Stocks turn mixed…Florida to end Disney self-government
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks turned mixed in afternoon trading on Wall Street as traders reviewed the latest round of earnings reports from several big U.S. companies. The S&P 500 fell 0.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% and the Nasdaq fell 0.5%. American Airlines rose after telling investors it expects to turn a profit in the second quarter as more people return to travel. That upbeat outlook helped push rival airlines higher, as well as other companies within the travel industry. Tesla rose after the maker of electric cars and solar panels reported strong sales and a seven-fold increase in profits despite global supply chain kinks.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The Florida House of Representatives has given final passage to a bill to dissolve a private government that Walt Disney World has been allowed to operate on its properties for more than five decades. House lawmakers approved the measure today. It’s a victory for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. He has lashed back at the entertainment giant after it publicly declared its opposition to a new law backed by the governor that critics have dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.” The Disney bill would eliminate the self-governed districts by June 2023. But it does allow the districts to be reestablished in the future, leaving the door open for further negotiations.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States will provide $500 million more in financial assistance for Ukraine to sustain critical government operations as it fends off Russia’s invasion. The money will help support salaries, pensions and other programs. The announcement came after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met today with Ukraine’s prime minister against the backdrop of International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings that have been dominated by conversations over how to manage the spillover from Russia’s war. Yellen says the new aid is “only the beginning of what Ukraine will need to rebuild.” The funding is on top of $500 million President Joe Biden unveiled in March.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A run-up in mortgage rates in recent weeks is threatening to pump the brakes on the housing market as the increased borrowing costs reduce would-be buyers’ purchasing power. The average weekly rate on the benchmark 30-year mortgage has risen swiftly since the first week of this year, when it stood at 3.2%. This week it rose to 5.11%, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. While higher rates could translate into less frenzied competition for homes, most homeowners with a mortgage have locked in ultra-low rates over the years and will have less financial incentive to sell, which could make the inventory crunch even worse.
DALLAS (AP) – Remember all those thousands of passengers that airlines banned for not wearing face masks? Now the airlines want them back – or at least, most of them. Officials with United Airlines and American Airlines said today that they will lift the bans now that masks are optional on flights. United CEO Scott Kirby says many of those passengers promise to behave, and he believes them. American Airlines official Nate Gatten says most people who were banned for refusing to wear a mask will be allowed back. But Gatten says those whose behavior escalated beyond a mask violation – to things including assault – will never be allowed back.