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May 22, 2023
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Financial News


May 23, 2023


No debt ceiling agreement, but Biden and McCarthy call White House talks productive

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy say they and their lead negotiators have had a productive meeting at the White House on the impasse over the government’s debt ceiling. Yet there was no agreement Monday as Washington races to strike a budget compromise and raise the nation’s borrowing limit in time to avert a potentially devastating federal default as soon as next week. Despite the lack of movement toward a possible agreement, both men appeared upbeat as they face a deadline, as soon as June 1, when the government could run out of cash to pay its bills.

Car seats and baby formula are regulated. Is social media next?

The U.S. surgeon general is warning there is not enough evidence to show that social media is safe for young people. Dr. Vivek Murthy is calling on tech companies, parents and caregivers to take “immediate action to protect kids now.” With young people’s social media use “near universal” but its true impact not fully understood, Murthy is asking tech companies to share data and increase transparency with researchers and the general public. He asks policymakers to address the harms of social media the same way they regulate things like car seats, baby formula and other products children use.

8 tips for parents and teens on social media use — from the U.S. surgeon general

Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general, is calling for “immediate action” by tech companies and lawmakers to protect kids’ and adolescents’ mental health on social media. But after years of middling and insufficient action by both social media platforms and policymakers, parents and young people still bear most of the burden. They’re having to navigate the fast-changing, often harmful world of secretive algorithms, addictive apps and extreme and inappropriate content found on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat. The surgeon general’s tips include creating “tech-free zones” — such as meal times and nighttime.

UK economy to avoid recession but inflation still a worry, IMF says

LONDON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund says the British economy will avoid falling into recession this year. In upgraded growth forecasts released Tuesday, the Washington-based IMF said domestic demand had proven more resilient than anticipated in the face of a surge in energy costs. The IMF now thinks the British economy will grow by 0.4% this year, up from its previous prediction of a 0.3% decline. The forecast aligns with that from the Bank of England, which also upgraded its economic outlook this month. But the IMF also says inflation is likely to remain stubbornly high over the coming years.

Stock market today: Wall Street futures tick down after US debt talks fail to break impasse

Wall Street dipped modestly in premarket trading after more talks in Washington on government debt ended with no deal to avoid a potentially jarring default. S&P 500 futures were off less than 0.2% before the bell Tuesday, while futures for the Dow inched down about 0.1%. U.S. markets finished modestly lower on Monday after Congress and the White House negotiated over Republican demands to cut social programs in exchange for agreeing to raise the amount the government can borrow. Shares of home improvement chain Lowe’s fell 1.5% early Tuesday after it trimmed its forecast for the year.

Street traders offer a better bargain than stores as Zimbabwe’s currency crumbles

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Shoppers in Zimbabwe are increasingly turning to street traders to buy what they need as the local currency plunges in value against the U.S. dollar. The southern African nation uses both types of money. Supermarkets and other stores must charge in Zimbabwe dollars, and their prices are rising rapidly. But costs are stable on the street, where the U.S. dollar is exclusively used and not pegged to an official exchange rate that’s artificially low. The shift in shopping behavior also has stirred competition among the growing numbers of street traders, who sell everything from groceries to car parts. They’re giving things away for free and cleaning drivers’ windows.

Wish you could tweak that text? WhatsApp is letting users edit messages

LONDON (AP) — WhatsApp is allowing users to edit the messages they’ve sent. The popular chat app announced the update in a blog post Monday, saying people can correct misspellings, add more details or otherwise change what they have messaged to friends, family and coworkers. Meta-owned WhatsApp says the ability to edit messages has started rolling out to people worldwide and will be available to all users in coming weeks. To fix a text up to 15 minutes after firing it off, press and hold the sent message and pick “edit.” After the changes, it will then display “edited,” but those receiving the message won’t be able to see the edit history.

Business group: Companies in China want ‘clarity’ after security rule changes, raids on consultants

BEIJING (AP) — A business group says foreign companies in China want “greater clarity” about changes in China’s cybersecurity and other rules and how the ruling Communist Party will enforce them after they were rattled by raids on consulting firms. The British Chamber of Commerce in China said companies are optimistic and want to invest but are waiting for steps to “restore the trust and certainty” amid geopolitical tension and official plans to promote self-reliance. President Xi Jinping’s government says foreign companies are welcome and is trying to encourage them to invest more. But many are uneasy over the expansion of national security and other rules and plans to create competitors to global suppliers of processor chips and other technology.

‘Leap of faith:’ Alaska pursues carbon offset market while embracing oil

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s push to become a bigger player in the clean energy market will be in the spotlight this week at a conference convened by Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy. This comes as the state continues to embrace new fossil fuel production, including the controversial Willow oil project. Dunleavy successfully pushed through the recent legislature a bill that would allow the state to make money off credits that companies or other entities could buy to offset their carbon emissions. Lawmakers cast the bill as allowing Alaska to continue to permit drilling, mining and timber activities while also stepping in to the potentially lucrative market for sequestering carbon dioxide. But some wonder if the program will gain traction as the aim isn’t restricting emissions but generating new revenue.

Russia fights alleged incursion from Ukraine for second day, reports more drone attacks

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian troops and security forces are fighting for a second day against an alleged cross-border raid that Moscow blamed on Ukrainian military saboteurs but which Kyiv portrayed as an uprising against the Kremlin by Russian partisans. The governor of the Belgorod region on the Ukraine border said Tuesday that forces continued to sweep the area around the town of Graivoron where the alleged attack on Monday took place. The governor said that one civilian was killed and 12 others were wounded in the attack. It was impossible to verify who was behind the attack. Disinformation has been one of the weapons of the nearly 15-month war.