Business Highlights: Stubborn Inflation, Imminent Railway Strike
Driven by consumers, US inflation is becoming more persistent
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. inflation is showing signs of entering a more stubborn phase that will likely require drastic action from the Federal Reserve, a shift that has panicked financial markets and heightened recession risks. Some of the long-standing drivers of rising inflation — soaring gasoline prices, supply chain issues, soaring used-car prices — are fading. Yet the underlying measures of inflation are deteriorating. And the continued shift in the forces driving inflation near a four-decade high has made it harder for the Fed to get it under control.
U.S. wholesale inflation drops in August to a still-high 8.7%
WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation at the wholesale level jumped 8.7% in August from a year earlier, a slowdown from July but still at a painfully high level that suggests prices will continue to climb in the months to come. The government also said month-on-month the producer price index – which measures inflation before it hits consumers – fell 0.1% from July to August. , the second consecutive monthly decline. Still, the better readings mostly reflect falling gasoline prices and don’t necessarily indicate a broader slowdown in inflation. On Tuesday, the government announced that consumer inflation was rampant across much of the economy in August.
1 rail union rejects deal, 2 agree before strike deadline
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Union members rejected a tentative agreement with America’s largest freight railroads, while two ratified deals and three more unions remained at the bargaining table days before the deadline for the national strike. A strike would intensify grumbling in the country’s supply chain that has contributed to higher prices. But the IAM agreed to delay any strike by its members until September 29 to allow more time for negotiations and allow other unions to vote. Amtrak has already canceled a number of its long-distance trains this week and said the rest of its long-distance trains will stop Thursday before the strike deadline.
Stocks manage to post modest gains after a wobbly day
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed slightly higher on Wall Street after a day of back and forth between gains and losses. The tentative trading came a day after the market’s worst decline in two years, which was triggered by fears that higher interest rates could trigger a recession. The S&P 500 gained 0.3% on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended slightly in the green and the Nasdaq composite added about three-quarters of a percent. A report on inflation at the wholesale level showed that prices continue to rise rapidly. He echoed a report on consumer-level inflation a day earlier.
California sues Amazon, alleging antitrust violations
NEW YORK (AP) — California is suing Amazon, accusing the company of violating state antitrust and unfair competition laws. The state says Amazon has stifled competition and engaged in practices that pressure sellers to maintain higher prices on products from other sites. In an 84-page lawsuit filed Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court, the California attorney general’s office said Seattle-based Amazon effectively barred sellers from offering lower prices for products elsewhere by the through contractual arrangements that impair the ability of other retailers to compete. The lawsuit mirrors another lawsuit filed last year by the District of Columbia, which was dismissed by a district judge earlier this year. This decision is under appeal.
Agency accepts nearly $190 million in bids for sale of offshore oil concessions
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Biden administration accepted nearly $190 million in bids for an offshore oil and gas concession sale held nearly a year ago but was rejected by a federal judge. Wednesday’s action by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was required under the climate bill signed into law in August – which disappointed environmentalists and was welcomed by industry. The law also requires the office to schedule three sales that had been suspended by President Joe Biden, with the first taking place by December 31. 19 months and an act of Congress.
EU court largely upholds Google Android’s $4 billion antitrust fine
LONDON (AP) — One of the highest courts in the European Union has largely upheld a huge fine imposed on Google by antitrust authorities in the bloc in 2018 for its Android mobile operating system. The General Court of the European Court of Justice on Wednesday largely upheld a decision by the European Commission to fine Google more than 4 billion euros for stifling competition through Android dominance. The court said it was appropriate to impose a fine of €4.125 billion on Google, slightly lower than the original penalty of €4.34 billion.
‘The car guy’ Biden touts electric vehicles at Detroit auto show
DETROIT (AP) — President Joe Biden spent much of Wednesday showcasing his administration’s efforts to promote electric vehicles at the Detroit auto show. Biden is a self-proclaimed “car guy” who owns a 1967 Corvette Stingray. He got behind the wheel of a sleek new Corvette at the show amid jokes that he could drive it back to Washington. But he went to the auto show mainly to highlight the new climate, tax and health law that offers tax incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles. He announced the approval of the first $900 million in infrastructure funds to build electric vehicle chargers on 53,000 miles of the national highway system.
The S&P 500 added 13.32 points, or 0.3%, to 3,946.01. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 30.12 points, or 0.1%, to 31,135.09. The Nasdaq gained 86.10 points, or 0.7%, to 11,719.68. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index gained 6.89 points, or 0.4%, to 1,838.46.