US hiring slows as delta variant weakens travel and tourism
WASHINGTON: Americas employers added just 235,000 jobs in August, a modest gain after two months of robust hiring at a time when the delta variants spread has discouraged some people from flying, shopping and eating out. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% from 5.4% in July. The August job gains the government reported Friday fell far short of the big gains in June and July of roughly 1 million a month. Those increases were revised higher by a combined 134,000. The gains in June and July followed widespread vaccinations that allowed the economy to fully reopen from pandemic restrictions.
Stocks end mostly lower even as tech drives Nasdaq higher
NEW YORK: Stocks closed mostly lower on Wall Street Friday following a weak jobs report, but gains for a handful of Big Tech companies allowed the Nasdaq composite to sneak in another record high. The benchmark S&P 500 ended down less than 0.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.2% and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%. The Dow ended the week lower but other major indexes posted weekly gains. The weakness Friday came after the Labor Department reported that U.S. employers created far fewer jobs than expected last month. Travel companies fell. Cruise operators Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean each lost 4%.
Growth in services sector slowed in August from record pace
WASHINGTON: Growth in the services sector, where most Americans work, slowed in August after setting a record pace in July. The Institute for Supply Management reported Friday that its monthly survey of service industries decreased to a reading of 61.7 in August after hitting a record high of 64.1 in July. The July figure was the fastest pace since this data series began in 2008. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in service industries. Of the 18 service sectors surveyed, 17 reported growth in August, led by accommodations and food services, an industry that was hit hard by the pandemic.
Apple delays iPhone photo-scanning plan amid fierce backlash
BERKELEY, Calif.: Apple is indefinitely delaying its plans to scan iPhones in the U.S. for images of child sexual abuse. The move followed outcry from security and privacy experts who warned the technology could eventually be exploited for other surveillance purposes by hackers and intrusive governments. The postponement announced Friday comes a month after the company revealed it was getting ready to roll out a tool to detect known images of child sexual abuse, which would work by scanning files before theyre uploaded to its iCloud back-up storage system. It had also planned to introduce a separate tool to scan users encrypted messages for sexually explicit content.
Collectible prices skyrocket, to the dismay of hobbyists
NEW YORK: Americans have become obsessed with collectibles, bidding up prices for trading cards, video games and other mementos of their youth. These include copies of trading cards such as Pokemons Charizard and Magic: The Gatherings Black Lotus as well as Nintendos Super Mario Bros. game cartridges. Its creating small fortunes for some collectors and investors, as well as the companies who make, grade and sell these collectibles. But those who play these games or collect as a hobby say theres been a breakdown in their communities, as a growing number of collectors see only dollar signs instead of seeing the joy and nostalgia that these items brought them over the years.
German carmakers reject environmental groups climate demand
BERLIN: German automaker Daimler has dismissed a cease and desist demand from two environmental groups to commit to ending the sale of combustion engine vehicles by 2030. Lawyers for Greenpeace and the group Deutsche Umwelthilfe have threatened to sue Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen unless they sign a legal pledge not to put new gas-fueled vehicles onto the market from the end of this decade. The groups argue that companies are bound by the same rules as governments when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. The lawyers successfully sued the German government earlier this year. Daimler said in a statement Friday that it saw no basis for the groups demand.
Tyson Foods workers get paid sick leave; 75% vaccinated
NEW YORK: Tyson Foods is offering paid sick leave for the first time to its front-line workers. Its part of an agreement that secured union support for its mandate that all U.S. employees get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. The meatpacking giant said 75% of its 120,000 U.S. workers have now been vaccinated. Thats up from 50% when the company announced the mandate on Aug. 3. Workers have until Nov. 1 to get vaccinated, but the agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers provides for medical and religious exemptions. Tyson Foods is among the few companies with a large front-line workforce to impose a vaccine mandate so far.
Kraft, former officials settle SEC charges for $62 million
WASHINGTON: Kraft Heinz Co. is agreeing to pay $62 million to settle charges of improper accounting of what it once claimed were cost savings. Two former senior executives have agreed to pay civil penalties. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday that from late 2015 through 2018, Kraft boasted about cost savings that were actually unearned discounts and gave false reports about contracts with suppliers. The claims were widely picked up by Wall Street analysts, but in 2019 Kraft restated its financial results to correct $208 million in improperly recognized cost savings. The SEC says the companys former chief operating officer will pay a $300,000 civil penalty and the former chief procurement officer will pay $100,000.
The S&P 500 slipped 1.52 points, less than 0.1%, to 4,535.43. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 74.73 points, or 0.2%, to 35,369.09. The Nasdaq rose 32.34 points, or 0.2%, to 15,363.52. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 11.97 points, or 0.5%, to 2,292.05.
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