As Amazon grows, so does its eye on consumers
From what you buy online, to how you remember tasks, to when you monitor your doorstep, Amazon is seemingly everywhere. And it appears the company doesn’t want to halt its reach anytime soon. In recent weeks, Amazon has said it will spend billions of dollars in two gigantic acquisitions that, if approved, will broaden its ever growing presence in the lives of consumers. The company is targeting two areas: health care, through its $3.9 billion buyout of the primary care company One Medical, and the “smart home,” where it plans to expand its already mighty presence through a $1.7 billion merger with iRobot, the maker of the popular robotic Roomba vacuum.
Gobal shares mixed amid speculation about Fed rate hike
TOKYO (AP) — Global shares are mixed amid speculation about another interest rate raise by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Benchmarks finished lower in Japan, Australia, South Korea and China, but European indexes were mixed, rising in France and Germany while falling in Britain. Oil prices rose. U.S. futures were higher. Investors are grappling with uncertainty over when the highest U.S. inflation in decades will ease, how much the Fed will have to raise interest rates and how much that will slow the economy. Investors will be looking for insight later this week when the Federal Reserve holds its annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
5 tips for creating a budget to support your financial goals
NEW YORK (AP) — Whether you want to pay off debt, start a rainy day fund or save for a family trip, budgeting is the first step toward reaching your financial goals. Colleen McCreary of Credit Karma says creating a budget is a lot like trying to eat better or exercise more. Everyone tells you it’s good for you, but it’s hard to get into the habit. You can start by writing down all of your expenses and thinking about how to allocate funds. One common strategy is spending 50 percent on needs, 30 percent on wants and 20 percent on saving or paying down debt.
German gas storage 80% full, progresses despite Russian cuts
BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s gas storage facilities are now more than 80% full, showing steady progress despite a drastic reduction in deliveries from Russia amid the war in Ukraine. The head of Germany’s network regulator said that storage is “being filled steadily” but cautioned that a planned three-day halt to deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia next week “could temporarily dampen” the effort. Natural gas is used to power industry, heat homes and offices, and generate electricity. Increasing the amount in reserve has been a key focus of the German government since Russia invaded Ukraine to avoid rationing for industry as demand rises in the winter.
Rare earths processor buys rights to mine in Greenland
BEIJING (AP) — One of the world’s few rare earths processors outside China has bought exploration rights to mine in Greenland, opening an avenue for diversifying supplies of the minerals critical for advanced and green technologies. Toronto-based Neo Performance Materials say they plan to ship ores from the mine to their processing plant in Europe within a few years. China dominates global production, but skyrocketing demand and national security concerns in Western countries are pushing companies to look for other sources. Ethical concerns over rare earth mining in military-led Myanmar is also fueling interest in a more transparent supply chain.
Macy’s lowers outlook despite solid second quarter
NEW YORK (AP) — Macy’s reported fiscal second quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates, but lowered its outlook as it faces a glut of inventory it needs to clear out amid a consumer pullback. The New York-based company said it earned $275 million, or 99 cents per share in the three month period that ended July 30. That compares with $345 million, or $1.08 per share in the year ago period. Adjusted per share results was $1 per share. Sales slipped roughly 1% to $5.6 billion. Analysts were expecting 86 cents per share on sales of $5.49 billion, according to FactSet. Sales at stores opened at least a year fell 1.5% but including licensed businesses like cosmetics that figure was down 1.6%. Online sales were down 5%.
Wanted: 7,000 construction workers for Intel chip plants
JOHNSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s largest-ever economic development project is coming with a big employment challenge. Intel announced earlier this year a $20 billion semiconductor manufacturing operation near Columbus. The company says about 7,000 construction workers will be hired to build the two factories ahead of a planned 2025 opening. Those jobs must be filled even though several other big central Ohio construction projects are already employing thousands. The need also comes during a national shortage of construction workers. Intel says finding workers won’t be without its challenges but is confident there’s enough demand that the jobs will be filled.
Ford cutting 3,000 white-collar jobs in bid to lower costs
DETROIT (AP) — About 3,000 white-collar workers at Ford Motor Co. will lose their jobs as the company cuts costs to help make the long transition from internal combustion vehicles to those powered by batteries. Leaders of the Dearborn, Michigan, automaker made the announcement Monday in a companywide email, saying that 2,000 full-time salaried workers would be let go along with another 1,000 contract workers. The salaried worker cuts are about 6% of the work force of 31,000 in the U.S. and Canada. Ford’s 56,000 union factory workers are not affected. The cuts will come across the company in the U.S., Canada and India. Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley said in the email that Ford will provide benefits and significant help for workers to find new jobs.
Cineworld considers bankruptcy as cinema struggles continue
LONDON (AP) — Cineworld Group says it’s considering a U.S. bankruptcy filing for Chapter 11 protection, as it contends with billions of dollars in debt and more empty seats at its screens than expected. One of the world’s largest movie theater chains, the owner of Regal Cinemas in the United States said Monday that bankruptcy is one option it’s weighing amid a financial crunch. Cineworld faces challenges specific to itself after building up $4.8 billion in net debt. But the entire industry is navigating a tenuous recovery after the pandemic shut theaters worldwide. Box-office revenue has rebounded this summer, but it’s still running nearly 20% below pre-pandemic levels.
Pfizer seeks OK of updated COVID vaccine booster for fall
Pfizer has asked U.S. regulators to authorize its combination COVID-19 vaccine that adds protection against the newest omicron relatives. The move Monday is a key step toward opening a fall booster campaign. The Food and Drug Administration ordered vaccine makers to tweak their shots to target BA.4 and BA.5 that are better than ever at dodging immunity from earlier vaccination or infection. If the FDA quickly clears the combo shots made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, boosters could be offered within weeks. Moderna is expected to file a similar application soon.