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Wednesday, December 27th
December 22, 2023
December 22, 2023
Business News

AP-Summary Brief-Business


December 22, 2023

Federal Reserve’s favored inflation gauge tumbles in November as prices continue to ease

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of prices fell last month, another sign that inflation is easing and that consumers should expect to see lower interest rates in 2024. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that U.S. consumer prices slid 0.1% last month from October and rose 2.6% from November 2022. The month-over-month drop was the largest since April 2020 when the economy was reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. The numbers show somewhat more progress against inflation than economists had expected. Inflation is steadily moving down to the Fed’s year-over-year target of 2% and appears to be clearing the way for Fed rate cuts in 2024.

Biden signs an executive order aimed at financial facilitators of the Russian defense industry

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden signed a new executive order aimed at targeting financial facilitators of the Russian defense industry. The order to be signed later on Friday comes as the Kremlin is trying to restock the Russian military’s depleted arsenal after nearly 22 months of fighting in Ukraine. Russia has already lost over 13,000 pieces of equipment — including tanks, drones and missile systems. Russia is on track for record military spending next year. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. expects financial institutions to ensure that they “are not witting or unwitting facilitators” of the Russian military.

Busiest holiday travel season in years is off to a smooth start with few airport delays

NEW YORK (AP) — The holiday travel rush is hitting its peak as mild weather and lower flight cancelation rates raise hopes for merrier drivers and airline passengers than last year. U.S. airlines are predicting a blockbuster holiday season and have projected confidence they can handle the crowds after hiring thousands of pilots, flight attendants and other workers, seeking to avoid the delays and suspensions that marred travel last year. Airlines have canceled just 1.2% of U.S. flights so far this year, the lowest in five years, but bad weather is always a threat. Heavy storms hit the West Coast in the U.S. and storm brought heavy rain and strong winds across northern Europe overnight and into Friday.

Stock market today: Wall Street ticks toward new records on the way to an 8th straight winning week

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is drifting near record levels following reports showing inflation on the way down and the economy potentially on the way up. The S&P 500 is 0.4% higher in midday trading Friday and just 0.7% below its record set nearly two years ago. It’s on track for an eighth straight winning week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 58 points, and the Nasdaq composite is 0.4% higher. Treasury yields are holding relatively steady following reports showing inflation cooled by more than expected last month and spending by U.S. households rose.

French President Emmanuel Macron will be the guest of honor at India’s Republic Day celebrations

PARIS (AP) — India has invited French President Emmanuel Macron to be the chief guest at the country’s national day celebrations next month. Macron’s office on Friday described the invite as a powerful gesture for the two nations’ ties. The visit for Republic Day on Jan. 26 will be Macron’s third to India as president. The event marks the 74th anniversary of the adoption of India’s Constitution on Jan. 26, 1950, nearly three years after it won independence from British colonial rule. India’s official guest in January 2023 was Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi.

Hydrogen tax credit plan unveiled as Biden administration tries to jump start industry

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration released its highly anticipated proposal for doling out billions of dollars in tax credits to hydrogen producers Friday, in a massive effort to build out an industry that some hope can be a cleaner alternative to fossil fuel power. The U.S. credit is has been called the most generous in the world for hydrogen production. The proposal — which is part of Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act passed last year — outlines a tiered system to determine which hydrogen producers get the most credits, with cleaner energy projects receiving more, and smaller, but still meaningful credits going to those that use fossil fuels to produce hydrogen.

Still haven’t bought holiday gifts? Retailers have a sale for you

NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers are stepping up sales and other enticements in the final days before Christmas to lure shoppers who’ve been waiting for the best deals or who didn’t have the time or the urge to wrap up gift-buying earlier. Incentives to spend last minute are an extension of an ongoing effort by stores to keep shoppers engaged, an effort that began as early as October this year. Some retailers have put goods on clearance racks and shelves before the holiday to entice bargain hunters. The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group, expects U.S. holiday sales will rise 3% to 4% November through December.

DOT puts airline loyalty programs under the microscope after lawmakers raise concerns

The Department of Transportation is investigating possible deceptive practices in airline loyalty programs after federal lawmakers raised concerns about how airlines are calculating points and rewards. A DOT spokesperson said in a statement that the agency is planning “to carefully review complaints regarding loyalty programs” and investigate airlines “for unfair and deceptive practices that hurt travelers as warranted.” The spokesperson says agency officials are meeting with airlines and gathering more information on the issue. Airlines design loyalty programs to keep their most lucrative customers coming back. Airlines for America, which represents the largest U.S. carriers, declined to comment.

Congress launches an investigation into the Osprey program after the deadly crash in Japan

WASHINGTON (AP) — A congressional oversight committee has launched an investigation into the V-22 Osprey program following a deadly crash in Japan, which killed eight Air Force special operations service members. The entire Osprey fleet remains grounded following the Nov. 29 crash, with the exception of some limited Marine Corps flights. More than 50 U.S. service members have died in Osprey crashes over the lifespan of the program, 20 of those deaths occurred in four crashes over the last 20 months. The Osprey is a fast-moving airframe that can fly like both a helicopter and an airplane. But its many crashes have led critics to warn it has fatal design flaws.

Were your holiday deliveries stolen? What to know about porch piracy and what you can do about it

NEW YORK (AP) — You found the perfect holiday gift online. You ordered it. A notification arrived on your phone, showing the package had arrived. But when you open your doors, the parcel is nowhere to be found. If this happened to you, then count yourself as part of the unlucky group of shoppers who fall victim to package thefts. Since most police departments don’t track the crime in its own category, it’s challenging to know if it’s getting better or worse. But retailers and delivery companies are trying to combat it in different ways. Here’s what you should know about porch piracy, and what to do if it happens to you.