Global shares mixed…Bouncing back
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are trading mixed, cheered by the expected passage of the U.S. stimulus package, but that optimism was tempered by worries about inflation and the coronavirus pandemic. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 inched up less than 0.1%, Germany’s DAX slipped 0.3%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 rose nearly 0.1%. In Asia trading, Japan’s Nikkei closed nearly 1.0% higher, South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.7%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.8%, while the Shanghai Composite slipped 1.8%. Wall Street is expected to open higher, with Dow futures up 0.5% and S&P futures up 0.8%.
PARIS (AP) – The world economy is bouncing back from the pandemic crisis faster than expected, thanks in part to successful coronavirus vaccines and U.S. stimulus efforts, according to a new forecast. But the report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warns that the improvements are uneven and joblessness remains a big concern. After the virus plunged the world economy into crisis last year, the OECD expects global output to surpass pre-pandemic levels by the middle of this year. But it warns that new virus variants and too-slow vaccine rollouts could threaten chances of improvement for businesses and jobs.
WASHINGTON (AP) – A huge wind farm off the Massachusetts coast is edging closer to federal approval, setting up what the Biden administration hopes will be a model for a sharp increase in offshore wind energy development along the East Coast. The Vineyard Wind project, south of Martha’s Vineyard near Cape Cod, would create 800 megawatts of electricity, enough for 400,000 homes in New England. If approved, the $2 billion project would be the first utility-scale wind power development in federal waters. President Joe Biden has vowed to double offshore wind production by 2030 as part of his administration’s efforts to slow climate change.
BOSTON (AP) – Victims of a massive global hack of Microsoft email server software are hustling to shore up infected systems and otherwise diminish chances that intruders might extend their foothold and steal data or hobble their networks. The White House calls the situation an active threat. Cybersecurity experts estimate victims in the tens of thousands. And while the hack doesn’t pose the kind of national security threat as the SolarWinds attack, which the Biden administration blames on Russian intelligence officers and which was more sophisticated, it can be an existential threat for victims who didn’t install the patch in time and now have hackers lingering in their systems.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Several million people stand to save hundreds of dollars in health insurance costs, or more, under the Democratic coronavirus relief legislation on track to pass Congress. Winners include those covered by “Obamacare” or now signing up, self-employed people who buy their own insurance and don’t currently get federal help, laid-off workers struggling to retain employer coverage, and most anyone who collects unemployment. Potentially many more could benefit if about a dozen hold-out states accept the legislation’s Medicaid deal and expand their programs.