing, factory output slowed to a tiny 0.2% gain, reflecting the hurricane impact and continuing supply chain problems. Factory output had risen a much stronger 1.6% in July.
The S&P 500 rose 37.65 points, or 0.8%, to 4,480.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 236.82 points, or 0.7%, to 34,814.39. The Nasdaq gained 123.77 points, or 0.8%, to 15,161.53. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 24.46 points, or 1.1%, to 2,234.45.
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