Business News Archives for 2024-04

AM Business Notebook

>>FOMC Meeting

(Undated)  --  It's a busy week in terms of first-quarter earnings, with more than 150 companies reporting results.  Chief among them are big names like Apple and Amazon.  On top of that, the Federal Reserve kicks off a two-day meeting today with an announcement on interest rates coming Wednesday.  Friday brings the monthly jobs report with most analysts expecting a drop from the previous month's 303-thousand new jobs added.  


>>Elon Musk Needs Lawyer's Permission To Tweet

(Washington, DC)  --  Elon Musk is stuck with the terms of an agreement he reached with the SEC, requiring a lawyer to review his posts to social media about Tesla.  He's been fighting the deal, saying it's unconstitutional.  But the U.S. Supreme Court is refusing to take up the challenge.  The so-called "Twitter sitter" provision came back in 2018, when Musk was trying to take Tesla private.  The feds said his tweets at the time were "materially false and misleading," which violated securities law.   


>>Kaiser Permanente Announces Data Breach Affecting Millions 

(Sacramento, CA)  --  The health care company Kaiser Permanente is announcing a major data breach.  It involves a data transmission to tech companies that may have included some members' personal information.  The third-party vendors involved are Google, Microsoft, Bing, and X - formerly Twitter.  Kaiser is notifying 13.4 million current and former members of the breach.  The information released apparently did not include sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, or financial information.  However, it did include IP addresses, names, information indicating a member or patient's access to Kaiser's services, and search terms used in the health encyclopedia. 


>>Detroit NFL Draft Economic Impact Could Be Higher Than $175M

(Detroit, MI)  --  Detroit tourism officials say the economic impact of the attendance record-breaking NFL Draft crowd could exceed 150 to 175-million-dollars.  Visit Detroit President and CEO Claude Molinari says they are still finalizing the impact and will have a final report by June, but he predicts the amount will exceed the estimates.  An estimated 775-thousand people attended the event while another 34-million people watched the draft on TV.  Mayor Mike Duggan says the city should be proud of the warm welcome they provided last week. 


>>Peacock Announces Price Hike

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  NBC Universal's Peacock streaming service will see a price hike just before the Summer Olympics.  The monthly subscription fee for Peacock Premium will jump two-dollars to seven-99 starting July 18th for new subscribers.  Meanwhile, the price for the mostly ad-free Peacock Premium Plus will go up to 13-99 a month.  The new prices will go into effect for exisiting subscribers in August.

AM Business Notebook

>>Buying A Home More Expensive Than Ever

(Undated)  --  Buying a home is now more expensive than ever.  A new report from Redfin found the median home price in the United States is now over 383-thousand-dollars, a record high.  The economic research lead with Redfin says prices may drop slightly in the coming months, but buyers should accept that "housing costs are likely to remain elevated for the foreseeable future."  The median down payment is also up 24-percent compared to last year, at around 56-thousand-dollars.  


>>FCC Votes To Restore Net Neutrality

(Washington, DC)  --  The Federal Communications Commission is voting to restore net neutrality rules. The rules block broadband providers from stopping internet traffic to some websites and speeding up access to sites that pay extra fees. The FCC Chair said the pandemic "changed life as we know it," making net neutrality more important than ever. Net neutrality rules were passed in 2015 and rolled back under former President Trump in 2017.


>>Colombia Restricts U.S. Beef Imports Over Bird Flu

(Washington, DC)  --  Colombia has become the first country to restrict the import of U.S. beef due to cows testing positive for bird flu.  The USDA announced on its website this week that the South American country is banning beef products from cattle slaughtered in eight U.S. states where dairy cows have tested positive for the avian influenza.  Earlier in the week, the USDA said starting Monday it will require all dairy cattle being moved between states to be tested for bird flu, which has been found in 33 dairy herds across the U.S. since late March.  No U.S. beef cattle, so far, have tested positive for bird flu.


>>Airlines Required To Issue Cash Refunds For Significant Delays

(New York, NY)  --  President Biden's crack down on corporate junk fees is a centerpiece of his economic program and now airlines are being held to account.  The Biden administration has announced new rules for airlines, requiring them to be more transparent about extra fees, and issue cash refunds automatically in certain cases.  The rules make clear that airlines must automatically give passengers a full refund when flights are canceled or significantly changed, when baggage return is delayed significantly, or when customers do not receive in-flight amenities that they paid for like Wi-Fi.  It'll also require that airlines list all extra fees "clearly and accurately" on their websites when providing fare prices.  The provisions will be implemented on individual timelines ranging from six months to two years.


>>Above Average Auto Loan Delinquencies In The US

(New York, NY)  --  Auto loan delinquency is increasing in all fifty states.  That's according to Wallethub data, which reveals where delinquencies are increasing the most.  The top five states where auto delinquencies have increased the most are Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Georgia, and Rhode Island.  In each of these states the average number of loan delinquencies in the fourth quarter of 2023 were above 11-percent. For Washington, the increase was almost 13-percent from Q-3 to Q-4 of last year.  To determine the states most delinquent on auto loans WalletHub analyzed data on consumer delinquency rates between Q-3 and Q4 of 2023.


>>Alphabet Announces Its First-Ever Dividend

(New York, NY)  --  The company that owns Google is announcing its first-ever dividend.  Alphabet on Thursday announced a dividend of 20 cents per share and a stock buyback of 70-billion dollars.  Stock in the company surged nearly 16 percent after the bell, increasing its stock market value by about 300-billion dollars to over two trillion.  


>>"The Onion" Sold To New Company

(Chicago, Il)  --  "The Onion" has been sold.  G-O Media announced on Thursday that the satirical news outlet has been purchased by a new firm called Global Tetrahedron, who got their name from The Onion.  The CEO of G-O Media says the new firm is made up of digital media veterans who have"a profound love" for The Onion, and they have agreed to keep the entire staff intact in Chicago, where the publication has been based since 2012.  The price of the deal has not been disclosed.

AM Business Notebook

>>Biden To Announce Chip Deal With Micron

(Syracuse, NY) -- The Biden administration is making a preliminary agreement with semiconductor maker Micron, another investment through the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act. The President will announce the six-billion-dollar deal with the Idaho-based company today in Syracuse, New York. The money will go to support two chip manufacturing hubs in New York and Idaho.


>>Trump Media Calls For Congressional Investigation

(New York, NY) -- Trump Media is calling on Congress to investigate potential illegal activity driving its share price down. The company, which owns social media platform Truth Social, suspects strong indications of unlawful manipulation of its stock. After hitting a high of 79-dollars per share on its first day of trading, the stock soon dropped to as low as 22-dollars per share. The shares rose to nearly 34-dollars in Wednesday trading.


>>Chamber Of Commerce, Business Groups Sue FTC Over Noncompete Ban

(Washington, DC) -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is suing the Federal Trade Commission over its banning of noncompete agreements. The FTC voted Tuesday to block new noncompete agreements and require employers not to enforce current noncompetes, with an exception for senior executives. Business groups argue that these agreements are actually necessary to protect their intellectual property. They accuse the FTC of regulatory overreach.


>>Meta Shares Fall In After Hours Trading

(Menlo Park, CA) -- Meta shares dropped Wednesday in after-hours trading after an underwhelming first quarter earnings report. While the report beat expectations, the company's capital expenditure outlook for the year was increased. Stock fell 15 percent after market close after rising 39 percent so far this year.


>>Google Fires an Additional 20 Employees Over Israel Protest

(Mountain View, CA) -- Google has fired another 20 employees for their involvement in protests over its dealings with Israel. The tech giant has a cloud computing contract with the Israeli military, and pro-Palestinian workers have been staging sit-ins and other forms of protest. This brings the total number of employees fired over the matter to fifty. On April 16th, Google's Sunnyvale, California, and New York City office workers held sit-ins. The company says the workers disrupted operations and damaged company property. A spokesperson for the protesters says some of those fired were bystanders who were not directly participating in the sit-ins.


>>UAW Reacts To Stellantis Layoffs

(Detroit, MI) -- United Auto Workers Union officials are criticizing automaker Stellantis for laying off around 200 workers at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan. Local 1700 President Michael Spencer confirmed the layoffs in an email and called the action "disgusting and a disservice" to union members. Stellantis has said they would be laying off additional employees in the U.S. to deal with changes in the global auto market. UAW President Shawn Fain said the union will make sure Stellantis honors their commitments and criticized CEO Carlos Tavares.


>>Middle Class Money

(Washington, DC) -- A new report can tell you if you're still earning enough to be considered middle class. Finance site SmartAsset analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Pew Research Center to determine the middle class salary range in all 50 states. The national middle class salary range is 49-thousand-271-dollars to 147-thousand-828-dollars. New Jersey has the most drastic difference between lower and upper class incomes. In some states like Mississippi, a middle class salary could be considered wealthy in comparison to other states.

AM Business Notebook

>> FTC Bans Noncompete Agreements

(Washington, DC)  --  The Federal Trade Commission is banning noncompete agreements.  According to the FTC, about 18-percent of the U.S. workforce is covered by these agreements, which stops them from working for competitors or starting a new competing business when leaving a job.  That's about 30-million people.  The rule would ban such agreements for workers and force companies to let current and past employees know they won't be enforced.  Pro-business groups are expected to try to use legal action to block the rule from going into effect.


>>Tesla Reports Lowest Quarterly Earnings Since 2021

(Austin, TX)  --  Tesla yesterday reported its lowest quarterly earnings since 2021.  Despite the report, shares soared after hours as the electric automaker suggested more affordable models are on the way.  First quarter earnings fell 47 percent.  Stock prices jumped more than ten percent after the market closed.


>>Elon Musk Launches X TV App

(Austin, TX)  --  X is launching a dedicated app for smart TVs as it continues pushing video.  Elon Musk's app launched Tuesday, and it includes a trending video algorithm, with topics powered by AI and cross-device compatibility, according to "The Hollywood Reporter."  A note sent to the company's corporate partners says the X TV app won't have any ads at launch, but the company is leaving open the possibility.


>>Housing Is Expensive

(New York, NY)  --  Owning a home is still part of the so-called American Dream, but prices are putting that dream increasingly out of reach.  A new survey from Bankrate found 78 percent of Americans say homeownership is a key part of the dream, more so than a comfortable retirement, successful career or a college degree.  Of those, more than half say they don't have the income to buy a house, or can't afford a down payment and closing costs.  Nearly 70 percent say they're willing to sacrifice and compromise, including downsizing their living space, moving out of state or taking on roommates.


>>Amazon Cancels Drone Delivery in California  

(Undated)  --  Amazon is canceling drone delivery in California.  The e-commerce giant says it is closing Prime Air delivery in the state to expand the service in other areas of the country.  Prime Air uses drones to deliver packages to a customer's backyard within an hour of ordering.  The service is now only available in select cities in Texas, and Amazon hopes to expand soon in Arizona.  There is no word on whether Prime Air will return to California in the future.   Source Staff/acc    Copyright © 2024 TTWN Media Networks Inc.

AM Business Notebook

>>Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Plans To Put U.S. Budget On Blockchain If Elected

(New York, NY) -- Robert F. Kennedy Junior wants the entire U.S. budget available on blockchain if elected. The Independent presidential candidate said during a weekend rally in Michigan that it would allow any American to look at the budget any time. The blockchain is a ledger of transactions that is typically associated with cryptocurrency. Kennedy is familiar with the use of digital assets, accepting campaign donations in bitcoin and discussing his plans to back the U.S. dollar with the cryptocurrency if elected to the White House. The public accounting would aim to allow more transparency into how the government uses taxpayer money.


>>Construction Of Las Vegas To Los Angeles Rail Line Underway

(Las Vegas, NV) -- Construction of the high-speed, electric rail line between Las Vegas and Los Angeles is underway. The route is projected to cut the travel time between the cities from about three-to-four hours to a little more than two. Brightline West is in charge of the 12-billion-dollar project, received three-billion-dollars in federal funding late last year. The 218-mile rail line is expected to open to the public by 2028. Brightline West says it aims to link other U.S. cities that are too close to each other for practical flying.


>>Kroger And Albertsons Sell 166 More Stores Under New Deal

(Undated) -- Kroger and Albertsons are selling 166 more stores. The companies are trying to offload stores to address regulatory concerns that their proposed 25-billion-dollar merger will lead to higher prices and job losses. Under the deal, C&S Wholesale Grocers will pay Kroger nearly three-billion in cash. The 166 stores are added to another over 400 that are being sold to and operated by C&S.


>>Express Inc. Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

(Columbus, OH) -- The popular clothing retailer Express Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close 100 stores across the U.S. Express, which also owns Bonobos and UpWest, said it will close 95 of its Express stores and all of its UpWest locations. The retailer said that it received a non-binding letter of intent from a group of investors to purchase the company. The company has over 500 stores worldwide.

AM Business Notebook

>>Oil Prices Down

(Undated)  --  Oil prices are down slightly.  Brent crude futures fell 67 cents this morning to 86-dollars-and-62 cents a barrel.  West Texas oil dropped 63 cents to 82-51 a barrel.  The prices temporarily spiked more than three dollars Friday after an Israeli attack on Iran. 


>>Trump Media Warns Nasdaq Of Possible Illegal Activity Driving Down Share Prices

(New York, NY)  --  Trump Media is alerting Nasdaq of possible illegal activity driving down share prices.  CEO Devin Nunes wrote a letter to the exchange detailing what he believes is "naked" short selling.  A "naked" sale is when someone sells shares in an asset without first borrowing them or ensuring they could be borrowed.  Typically, traders must first borrow a stock or determine that it can be borrowed before selling it short.  The company, which owns "Truth Social," is down by about 50-percent from its all-time high on March 26th, the day after it went public.


>>TN Volkswagen Workers Vote To Unionize

(Chattanooga, TN)  --  After three attempts to unionize, Volkswagen employees in Tennessee are joining the United Auto Workers union.  On Friday, workers overwhelmingly voted to join the union, making it the last global Volkswagen auto plant to unionize.  The National Labor Relations board states over 26-hundred employees voted in favor of unionization.  The UAW called the move "a historic victory."  President Biden released a statement congratulating the union, saying unions "have helped raise wages and demonstrate once again that the middle-class built America."


>>Tesla Slashes Prices

(Austin, TX)  --  Tesla is dropping prices.  The electric vehicle manufacturer has faced declining sales recently, reducing prices of the Model X, Model Y and Model S by two-thousand dollars.  The company also announced layoffs last week, firing roughly 14-thousand employees


>>Texas Bullet Train Could Begin Construction Within Ten Years

(Austin, TX)  --  An Amtrak executive says construction on a Texas bullet train between Houston and Dallas could get underway within ten years.  Senior Vice President Andy Byford told the Southwestern Regional Rail Conference that the national rail company is working with its partner, Texas Central, to develop the train.  A 2022 ruling by the Texas Supreme Court confirmed that the 240-mile railway project has the authority to acquire the needed land through eminent domain.  When finished, the train should make the trip from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes.


>>"Civil War" Dominates Weekend Box Office 

(Hollywood, CA)  --  Civil War" tops the box office for the second straight weekend.  Set in a divided America ravaged by sectarian violence, the movie earned an estimated eleven-point-two-million-dollars.  "Abigail", the new horror movie from the team behind the recent "Scream" remake, narrowly finished second with ten-point-one-million-dollars.  "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" took third and Guy Ritchie's new action comedy  "The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare" took fourth, both grossing around nine-million-dollars.  "Spy x Family Code: White" [[ Spy Family, Code White ]] rounded out the top five, taking almost five-million.  This was a low grossing weekend, with the domestic box office raking in only about 65-million-dollars in total.

AM Business Notebook

>>Oil Jumps On Israeli Attack

(Undated)  --  Oil priced surged three dollars a barrel overnight after Israel launched an attack on Iran before easing a bit.  Concerns over the potential disruption of Middle East oil was behind the jump.  Israel's action was in retaliation for an Iranian attack on the Jewish state last weekend, itself a retaliation for an Israeli strike on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Syria.


>>UAW Vote Ends Today AT VW Plant

(Chattanooga, TN)  --  Thousands of employees at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee are wrapping up voting today for unionization.  Governor Bill Lee has joined governors from five other states opposing the union.  Pro-union supporters believe the UAW will help improve safety and wages.  This is the third attempt at the plant in recent years to unionize.  Forbes, meanwhile, is reporting the UAW has also received approval for a union vote at two Mercedes-Benz plants in Alabama.  


>>Mortgage Rates Rising

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Prospective homebuyers are feeling the squeeze as mortgage rates rise.  The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate jumped above seven-percent, its highest level in nearly five months.  Rising rates can add hundreds of dollars a month for borrowers.  The timing couldn't be worse with spring being the housing market's busiest time of the year.


>>New York Governor Says Budget Will Prevent Retail Theft

(New York, NY)  --  New York Governor Kathy Hochul says the state's soon-to-be passed budget will help crackdown on retail theft.  She said yesterday that 40-million-dollars of the fiscal plan will go towards dedicated retail theft investigation teams on the state and local level.  The budget also includes legislation that makes it illegal to foster the sale of stolen goods and increases the penalties for criminals who attack retail workers.  Business owners will also have access to a tax credit to cover the cost of security cameras.

AM Business Notebook

>>Initial Jobless Claims Unchanged

(Washington, DC)  --  First time unemployment claims remain unchanged for the week ending April 13th.  There were 212-thousand initial jobless claims, according to the Labor Department.  Analysts had expected the number to be slightly higher at 215-thousand.


>>Boeing Whistleblowers Testify On Capitol Hill 

(Washington, DC)  --  Whistleblowers are accusing airplane manufacturer Boeing of covering up major safety and quality failures.  Boeing quality engineer Sam Salehpour testified during a Congressional hearing yesterday, and warned Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is unsafe to fly due to assembly flaws.  He told lawmakers he raised the issue with leadership for more than three years and was ignored.  His allegations follow an incident in January when a door plug panel off a Boeing plane mid-flight.  Ed Pierson, a former senior manager for Boeing, testified that the Alaskan Airlines incident is part of a "criminal cover-up" by Boeing's corporate leaders. 


>>President Biden Weighs In On Caitlin Clark's WNBA Salary

(Washington, DC)  --  President Biden is weighing in on Caitlin Clark's salary controversy.  The Iowa superstar will earn just over 338-thousand dollars over the next four years after being selected first by the WNBA's Indiana Fever.  By comparison, Spurs rookie star Victor Wembanyama - the Number one pick in last year's NBA Draft - signed a 55-million dollar four-year contract.  Biden posted that while women in sports are pushing boundaries, "even if you're the best, women are not paid their fair share."  The WNBA currently makes 60-million dollars million a season from their TV contracts, while the NBA makes two-point-seven-billion dollars annually.


>>Billionaire Says Paying Taxes Is Patriotic

(Dallas, TX)  --  It has been a rough week for many who got that huge bill from the IRS.  But one of the wealthiest Texans didn't mind.  Mark Cuban took to social media to brag about paying 275-million-dollars in taxes.  He said, "I pay what I owe" and added that he's proud to pay an income tax that he called "patriotic."  The owner of the Dallas Mavericks has a net worth of more than five-billion dollars and says his tax bill is almost all from capital gains. 


>>Tesla Shareholders Asked To Vote On Same Elon Musk Pay Package

(Dover, DE)  --  Tesla shareholders are being asked to vote once again on a pay package for CEO Elon Musk.  The move was just revealed yesterday in a filing with federal regulators.  It's the same as the one that previously passed but was voided by the Delaware court system.  The 2018 plan was created to encourage Musk to hit a series of increasingly difficult-to-achieve financial milestones.  However in January, the plan was struck down when it was revealed that shareholders were not properly informed about the deal.  Musk has not been paid since 2018 for any of his work with Tesla.  The vote is scheduled for June 13th. 


>>Stellantis CEO's Pay Package Approved By Shareholders

(Undated)  -- The CEO of automaker Stellantis will be the highest paid leader of a traditional auto manufacturer after a vote by shareholders.  They approved a pay package totaling 39-million dollars for Carlos Tavares.  The move came despite objections from some investment groups.  The move was approved despite criticism of Stellantis in the U.S. and Italy for cutting thousands of jobs.  Tavares has imposed tough policies to reduce costs at the automaker while they shift to build more electric vehicles.

AM Business Notebook

>>FTX Co-Founder Appeals 25-Year Sentence

(New York, NY)  --  FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried [[ freed ]] is appealing his 25-year prison sentence.  The so-called "Crypto King" was sentenced last month on charges of fraud and conspiracy after it was discovered he illegally used client and lenders' money to pay for private planes, land in the Caribbean, and bribes to Chinese officials.  On Thursday, Bankman-Fried appealed the conviction.  His lawyers have argued that a long prison sentence is unfair since investors are expected to get their money back.  


>>Low Income Internet Users Could See Their Monthly Subsidy Halved In May

(New York, NY)  --  The FCC says if Congress doesn't extend the Affordable Connectivity Program, millions of people will lose internet service. The Affordable Connectivity Program is a pandemic-era benefit that provides monthly discounts on internet service to more than 23 million US households, including seniors, veterans and schoolchildren.  When Congress created the program in 2021, it promised low-income households a discount of up to 30-dollars a month on internet service, and it funded the program with a one-time infusion of 14-billion dollars.  Subscribers will now have to pay hundreds of dollars more per year to stay online, or give up internet service entirely. The Biden administration has blamed congressional Republicans for standing in the way of legislation that could renew the ACP.   


>>Producer Price Index Heats Up At Fastest Pace In A Year

(Washington, DC)  --  A key inflation metric is increasing at its fastest pace since this time last year. The Producer Price Index, a measure of inflation at the wholesale level, went up over two-percent for the 12 months ending in March. That's up from just one-point-six-percent in February, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The speed-up comes as the Consumer Price Index also brings up concerns about both inflation and interest rates staying higher for longer.


>>Mortgage Rates On The Rise

(Washington, DC)  --  Mortgage rates are on the rise and could continue further.  According to data from Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged six-point-eight-eight percent this week.  That's up from six-point-eight-two percent the previous week.  While rates have mostly held steady recently, they could potentially cross seven-percent if inflation continues on its hotter-than-expected path. 


>>Amazon Ordered To Pay Chicago-Based Tech Company For Patent Infringement

(Chicago, IL)  --  A federal jury is ordering Amazon to pay more than 500-million-dollars to a Chicago-based tech company for patent infringement.  Kove accused Amazon Web Services of infringement in a lawsuit filed in 2018.  The suit claimed the subsidiary of the e-commerce giant used the firm's technology as a building block for some of its cloud services.  The jury found yesterday that Amazon Web Services infringed on multiple patents invented by Kove. 

AM Business Notebook

>>Biden Believes Fed Will Cut Rates Before End Of Year

(Washington, DC)  --  President Biden says he still believes the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates before the end of the year.  That's what he told reporters yesterday after new data showed inflation increased in March.  Biden emphasized inflation has dropped significantly over the three years he's been in office.  He claimed that his Republican opponents "have no plan" to tackle inflation.  Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 12-month price growth accelerated from three-point-two percent in February to three-point-five percent in March.


>>Redfin: Median Rents Raise For Third Straight Month 

(New York, NY)  --  Rent prices are up for the third straight month.  According to real estate company Redfin, they're also up point-eight-percent from last year.  Median rent as of March is at one-thousand-nine-hundred-and-87-dollars.  Rents had cooled in the previous three-month period, but they're now beginning to rise again along with inflation. 


>>eBay Adds AI-Powered "Shop to Look" Feature

(San Jose, CA)  --  eBay is adding a generative AI-powered "shop the look" feature.  App users who are fashion enthusiasts will see suggestions to compliment their current wardrobes based on their shopping history. The new feature is initially available only on iPhones.


>>Experts Predict Record-Breaking Summer Travel Season

(Undated)  --  Experts say this summer will bring record-breaking travel numbers.  Close to five-billion people are expected to travel around the world, breaking a previous record and surpassing pre-pandemic levels.  In the United States, over 90-percent of Americans say they plan to take a trip.  Despite this, many airlines have slowed their operations due to uncertainty around Boeing planes after the company's problems.

AM Business Noteook

>>Boeing Quarterly Plane Deliveries Drop

(Chicago, IL)  --  Boeing aircraft deliveries slumped in the first quarter as it struggled with safety issues.  The company delivered 83 planes in the three months that ended on March 31st.  That's down from 157 in the previous quarter.  The latest numbers come after a door plug blew out from an Alaska Airlines Flight involving a Boeing 737 Max 9 in early January.  


>>Spirit Airlines Cuts

(Miramar, FL)  --  Spirit Airlines is deferring aircraft deliveries to the end of 2026 and will furlough around 260 pilots this year.  They say this will boost cash to the airline by about 340-million-dollars over the next two years.  Spirit President and Chief Executive Ted Christie says the airline will offer an investor update by April 15th.  Spirit's flight attendants' union told its members there is no plan to furlough cabin crew, but voluntary time-off programs will be offered. 


>>VW Employees Prep For UAW Vote

(Chattanooga, TN)  --  Employees at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee are gearing up to vote for unionization next week.  Republican Governor Bill Lee has gone on the record as saying workers should think about their decision to unionize which he believes would be "a big mistake."  Pro-union supporters believe the UAW will help improve safety and wages.  The vote is scheduled to be held April 17th through the 19th.  


>>Graduate Student Strike Continues At BU

(Boston, MA)  --  A strike by about three thousand unionized graduate student workers at Boston University is now in its second week.  They work as researchers and as teaching assistants and they are at odds with the university over wages, health care benefits and work loads.  BU sent a letter to faculty and staff this week claiming the union has rejected an offer of federal mediation for contract negotiations. 


>>Record Number Of U.S. Cities Boast $1 MIllion Homes

(Seattle, WA)  --  A record number of U.S. cities now have million-dollar homes.  A new analysis by Zillow shows 550 places where a typical home is worth than a million dollars.  That beats the previous record of 522 cities when home values peaked in 2022.  Zillow's chief economist says this year's gain reflects high demand and tight supply in the housing market.  California, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Massachusetts top the 2024 list with the most million-dollar cities.

AM Business Notebook

>>Biden Announces New Actions On Student Debt 

(Madison, WI)  --  President Biden is laying out a new plan to forgive student loan debt.  While visiting Madison, Wisconsin Monday, Biden announced a set of actions he says would benefit tens of millions of Americans.  Among them is forgiving unpaid interest for individuals who now owe more on their loans than they originally borrowed.  The plan would also forgive some debt for borrowers who have carried their loans for decades.   It's the latest attempt by Biden to cancel student debt after the Supreme Court blocked his sweeping cancellation plan last year.  The administration plans to propose the new regulations for public comment in the coming months, and it's expected to face legal challenges. 


>>Biden, Kishida To Meet Wednesday

(Washington, DC)  --  President Biden meets with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Wednesday in Washington, where the two are expected to announce several new agreements.  A new deal on bolstering chipmaking and strengthening supply chains will likely be on the table.  Before leaving for the U.S. Monday, Kishida said he wants to reinforce the fact that the U.S. and Japan are global partners.  


>>Schumer Concerned With Capital One Proposed Takeover Of Discover 

(New York, NY)  --  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is concerned about Capital One's proposed acquisition of Discover.  The New York Democrat put out a statement saying less competition in the credit card marketplace could mean higher interest rates, bigger fees and higher penalties.  Capital One responded saying the potential acquisition will lead to strong benefits for consumers and merchants and that the company looks forward to working with Senator Schumer and his staff to address their questions.  Capital One is awaiting approval from regulators to take over Discover. 


>>Atlanta Former CFO Pleads Guilty

(Atlanta, GA)  --  A former chief financial officer for the city of Atlanta is facing potential prison time.  Jim Beard entered a guilty plea yesterday to federal program theft yesterday.  He was accused of using a city credit card to pay for thousands-of-dollars in personal expenses before he left office in 2018.  Eight others have already been sentenced to prison for anything ranging from bribery to fraud connected to City Hall when Kasim Reed was mayor.

AM Business Notebook

>>Solar Eclipse Could Bring Boom To Businesses

(Undated)  --  Today's solar eclipse will briefly block out the sun, but it's expected to shine some light into the economy.  As millions prepare to witness the rare celestial event, experts are forecasting upwards of a one-point-five-billion-dollar boost to businesses within the eclipse's corridor.  Lodging and travel, such as Airbnb, hotels and airlines, will be the major beneficiaries with an estimated four million travelers on the move along its path from Texas to Maine.  Retailers are also expected to continue seeing an uptick in sales for eclipse-related products, from viewing glasses to portable chairs.  History shows the stock market is likely to have a positive response with the Dow finishing the year with notable gains 10 times out of 13 total solar eclipse events since 1900.


>>Experts Warn Against Fake Eclipse Glasses

(Washington, DC)  --  Experts are warning people about fake eclipse glasses.  The American Astronomical Society is reminding stargazers to wear only approved eclipse glasses to watch today's event, and to make sure they aren't counterfeit.  Real eclipse glasses are specially made to block almost all visible light, but the AAS notes the market is full of cheap knockoffs that could cause blindness.  The society has provided a list of reputable makers of eclipse eye protection, for the roughly 32 million people who will be able to see the total solar eclipse where they live.


>>Brazilian Judge Orders Inquiry Into Elon Musk

(Brasilia)  --  A Brazilian supreme court judge is opening an inquiry into Elon Musk after Musk said he would reactivate some accounts on his social media platform X.  The accounts in question had been ordered blocked by the judge.  Musk countered by saying he would re-instate the accounts and that the judge should resign.  It's not clear which accounts were ordered blocked but the judge is investigating fake news and hate messages spread online during the presidency of far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro [[ JAA-eer BOL-zo-na-ro ]].  The judge is threatening fines of nearly 20-thousand-dollars a day if Musk does not comply.


>>Meta Wants Antitrust Case Dismissed

(Undated)  --  Facebook parent company Meta is asking a federal judge to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust case against them.  The FTC sued Meta back in 2020, claiming the company illegally maintained a monopoly on personal social media by its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp.  Now, Meta claims the Federal Trade Commission has failed to provide plausible evidence in their ongoing antitrust lawsuit.  The social media giant has asked the judge to dismiss the case entirely.  


>>Apple Lays Off Hundreds 

(Santa Clara, CA)  --  Apple is laying off over 600 people from eight different locations in Santa Clara, California.  No layoffs are scheduled for the company's main campus in Cupertino.  The tech company filed a WARN Notice about the planned layoffs but did not say if it was in relation to any projects.  Those notified will be out of work effective late next month

AM Business Report

>>303,000 New Jobs Added In March 

(Washington, DC)  --  The monthly jobs report is more than meeting expectations.  The Labor Department reports the economy added 303-thousand new jobs in March, far exceeding the 200-thousand most analysts had forecast.  The unemployment rate saw little change, coming in at three-point-eight percent.


>>NY AG Wants Trump To Prove He Can Post Bond

(New York, NY)  --  New York's Democratic attorney general wants the company providing Donald Trump his 175-million-dollar bond to prove it actually has the money.  Letitia [[ lah-tee-sha ]] James asked an appeals court Thursday to make Trump provide the proof in case his appeal of his civil case fails.  James won a 454-million judgment against Trump after he was found guilty of over-inflating the value of his properties to get more favorable bank loans. The bond paused the judgment while Trump appeals the verdict.  If the court agrees with James, Trump will have 10 days to prove the company is solvent.  


>>Disney+ To Begin Password Sharing Crackdown In June

(New York, NY)  --  Disney-Plus will start cracking down on password sharing this summer.  In an interview with CNBC Thursday, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the crackdown will begin in June in some countries.  It will then expand to other countries in September.  This comes after streaming rival Netflix has seen a jump in subscribers since it started restricting password sharing last May.  Hulu, another of Disney's streaming services, began to limit how often account login information can be shared outside a customer's household last month.


>>Ford Delays EV Pickup Truck And SUV Rollout

(Dearborn, MI)  --  Ford is delaying production for its new electric pickup truck and SUV.  This comes as the demand for EV's hasn't developed the way executives had hoped.  But the Michigan-based company will continue to expand its hybrid vehicle offerings with the hopes of "hybrid powertrains" across its gas-powered car lineup by the end of the decade.  Ford is pushing back its EV pickup truck and SUV rollout  to 2026 an 2027.


>>NASA Names Three Firms To Develop Lunar Rover

(Washington, DC)  --  NASA is awarding contracts to three private U.S. companies to create lunar rovers for the upcoming Moon mission.  The space agency on Wednesday said Intuitive Machines of Texas, Lunar Outpost of Colorado and Venturi Astrolab of California were chosen to create designs for the rover.  One of those companies will be chosen to carry out a test run for the Artemis Five mission, which will send astronauts to the Moon in 2029.  NASA says the winning bid will be tasked with handling the "extreme conditions at the Moon's south pole."  It will be the first astronaut mission to the Moon since 1972.  

AM Business Notebook

>>Federal Reserve Considers Leaving Rates High For Longer

(Washington, DC)  --  It appears the Federal Reserve won't be cutting interest rates anytime soon. That comes after higher-than-expected inflation readings for the beginning of the year.  Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that it's "too soon to say whether the recent readings represent more than just a bump." Interest rates currently stand at five-and-a-quarter and five-and-a-half. 


>>Senator Bernie Sanders Advocates For Four Day Work Week

(Washington, DC)  --  Senator Bernie Sanders is advocating for a four-day work week.  The Independent lawmaker from Vermont wrote a CNN op-ed saying "the wealthiest people in this country have never had it so good." Sanders said a 32-hour work week with no loss in pay is an important step in standing up for working families. He cited a study by the Rand Corporation, which notes that while the wealthy are doing well, weekly wages for the average American worker have actually gone down, adjusting for inflation.


>>Report: Spotify Planning Price Increases

(New York, NY)  --  Spotify users will see another price jump this year.  That's according to a report from Bloomberg.  The outlet says the music streaming service plans to raise the price for individual subscription plans by a dollar and two dollars for duos and family subscribers later this year.  Spotify last raised monthly subscription prices to about eleven-dollars for individuals and around 17-bucks for families last July.  Bloomberg also reports Spotify will also begin to offer a new music and podcasts only subscription tier for eleven-dollars a month, with audiobooks costing extra for those subscribers.


>>Taxpayers Should Take Precautions Against Fraudsters

(New York, NY)  --  Tax Day is less than two weeks away, but there's still ample time for fraudsters to try to steal filers' personal information.  If you receive an email, text, or call from an unknown company offering to assess your potential tax savings or get you a bigger refund, be wary.  One of the easiest ways to spot a scam is when a taxpayer hires someone to prepare a return and information on the paid preparer section is missing or says "self-prepared."  The IRS says it will never initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text, or social media. The IRS received over 290-thousand and complaints of identity theft last year - and identified more than five-point-five billion in tax fraud.  Tax Day is April 15th.


>>Iger Discusses Disney's Future 

(Anaheim, CA)  --  Disney's critics may like what CEO Bob Iger is saying.  Iger said during yesterday's shareholder meeting that Disney's job is not to advance any kind of agenda.  He says its job is to entertain, first and foremost.  Iger also told shareholders that they've turned the corner and entered a new positive era for the Walt Disney Company. 


>>Florida Governor DeSantis Signs Food Delivery Bill Into Law

(Tallahassee, FL)  --  Florida is trying to toughen regulations for food delivery platforms.  Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law this week that will give the state regulatory control over the services, like UberEats and GrubHub.  It will also require the platforms to have the consent of restaurants before taking orders.  The goal is to prevent companies from altering prices listed at local businesses. 

AM Business Notebook

>>Possible Fed Rate Cuts Remain Unclear 

(Cleveland, OH)  --  A top official is throwing cold water on the chance of an interest rate cut anytime soon.  Cleveland's Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said she's unlikely to support a cut at the Fed's May meeting.  She doesn't expect to have enough data by that time to determine whether inflation is headed back down to its two-percent target for sure.  More on where things are headed will likely be revealed today when Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at the Stanford Business, Government, and Society Forum in Stanford, California. 


>>Tesla Sales Fall As EV Competition Rises

(Austin, TX)  --  Tesla sales are falling with rising competition in the electric vehicle manufacturing sector. That comes even with the Austin-based company lowering prices. Tesla said it delivered nearly 387-thousand vehicles from January through March 2024. That's down from the same period last year, when the Elon Musk-led company delivered more than 484-thousand. The company attributes the decline partly to factories shutting down with shipping difficulties in the Red Sea, along with a German factory losing power from an arson attack.


>>NYC's Congestion Pricing Plan Heads To Court

(Newark, NJ)  --  A federal judge will hear arguments today over New York City's plan to charge a 15-dollar toll for cars driving into Manhattan.  The first-in-the-nation so-called "congestion pricing" plan is supported by the city's transit authority and the federal government as a way to reduce traffic and pollution in the city.  New Jersey is opposed to the law, arguing it won't do much except place a burden on thousands of commuters from the Garden State.  


>>Disneyland Is Dumping Gas-Powered Autopia Cars

(Anaheim, CA)  --  Disneyland is sending Autopia's gas-powered cars to the junk heap. The miniature cars of the future were originally designed in the 1950s for the theme park's Tomorrow Land. But in today's world, the attraction's exhaust fumes are a constant reminder of yesterday.  Disneyland plans to electrify the attraction within the next few years as part of a park-wide push for sustainability.  


>>Taylor Swift Joins Forbes Billionaires List

(New York, NY)  --  Taylor Swift is on Forbes' World's Billionaires list. The singer-songwriter ranked at number two-thousand-545 on this year's list with a one-point-one billion-dollar net worth. According to Forbes, Swift is "the first musician to make the ranks solely based on her songs and performances." It also says her fortune includes more than 500-million-dollars in estimated wealth from touring, royalties, and her music catalog on top of about 125-million in real estate.


>>Younger Workers Are Flocking To Skilled Trades

(New York, NY)  --  Enrollment in vocational training programs is surging, while enrollment in community colleges and four-year institutions is falling. According to data from the National Student Clearinghouse, the number of students enrolled in vocational community colleges rose 16-percent last year, construction trades rose 23-percent, and programs covering HVAC and vehicle maintenance increased by seven-percent.  Meanwhile, the median pay for new construction hires rose five-percent to 48-thousand dollars last year.  A Jobber survey of high school and college-age people found that 75-percent said they would be interested in vocational schools offering paid, on-the-job training.

AM Business Notebook

>>Trump Media Shares Take A Significant Hit 

(New York, NY)  --  Shares of Trump Media took a tumble Monday.  Stock in the newly-publicly traded social media company of former President Trump plunged more than 20 percent after the company reported a net loss of 58 million dollars in 2023.  Despite the drop, the company's market value was still more than six-point-eight billion dollars.  A filing with the SEC says TMTG expects to incur operating losses "for the foreseeable future."  It also warns shareholders Trump's involvement in the company could put it at greater risk than other social media companies.


>>United Airlines Asks Pilots To Take Unpaid Time Off In May

(Chicago, IL)  --  United Airlines is asking pilots to take unpaid time off in May.  In a note to pilots, the carrier cited delays in receiving new aircraft from Boeing.  The United chapter of the Airline Pilot's Association notified members it expects the company to offer more voluntary time off potentially through this summer.  United previously indicated it would pause the hiring of new pilots this spring due to Boeing's delivery delays. 


>>Redfin: 1 In Every 3 Home Purchases Made In Cash

(Washington, DC)  --  More than one in every three home purchases in February were made with cash. That's according to a new report from the real estate company Redfin. The new numbers come as mortgage rates remain high. That all-cash purchase rate is close to the record high of 38-percent from 2013. According to Redfin, the median down payment for a house is also up over 24-percent from this time last year.


>>Immediate Pay Raise Announced For NYC Food Delivery Workers 

(New York, NY)  --  Food delivery workers in New York City are getting a pay raise.  Mayor Eric Adams has announced that, effective immediately, the city's minimum wage for app-based restaurant delivery workers is now 19-56 an hour before tips.  It follows last year's hike to nearly 18-dollars an hour and reflects a 2024 increase as well as an adjustment for inflation.  That's a massive leap from the five-39 average that apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub used to pay their delivery workers before the city began enforcing the minimum pay rate in December. 


>>Gen Z Stressing About Filing Tax Returns

(Undated)  --  Generation Z is stressed out about filing a tax return. According to a recent Cash App Taxes survey, one in four members of this age group say they need to see a therapist to deal with tax filing stress.  Tax preparers say it is not uncommon for a Gen Z client to be filing a tax return for the first time.  Often, they are unaware of the basics, like where to get a 1099 or even what a 1099 is.  Generation Z is anyone born between 1997 and 2012.  


>>Controversy Over New EPA Rules On Truck Emissions

(Washington, DC)  --  The EPA is facing push-back over new rules regulating trucking emissions.  This, after the agency approved rules limiting emissions of greenhouse gasses and other pollutants by trucking companies.  The rules are aimed at pushing companies to adopt electric vehicles in order to stay in compliance.  Critics say they will cost trucking companies millions, costs that will get passed on to the consumer.  Supporters insist the rules will save trucking companies money in the long term and provide numerous climate and health benefits.

AM Business Notebook


>>What To Watch For In The Business Week Ahead

(Undated) -- Coming up in the business week ahead, the markets reopen after being closed for Good Friday. Today brings word on construction spending, with job openings data and auto sales numbers the following day. ADP releases its employment report on Wednesday and later in the day Fed Chair Jerome Powell is set to deliver remarks. Weekly jobless claims are out on Thursday and the week wraps up Friday highlighted by the monthly jobs report.


>>Powell: Inflation Data In line With Expectations

(San Francisco, CA) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the latest inflation data is in line with the central bank's expectations. Speaking in San Francisco late last week, Powell said it won't be appropriate to lower interest rates until officials are confident inflation is on track to the Fed's two-percent goal. The Commerce Department's Personal Consumption Expenditures price index shows prices rose three-tenths of a percent last month. Experts say it makes it more likely the Federal Reserve will slow the pace of interest rate cuts this year.


>>California's $20 Fast Food Minimum Wage Starts Today

(Sacramento, CA) -- California's new 20-dollar an hour minimum wage for fast food workers is set to start today. Democrats in the state Legislature passed the law last year saying, more than a half-million workers are not just teenagers trying to earn some spending money. The law was supported by the trade association representing fast food franchise owners.


>>AT&T Confirms Major Breach

(Undated) -- AT&T has announced a major breach in its security. On Saturday, the company confirmed a total of 73-million current and former customer accounts had been leaked to the dark web about two weeks ago. The leaked data, which included customers' social security numbers, appears to be from before 2020. AT&T says they currently have no evidence "of unauthorized access to its systems." An investigation into the breach is ongoing.


>>Kia Recalling Over 400-Thousand Telluride SUVs

(Undated) -- More than 400-thousand cars are being recalled by Kia. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says certain Telluride SUV models could roll away while in park because shaft components may not be fully engaged. The recall includes 2020-2024 model years. No injuries have been reported, but Kia says owners should use the emergency parking brake until their cars are fixed.


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