Airlines count on business travelers to keep recovery going
DALLAS (AP) — The summer vacation season is winding down, and for airlines that means the return of business travelers is very important. Leisure travel in the United States is roughly back to pre-pandemic levels, but airlines say business is still about 25% below 2019 levels. Business travelers generally pay higher fares, so the absence of so many of them has an outsized impact on airline revenue and profit. The Global Business Travel Association predicts that corporate travel won’t fully return until mid-2026. Experts say business travel is lagging behind because many white-collar workers still have not returned to their offices, and some trips are being replaced by video meetings.
EXPLAINER: Europe struggles with crisis as Russia cuts gas
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe is struggling to contain an energy crisis as Russia throttles back supplies of natural gas. European officials say it’s a pressure game over their support for Ukraine after Russia’s invasion. The job now is to conserve energy, line up new supplies, and cushion the impact on the poor who can’t afford to pay increasingly higher utility bills. Europe has made some progress in finding new gas supplies by ship and in filling underground gas storage to get through the winter heating season. The goal is to avoid rolling blackouts or widespread shutdowns of energy-intensive industries as the weather gets colder.
Stocks drift mostly lower on Wall Street, extending losses
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks drifted mostly lower on Wall Street, extending the market’s losses into a holiday-shortened week. The S&P 500 was down 0.6% in afternoon trading on Tuesday. Bed Bath & Beyond fell following the death of its chief financial officer. ADT jumped after State Farm said it was taking a stake in the home security company. Trading began at the New York Stock Exchange after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy virtually rang the opening bell. Markets are coming off of a three-week losing streak as investors worry about inflation and the Federal Reserve’s determination to fight it with high interest rates.
EU blocks merger of US firms in cancer screening sector
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission is is blocking the buyout of cancer-screening company GRAIL by biotech giant Illumina. It’s a rare move by European antitrust regulators against two U.S. companies. Illumina is a major supplier of next-generation sequencing systems for genetic and genomic analysis. GRAIL is a health company developing blood tests to try to catch cancer early. Illumina announced an $8 billion buyout of GRAIL in 2020. But the commission says the buyout would have allowed “Illumina to foreclose GRAIL’s rivals, who are dependent on Illumina’s technology, from access to an essential input they need to develop and market their own tests.” Illumina says it will appeal Tuesday’s decision. The merger was approved in the U.S. last week.
Bed Bath & Beyond names Laura Crossen as interim CFO
Bed Bath & Beyond has named its Chief Accounting Officer, Laura Crossen, as interim chief financial officer following the death of Gustavo Arnal. The home goods retailer said in a regulatory filing that Crossen will continue as its principal accounting officer while serving in the interim role. Arnal died on Friday, just days after Bed Bath & Beyond said that it would close stores and lay off workers in a bid to turn around its beleaguered business. Arnal was facing a lawsuit accusing him of taking part in a scheme to inflate the company’s stock price to sell shares for a huge profit.
Russia sends more energy to Asia as Europe cuts back
BERLIN (AP) — A new report says Russia sent significantly more oil and coal to India and China over the summer compared with the start of the year, while European countries that long relied on Russian energy have cut back sharply in response to the war in Ukraine. The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air said Tuesday that Russia received about 158 billion euros in revenue for the sale of oil, natural gas and coal from February to August. More than half of those exports — some 85 billion euros worth — went to the European Union. The report found that the single biggest importer worldwide was China, which bought 35 billion euros worth of Russian energy.
Rents are starting to come down, but the trend may not hold
NEW YORK (AP) — Rents are starting to come down after spiking to record levels this past summer, but experts are uncertain if the slowdown will continue. Christopher Mayer is a professor of real estate at Columbia Business School. He says people looking for an apartment now might have a better experience than they did in May or June. The national median asking rent was up 14% in July over July the previous year. That’s the smallest annual increase since November 2021. Experts say the market could slow further toward the end of the year, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty.
5 tips to make the search for a new apartment easier
NEW YORK (AP) — Finding a new place to rent can be challenging, and skyrocketing rents have made it especially hard this year. But there are things you can do to make the process easier. Rent.com senior managing editor Brian Carberry says that before anything else, you need to ask yourself what your priorities are. If you’re not sure how to calculate how much rent you can afford, Zumper’s Rent Affordability Calculator allows you to estimate how much you can pay per month according to your location, monthly income, and monthly expenses. Then you can consider things like location and amenities.
Australia central bank lifts cash rate to 2.35% in 5th hike
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s central bank has boosted its benchmark interest rate for a fifth consecutive month to a seven-year high of 2.35%.The Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision on Tuesday was the cash rate’s fourth consecutive hike of half a percentage point. When the bank lifted the rate by a quarter percentage point at its monthly board meeting in May, it was the first rate hike in more than 11 years. It’s now at its highest point since Feb. 2015. Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe says there are more rate hikes ahead a monthly board meetings as directors attempt to reduce inflation to a target band of 2% to 3%. Australian inflation is running at 6.1%.
Germany plans to drop mask-wearing mandate on planes
BERLIN (AP) — The German government plans to drop a requirement for people to wear masks on flights to and from the country. But the health minister said Tuesday that it could be reimposed if coronavirus cases rise sharply. The rules mandating masks on flights run through Sept. 23. The smallest party in the coalition government is the libertarian Free Democratic Party. It has pressed for an end to them. The initial draft for this fall’s rules foresaw an obligation to wear N95-type masks on planes as well as long-distance trains and buses. The health minister said Germany’s biggest airline has argued repeatedly that the mandate could no longer be implemented.