Financial News

John Stanley Treski
May 25, 2023
May 26, 2023
Financial News


May 26, 2023


A measure of inflation that is closely tracked by the Federal Reserve increased in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key index of U.S. prices ticked higher in April as consumer spending rebounded, a sign that inflationary pressures in the economy remain high. The index, which the Federal Reserve closely monitors, showed that prices rose 0.4% from March to April, much higher than the 0.1% increase the previous month. Measured year over year, prices were up 4.4% last month, up from 4.2% in March. The year-over-year figure was down sharply from a peak of 7% last June yet remains far above the Fed’s 2% inflation target. Consumers kept spending last month despite the price rise: Their spending jumped 0.8% from March to April.

Deadline looming, Biden and McCarthy narrow in on budget deal to lift debt ceiling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Days from a deadline, President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are narrowing in on a two-year budget deal that could unlock a vote for lifting the nation’s debt ceiling. They’re racing for agreement this weekend. As soon as June 1, Treasury says it could run short of funds to pay the nation’s bills. A federal default on the national debt would send the economy into chaos. The budget flow isn’t the only hang-up. One thorny issue is a Republican demand opposed by Democrats for stiffer work requirements on people who receive government aid. Any compromise needs support from both Democrats and Republicans to pass in Congress.

Regulators take aim at AI to protect consumers and workers

NEW YORK (AP) — As concerns grow over increasingly powerful artificial intelligence systems like ChatGPT, the nation’s financial watchdog says it’s working to ensure that companies follow the law when using AI. Already, automated systems and algorithms help determine credit ratings, loan terms, deposit account fees, and other aspects of our financial lives. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau says it will hold companies responsible for using the technology in ways that comply with existing regulation. Representatives from several federal agencies say they’re directing resources and staff to take aim at new tech and identify negative ways it could affect consumers’ lives.

Flight cancellations, strikes raise fears of new summer travel chaos in Europe

LONDON (AP) — British Airways has canceled dozens of flights due to computer problems in a rocky kickoff to Europe’s summer travel season. The plans of thousands of travelers have been disrupted Friday at the start of a busy holiday weekend. Technical glitches and strikes by airport staff across Europe are stirring concerns about a repeat of last summer’s post-pandemic air travel chaos that meant delays, cancellations and mountains of lost luggage. International Air Transport Association says some disruptions are expected but the challenges keeping up with post-pandemic demand have been resolved. It warned about strikes in places like France. Security guards also have walked out at Heathrow, where most of the affected flights are on short-haul routes.

US, Chinese trade officials express concern about each other’s restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and her Chinese counterpart, Wang Wentao, have expressed concern about policies of each other’s governments following Chinese raids on consulting firms and U.S. restrictions on exports of semiconductor technology. Their governments announced no progress in disputes over technology and security but said Raimondo and Wang promised to strengthen exchanges on trade issues. Companies from both sides have been buffeted by tighter official controls on trade in semiconductors and other activity on security grounds. Raimondo’s office said she “raised concerns” about Chinese actions against U.S. companies in China. Wang’s ministry said he “expressed key concerns” about U.S. policy on semiconductors, exports and trade.

Credit Suisse owes millions to Georgia’s billionaire ex-prime minister, court says

LONDON (AP) — A Singapore court says Credit Suisse owes billionaire and former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili hundreds of millions of dollars for failing to protect his money in a trust pilfered by a manager. The decision Friday is the latest scandal for the Swiss bank whose yearslong problems forced its takeover by a rival. Ivanishvili sued after an employee managing his trust “misappropriated many millions of dollars” over nine years. Credit Suisse says the decision is wrong and plans to appeal. The judge found that the lender ”is liable to compensate the plaintiffs for their loss.” That’s been calculated at $926 million, minus $79.4 million that the bank agreed to pay last year in a settlement.

Stock market today: US futures, world markets higher as US debt talks said to make headway

Wall Street followed world markets modestly higher, lifted by optimism that Congress and the president will strike a deal to unlock a vote for lifting the U.S. government’s debt ceiling and avert a potentially calamitous default. Futures for the Dow and S&P 500 each rose about 0.2% before the bell. In premarket trading Friday, shares of Marvell Technology jumped 17% after the chipmaker said it expects AI revenue in fiscal 2024 to at least double from the prior year. That follows Thursday’s report from fellow chipmaker Nvidia, who gave a monster forecast for upcoming sales related to AI.

Climate protesters face tear gas at oil major TotalEnergies shareholder meeting in Paris

PARIS (AP) — French police have thrown a security cordon around a shareholders meeting in Paris of oil major TotalEnergies. Officers on Friday sprayed tear gas and pushed back climate protesters who chanted, “Be gentle, police officers, we’re doing this for your kids!” Police escorted some shareholders into the meeting Friday in a famed Paris concert hall. The peaceful and mostly young demonstrators waved signs attacking the climate record of the French energy giant. It has reaped colossal profits from price surges that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Police officers carried some protesters to move them out of the way. They sprayed tear gas to force people back.

Threat of US credit downgrade looms over debt ceiling talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — With one of three major rating agencies warning that America’s AAA credit is at risk, the stakes are growing in the standoff in Washington over raising the nation’s debt limit. The rating agency Fitch has put the nation’s credit on “Rating Watch Negative,” which amounts to a warning that it might downgrade the U.S. credit as a result of the impasse. The government reached the $31.4 trillion debt limit in January, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has resorted to “extraordinary measures’’ since then to keep paying the bills. But Yellen has warned that Treasury will likely run out of money to meet all its obligations as soon as June 1, which is being described as the “X-date.”

Court says Hugh Grant’s lawsuit alleging illegal snooping by The Sun tabloid can go to trial

LONDON (AP) — A London court has rejected an attempt by the publisher of The Sun newspaper to throw out a lawsuit by actor Hugh Grant alleging that journalists and investigators it hired illegally snooped on him. The court on Friday tossed out Grant’s phone hacking claims because he brought them too late. But the court said he deserves a trial in January on claims that include tapping his landline and bugging his car and home. The case was argued during a hearing last month that also included phone hacking allegations by Prince Harry against News Group Newspapers. The ruling didn’t address Harry’s case.