Financial News

Matthew Aaron Brown
January 5, 2023
AP Scorecard
January 5, 2023
Financial News

 

Business / Financial News:

Best of CES 2023: Wireless TV, delivery robots and in-car VR

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tech companies of all sizes are showing off their latest products at CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics show. The Las Vegas show is getting back to normal after going completely virtual in 2021 and seeing a significant drop in 2022 attendance because of the pandemic. LG unveiled a 97-inch OLED TV with what it calls a Zero Connect Box that streams content wirelessly. Ottonomy showed its latest delivery robot, which has a self-dispensing feature that means a package can be delivered even if someone’s not there to collect it. And holoride showed off a VR headset it says can prevent car sickness in passengers.

 

CES 2023: Russian exhibitors barred from displaying tech

LAS VEGAS (AP) — CES is not allowing Russian exhibitors to display their products at the annual tech show because of the country’s invasion of Ukraine. A spokesperson for the Consumer Technology Association, the trade group putting together the event, said the move has only impacted one potential exhibitor. The spokesperson says no Russian exhibitors were present at last year’s show, but four attended virtually in 2021. Some Ukrainian tech companies and startups will display their gadgets at the Las Vegas show. Its expected to draw in up to 100,000 attendees by the time it concludes Sunday.

 

Wall Street listless ahead of two days of US job data

Markets on Wall Street appear to be slow in gaining traction ahead of more jobs data that’s expected to show continued strength in the U.S. labor market. Futures for the Dow Jones industrials and the S&P 500 are shifting between small gains and losses before the opening bell. The U.S. government will release its weekly unemployment report on Thursday and its closely-watched December jobs report on Friday. Strong jobs numbers are seen as an indication of inflationary pressures that would support further interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve. Shares in Europe and Asia were mostly higher and oil prices rose.

 

EXPLAINER: Why has Syria’s economic crisis hit a new low?

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s economy has hit its lowest point since its civil war started nearly 12 years ago, with spiraling inflation, a currency plunge and severe fuel shortages. Life in Damascus and other Syrian cities has come to a near-standstill. Streets are nearly empty of cars, households receive a few hours a day of electricity at best, and costs of food and other essentials are skyrocketing. The increasing economic pain has led to renewed protests in areas controlled by the government of President Bashar Assad, sometimes met by a violent response. Here’s a look at why the economic situation has gotten so dire, and at the potential implications.

 

Fed minutes: Officials cited strong hiring to justify hikes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials suggested at their most recent meeting that a continuing streak of robust hiring could keep inflation elevated and was a key reason why they expected to raise interest rates this year more than they had previously forecast. In the minutes of their mid-December meeting, the officials indicated that a slowdown in its rate hikes – from four three-quarter point hikes in a row to a half-point increase last month – “was not an indication of any weakening” in their resolve to bring inflation back down to their 2% target. Nor did the smaller increase signal “a judgment that inflation was already on a persistent downward path,” the minutes said.

 

Opioid legal charge pushes Walgreens to $3.7B fiscal 1Q loss

A huge opioid settlement dragged Walgreens to a $3.7 billion loss in its fiscal first quarter, but the drugstore chain still beat Wall Street forecasts. The company also reaffirmed its earnings forecast for the new year. Walgreens said Thursday that it recorded a $5.2 billion charge in the quarter that ended Nov. 30 for opioid-related litigation. Walgreens and rival CVS Health Corp. finalized last month a settlement with state and local governments to resolve lawsuits over opioid abuse. Drugstores were subject to claims that they should have realized they were filling too many opioid prescriptions.

 

Amazon, Salesforce jettison jobs in latest tech worker purge

E-commerce giant Amazon and business software maker Salesforce are the latest U.S. tech companies to announce major job cuts. Amazon said Wednesday that it will be cutting about 18,000 positions. It’s the largest set of layoffs in the Seattle-based company’s history, although just a fraction of its 1.5 million global workforce. Salesforce is laying off about 8,000 employees, or 10% of its workforce. Major technology companies are pruning their payrolls that they rapidly expanded during a two-year boom spurred by pandemic lockdown. Meta Platforms announced in November that the Facebook and Instagram owner would by laying off 11,000 employees, or 13% of its workforce.

 

Meta fined 390M euros in latest European privacy crackdown

LONDON (AP) — European Union regulators have hit Facebook parent Meta with hundreds of millions in fines for privacy violations and banned the company from forcing users in the 27-nation bloc to agree to personalized ads based on their online activity. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission imposed two fines Wednesday totaling 390 million euros. Its decision on the two cases that could shake up Meta’s business model targeting users with ads based on what they do online. It’s the commission’s latest punishment for Meta for data privacy infringements, following four other fines for the company since 2021 totaling more than 900 million euros.

 

Twitter says it will relax ban on political advertising

Twitter says it will ease up its 3-year-old ban on political advertising. It’s the latest change by Elon Musk as he tries to pump up revenue after purchasing the social media platform last year. The company tweeted late Tuesday that it’s relaxing its policy for cause-based ads in the U.S. It also says it plans to expand the political advertising it permits in the coming weeks. Twitter banned all political advertising in 2019 as it reacted to growing concern about misinformation spreading on social media. In reversing the ban, Twitter said it will align its advertising policy with those of “TV and other media outlets” without providing further details.

 

Sony unveils prototype EV, Afeela, to be made with Honda

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Sony has unveiled a new high-tech prototype car it will produce in partnership with Honda. The vehicle, first announced in October, glided out on stage at the CES tech show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be called the Afeela. Yasuhide Mizuno, CEO of Sony Honda Mobility, said the company expects to take pre-orders in the first half of 2025 and deliver the first cars to customers in North America in spring 2026. Mizuno said that “As safety and security are essential to mobility, we will integrate Sony’s sensors and the Honda safety along with other intelligent technologies.”