Stocks make more wild swings
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are swinging sharply on Wall Street. The S&P 500 was 1% lower in afternoon trading but only after careening from a steep morning loss to a brief, small gain. Wall Street is struggling with how to interpret a strong U.S. jobs report amid worries the Federal Reserve may cause a recession in its drive to halt inflation. The swings were even wilder earlier this week, as all kinds of markets from bonds to cryptocurrencies grapple with a new market order where the Federal Reserve is aggressively moving to yank supports for the economy put in place through the pandemic.
UNDATED (AP) – Tesla is covering travel costs for employees seeking abortions outside their home state. The company said today in its 2021 “Impact Report” that it expanded its Safety Net program and health insurance offerings last year to include “travel and lodging support for those who may need to seek health care services that are unavailable in their home state.” The car maker officially moved its corporate headquarters last year from Silicon Valley to Texas, which passed a law banning abortions at roughly six weeks of pregnancy. It joins the ranks of other major companies who’ve introduced a similar policy to benefit workers affected by new abortion restrictions.
NEW YORK (AP) – Nvidia, a major tech company that has expanded aggressively into gaming, will pay a $5.5 million penalty for failing to disclose that cryptomining was a significant source of revenue growth from the sale of graphics processing units produced and marketed for gaming. Crypto currencies are extremely volatile and the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission says the company did not disclose the potential risks of such sales to investors. Cryptominers are compensated for verifying crypto transactions. As the crypto craze began to spread in 2017, Nvidia’s graphics processing units that were designed and marketed for gaming were increasingly used to mine cryptocurrency, according to the SEC, something investors should have been told.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. has sanctioned North Korean digital currency mixing firm Blender.io, which allegedly uses its service to launder stolen virtual currency and support malicious cyber activities. Mixing services combine various assets, including potentially illegally obtained funds with legitimately obtained funds, and spit them out to a destination address. The purpose for illegal actors is to obscure the origin of the funds. Blender is accused of assisting Lazarus Group, a sanctioned North Korean cyber hacking group, to carry out a $620 million digital currency heist in March. Treasury says Blender helped process over $20.5 million in digital currency.
MEXICO CITY (AP) – The Mexican government has closed a limestone gravel quarry owned by a U.S. company, a move likely to add fuel to an ongoing trade dispute with the firm. The Environment Department said today that it closed the quarry owned by Vulcan Materials near Playa del Carmen, on the Caribbean coast. The quarry has been excavated below the water table and the department said the mining threatened water quality and subsoil conditions. But President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wants the water-filled quarry to use as a theme park. He has pressured the Alabama-based aggregates company to sell the property to the government, or open one itself.