September 26 2023
Stock market today: Wall Street points lower on interest rate reality, looming US shutdown
Wall Street was poised to open with declines over worries about a possible U.S. government shutdown and the reality that interest rates will be elevated for an extended period. Futures for the Dow Jones industrials fell 0.4% before the bell Tuesday and S&P 500 futures were off 0.5%. Realization is sinking in that the Federal Reserve will likely keep interest rates high well into next year. The U.S. government may be set for another shutdown amid more political squabbles on Capitol Hill, though Wall Street has managed its way through previous shutdowns.
Biden will join the UAW strike picket line. Experts can’t recall the last time a president did that
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s decision to stand alongside United Auto Workers pickets in Michigan during their strike against major carmakers underscores an allegiance to labor unions that appears to be unparalleled in presidential history. Experts in presidential and U.S. labor history say they cannot recall an instance when a sitting president has joined a strike. The Democratic president will join the pickets Tuesday, the 12th day of their strike. It comes a day before former President Donald Trump makes his own visit to meet with striking UAW members. Biden has repeatedly sided with the UAW during their strike. Biden says the workers should participate in the carmakers’ riches “now that the industry is roaring back.”
Why the US job market has defied rising interest rates and expectations of high unemployment
WASHINGTON (AP) — Last year’s spike in inflation, to the highest level in four decades, was painful enough for American households. Yet the cure — much higher interest rates, to cool spending and hiring — was expected to bring even more pain. Grim forecasts from economists had predicted that as the Federal Reserve jacked up its benchmark rate ever higher, consumers and businesses would curb spending, companies would slash jobs and unemployment would spike as high as 7%. Yet so far, to widespread relief, the reality has been anything but: Inflation has tumbled from its peak of 9.1% in June 2022 to 3.7% on the back of the Fed’s rate hikes. Yet the unemployment rate, at a still-low 3.8%, has scarcely budged.
Boost in solar energy and electric vehicle sales gives hope for climate goals, report says
Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) is becoming harder but a narrow window remains because clean energy infrastructure has grown around the world, a new report said Tuesday. According to the International Energy Agency, high growth of solar power and increased electric vehicles sales in the last two years are in line with achieving emissions reduction targets by 2050. But renewable power needs to triple by 2030, sale of EVs need to rise sharply and methane emissions from the energy sector needs to fall by 75% if global warming is to be limited to the limit set in the Paris Agreement. Investments in climate action also need to rise, from $1.8 trillion in 2023 to $4.5 trillion annually by the early 2030s.
New cars are supposed to be getting safer. So why are fatalities on the rise?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Government test data shows new passenger vehicles in the U.S. are extremely safe, but roadway deaths are steadily rising. Some of the biggest increases are deaths of pedestrians and cyclists. That surge has coincided with a steep rise in sales of SUVs and pickup trucks. Experts say the height and boxy front ends of many of those vehicles create large blind spots. They also hit pedestrians higher in the body than sedans, meaning hits more often result in serious injury or death. U.S. safety ratings only consider the safety of people inside a vehicle. But a coalition of transportation safety groups wants the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to begin factoring the safety of those outside vehicles into its 5-star safety ratings.
Writers strike is not over yet with key votes remaining on deal
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The deal is made, the pickets have been suspended, and Hollywood’s writers are on the verge of getting back to work after months on strike. Crucial steps remain for the striking writers, including a planned vote Tuesday from their union’s governing boards on the tentative agreement reached with Hollywood studios. After that comes a vote from the writers themselves, who have yet to learn what gains they’ve won after nearly five months on strike. Writers Guild of America leaders have halted their picket lines, but they’re encouraging writers to join the lines of actors, who are still on strike with no deal yet on the horizon.
Erdogan says Menendez resignation from Senate committee boosts Turkey’s bid to acquire F-16s
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey’s chances of acquiring F-16 fighter jets from the U.S. have been boosted by Sen. Bob Menendez stepping down as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, has been a vocal opponent of Turkey receiving aircraft to update its fighter fleet. He stood down last week following federal corruption charges. Ankara has been seeking to buy 40 new F-16s, as well as kits to upgrade its existing fleet. The request was backed by the White House but ran into opposition in Congress.
London’s Gatwick Airport limits flights this week due to staff illness, including COVID-19
LONDON (AP) — Gatwick Airport, London’s second-busiest, is limiting flights this week, partly because of an outbreak of COVID-19 within air traffic control. In a statement late Monday, the airport says a daily limit of 800 flights has been imposed until Sunday, affecting both departures and arrivals. Gatwick says around 30% of staff in the division within air traffic control are off sick for a variety of reasons, including COVID-19. It says the daily cap will prevent last-minute cancellations and delays for passengers while National Air Traffic Services, or NATS, gets back to normal. The largest number of cancellations will be on Friday, Sept. 29, with 33 departures affected.
Alibaba will spin off its logistics arm Cainiao in an IPO in Hong Kong
HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba says it will spin off its logistics arm, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, in an initial public offering in Hong Kong. It’s the first business unit to go public following a major restructuring in Alibaba. Alibaba said in a filing Tuesday that it submitted a spin-off proposal to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and that it has received confirmation to proceed. Alibaba will continue to me a majority shareholder in Cainiao, holding over 50% of the company and retaining it as a subsidiary. The company currently owns nearly a 70% stake in Cainiao, its main delivery arm that handles logistics and parcels for merchants both in China and abroad.
Oil prices have risen. That’s making gas more expensive for US drivers and helping Russia’s war
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Oil prices are up, and that affects people far and wide. Drivers pay more for gasoline, and truckers more for diesel. Russia is earning money that it can use to wage its war against Ukraine. Central bankers may see more inflation coming and keep interest rates high. Behind the recent bump in price is Saudi Arabia’s decision to slash how much oil it sends to global markets through the end of the year. Russia also is cutting back. And less supply means higher prices. Some analysts are betting oil could hit $100, while others foresee that mediocre growth in major economies like China will keep the lid on prices.