Business News

Irene Perry
August 16, 2023
August 16, 2023
Business News


August 16, 2023

Stock market today: Wall Street is mixed a day after its latest August tumble

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is drifting, and stocks are mixed a day after their latest tumble. The S&P 500 was 0.2% higher Wednesday, coming off a loss of 1.2%. The Dow was up 153 points, and the Nasdaq composite was 0.2% lower. Stocks have been pulling back in August amid several concerns, including worries that their gains in the first seven months of the year were overdone and that interest rates may stay higher for longer. The Federal Reserve may offer more clues about where rates are heading when it releases the minutes from its latest meeting in the afternoon.

Biden is set to mark the anniversary of his signing of a major climate, health and tax law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is ramping up its efforts to illustrate the real-world impact of President Joe Biden’s signature climate, health care and tax law. They’re showing how various Americans say they’ve benefited from his economic policies on the anniversary of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act. Wednesday marks one years since Biden signed the law, which — along with a bipartisan infrastructure law and a massive bill that bolsters production of semiconductor chips — make up the core of what the White House has branded “Bidenomics.” Biden will host a celebration at the White House later Wednesday.

Russia hits Ukrainian grain depots again as a foreign ship tries out Kyiv’s new Black Sea corridor

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Officials say Russia has resumed its targeting of grain infrastructure in Ukraine’s southern Odesa region, using drones in overnight strikes on storage facilities and ports along the Danube River. Kyiv has increasingly used those terminals for grain transport to Europe after Moscow broke off a key wartime export deal through the Black Sea. Also Wednesday, a loaded container ship stuck at the port of Odesa since Russia’s full-scale invasion more than 17 months ago set sail and is heading through the Black Sea. It is using a temporary corridor established by Ukraine for merchant shipping. Ukraine’s economy is heavily dependent on farming. Its agricultural exports, like those of Russia, are also crucial for world food supplies.

UK inflation falls to 17-month low of 6.8% but unlikely to derail another interest rate rise

LONDON (AP) — The rate of inflation in the U.K. fell sharply in July to a 17-month low largely on the back of lower energy prices. It’s a welcome development for hard-pressed households struggling during the cost of living crisis. The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that the annual rate of inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, was 6.8% in July, its lowest level since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and sent energy prices surging. The decline from June’s 7.9% rate was in line with economists’ expectations. It’s unlikely to derail market expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest rates again next month, especially as wages are rising at a record high.

Syrian president doubles public sector wages as national currency spirals downwards

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad has doubled public sector wages and pensions as the war-torn country’s national currency spiraled further downwards, reaching a new low for the year. The value of the Syrian pound against the US dollar has declined from 7,000 pounds in January to 15,000 pounds on Wednesday. At the start of the war, in 2011, a dollar was worth 47 Syrian pounds. For over a year, Damascus has been restructuring its program of subsidies for gasoline, diesel for heating, and bread. Syria hiked fuel prices Wednesday, soon after Assad’s decree, further rolling back state subsidies. The United Nations estimates that 90% of Syrians in government-held areas live in poverty,

Target Q2 sales fall on inflation, Pride month shopper backlash and it cuts profit outlook for 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — Target reported a second-quarter sales drop, dragged down by shoppers’ inflation worries and a negative reaction by some customers, widely publicized on social media, to its Pride merchandise. The Minneapolis retailer said Wednesday it expects high interest rates, which makes credit cards more expensive to use, and higher prices on food to continue to put a strain on customers. The chain cut its profit outlook for the year, and it also expects sales will decline for the remainder of the year. In lowering its forecast, Target also cited the end of the student loan moratorium, which had provided one-time college students a little more financial breathing room.

A $5.4 billion international chip deal with Intel is off after greenlight from China never arrives

HONG KONG (AP) — Intel is terminating a $5.4 billion agreement to acquire Israeli chip manufacturer Tower Semiconductor after China failed to sign off on the deal amid deteriorating US-China relations. Both Intel and Tower said they had mutually agreed to call off the deal. Intel said that the deal was terminated as it did not receive regulatory approvals required for the merger, and that it would pay Tower a termination fee of $353 million. The deal required regulatory approval from several juridictions, but China did not greenlight the deal by the deadline amid increasing U.S.-China tensions, particularly as the U.S. tightened export controls and restrictions aimed at crippling China’s ability to purchase and manufacture advanced chips.

The Dutch economy has slid into recession as inflation and interest rates hit exports and spending

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The official Dutch statistics office says the Netherlands has fallen into a recession after exports and household spending fell back amid rising interest rates intended to rein in inflation. Statistics Netherlands reported Wednesday that the economy declined by 0.3% in the second quarter after shrinking 0.4% in the first three months of the year. The Netherlands is a small nation that has long punched above its weight in global trade. But it is now treading water after a robust rebound following the global COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment remains close to all-time lows at 3.6%.

Russia’s ruble has tumbled. What does it mean for the wartime economy?

The Russian ruble has fallen a long way in recent months, and the country’s central bank is stepping in to halt the slide. It also wants to stop the inflation that a weaker currency can cause. Russia’s currency is down because Moscow has been earning less from selling oil abroad, a result of Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine. It’s also importing more goods. Until now, the ruble’s slide had some benefits for the government because a lower exchange rate means more rubles per dollar of oil earnings. But a lower ruble also threatens higher inflation and can undermine Russia’s narrative of stability. Analysts say the Kremlin feels the slide has gone far enough.

A plan for how Indonesia will spend $20 billion to transition to cleaner energy has been submitted

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A plan for how Indonesia will spend $20 billion to transition to cleaner energy was submitted Wednesday to the government and its financing partners. Indonesia’s Just Energy Transition Partnership deal was announced last year and aims to use the funds over the next three to five years to accelerate retirement of the nation’s coal plants and development of renewable energy. Details were not made public. The investment plan will be reviewed and revised further by Indonesia and its JETP partners before being released. Indonesian government officials welcomed the submission of the plan and vowed to ensure it was aligned with Indonesia’s energy transition priorities.