Financial News

Lois Cecile Lucas Decker
August 1, 2022
AP-NC Newswatch
August 2, 2022
Financial News



WASHINGTON (AP) — Renowned author Stephen King is set to take the stand at a federal antitrust trial in Washington, D.C. King is scheduled to be a witness for the Justice Department on Tuesday as it bids to block the proposed merger of two of the world’s biggest publishers, No. 1 U.S. publisher Penguin Random House and No. 4 Simon & Schuster. King has expressed displeasure with the deal even though he is likely to benefit: The author has been published for years by Simon & Schuster. But King worries the merger would hurt smaller companies. Some of King’s own former publishers were acquired by larger ones.


US begins court battle against publishing giants’ merger

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government and publishing titan Penguin Random House have exchanged opening salvos in a federal antitrust trial. The government wants to block the biggest U.S. book publisher from absorbing rival Simon & Schuster. The trial that began Monday in Washington is a key test of the Biden administration’s antitrust policy. The Justice Department has sued to block the $2.2 billion merger, which would reduce the Big Five U.S. publishers to four. The government’s star witness, author Stephen King, whose works are published by Simon & Schuster, is expected to testify at Tuesday’s session of the weekslong trial.


BP earnings triple as energy firm profits from rising prices

LONDON (AP) — BP’s earnings have tripled in the second quarter as the British energy giant profited from oil and natural gas prices that soared after Russia invaded Ukraine. London-based BP said Tuesday that underlying replacement cost profit jumped to $8.45 billion from $2.80 billion in the same period a year earlier. That profit excludes one-time items and fluctuations in the value of inventories. The soaring earnings allowed BP to return billions of dollars to shareholders, with the company boosting its dividend by 10% and announcing that it would buy back $3.5 billion of shares. BP said it expects to increase dividends by about 4% annually through 2025.


Markets dip as Pelosi’s Asia trip puts markets on edge

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street was poised to open with losses, following global markets lower as a possible visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan prompted threats from Beijing. Futures for the Dow Jones industrials fell 0.5% before the bell Tuesday and futures for the S&P 500 declined 0.6%. China sees Taiwan as its own territory and has repeatedly warned of “serious consequences” if the reported trip to the island democracy goes ahead. Pelosi has said she is visiting Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan for talks on a variety of topics, including trade, COVID-19, climate change and security.


Uber gains momentum in 2nd quarter, investors look past loss

Uber continued to gain momentum in the second quarter with Americans heading back to offices and gross bookings hit an an all-time high as anxiety over COVID-19 eased. The company said Tuesday that passengers took a total of 1.87 billion trips during the spring and early summer, a 24% increase compared with the same time last year. Revenue more than doubled to $8.07 billion.


Bumps, bipartisanship in long fight for semiconductor bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will soon be signing into law a major bill to revive the U.S. computer chip sector. The back story of how the legislation is reaching his desk after more than 18 months reveals the complexities of bipartisanship, even when all sides agree on the need to act. As administration officials see it, the bill cleared Congress last week because of a deep coalition and persistence. But many Republicans believe they provided crucial support only to be double crossed. Proponents say the billions for computer chips and scientific research could help to cut inflation, create factory jobs, defend the U.S. and allies and preserve an edge against an ambitious China.


US ambassador to Japan warns of Chinese economic coercion

TOKYO (AP) — The U.S. ambassador in Tokyo says his government is working with Japan and other likeminded countries to counter Chinese attempts to use its economic might to force political change around the world. Rahm Emanuel, who was previously mayor of Chicago and chief of staff for President Barack Obama, is pushing what he calls “commercial diplomacy.” It’s the idea that the United States and Japan will be more eager to do business with other similarly secure and stable countries amid worries about the COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine and Chinese economic coercion. In an interview with AP, Emanuel said China had blocked shipments of rare earth metals to Japan over a territorial dispute and South Korea suffered Chinese boycotts when it installed a U.S. missile defense system.


Ferrari earnings up 22% on surging deliveries to Americas

MILAN (AP) — Luxury Italian automaker Ferrari is raising its forecast for the year after reporting a 22% increase in second-quarter earnings as sales in the Americas surged. The maker of high-performance luxury sports cars on Tuesday reported net profits of 251 million euros in April through June, up from 206 million euros in the same period of 2021. Revenue is up by a quarter, to 1.29 billion euros. Shipments in the period rose by 29%, to 3,455 vehicles, driven by the Americas, where sales more than doubled. Traditional internal combustion engines dominated deliveries, while three hybrid engine models accounted for just 17% of sales.


Democrat Sinema’s views on economic bill remain shrouded

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s views remained a mystery as party leaders eye votes later this week on their emerging economic legislation. Both parties are pointing to dueling studies that in turn laud or belittle the measure’s impact. Democrats will need all of their 50 votes for the energy and health care measure to move through the Senate. A Sinema spokesperson suggests the Arizona lawmaker would take her time revealing her decision. Hannah Hurley said Sinema wants to see what the Senate parliamentarian rules, a process that could take days and result in changes in the legislation.


Treasury says borrowing needs increased by $262 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department is seeking to borrow $444 billion in the current quarter through September as the Federal Reserve tightens its portfolio. Figures released Monday by the department show that to be a $262 billion increase compared to estimates announced in May, a sign that the federal government will need to be more reliant on debt. A Treasury official told reporters on the condition of anonymity that the department was now expecting to collect less in taxes than initially forecast. The additional debt during the July to September quarter is also due in part to the Fed’s decision in May to scale back its holdings of Treasury notes, which caused the government to rely on private and foreign investors.