Fed hopes, new CEO at Starbucks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Runaway inflation has rattled the economy so much it has come to this: If Friday’s jobs report for August were to show a significant slowdown in hiring, the Federal Reserve — and even the White House – would probably welcome it. The government is expected to report that employers added 300,000 jobs last month, according to a survey of economists by data provider FactSet. That would be a steep drop from a dramatic gain of 528,000 in July and an average of around 440,000 over the past three months. A slowdown in the pace of hiring should help moderate wage increases and raise hopes that inflationary pressures are starting to ease.

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Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Deal Under Global Review

WASHINGTON (AP) — Microsoft’s plan to buy video game giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion could have major effects on the gaming industry, turning maker Xbox into something like a Netflix for gamers. video games giving him control of many more popular titles. But to take it to the next level, Microsoft must first survive a deluge of government investigations from New Zealand to Brazil, and US regulators encouraged by President Joe Biden to step up their antitrust enforcement. In the UK, regulators on Thursday threatened to step up their investigation unless the two companies quickly come forward with proposals to assuage competition concerns.

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China demands US drop tech exports after Nvidia warning

BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese government is asking Washington to repeal tech export restrictions after California-based chip designer Nvidia said a new product could be delayed and some work could be delayed. moved out of China. The latest checks add to rising US-China tensions over technology and security. US officials say they must limit the spread of technology that can be used to make weapons. Nvidia said buyers of its A100 graphics processing chips and development of the new H100 could be affected. China’s Commerce Ministry has accused Washington of abusing export controls to limit semiconductor sales to China. He said trade restrictions would disrupt supply chains and global economic recovery.

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EU: US electric vehicle tax credit narrows buyers’ choices

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s trade chief said a new U.S. tax credit aimed at encouraging Americans to buy electric vehicles could potentially backfire and limit U.S. consumer choices. Valdis Dombrovskis held a virtual meeting Thursday with his U.S. counterpart Katherine Tai to address a wide range of trade issues, including the tax credit provision. The European Commission has expressed concern about the “potentially discriminatory nature of the electric vehicle tax credit provision”. Dombrovskis recalled during the call that “discrimination against European manufacturers makes it much more difficult for them to contribute to the electrification of vehicles in the United States, reduces the choice of American consumers when they want to buy electric vehicles”.

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Starbucks appoints former PepsiCo executive as CEO

SEATTLE (AP) — Starbucks has named a longtime PepsiCo executive as its new CEO. The coffee giant said Thursday that Laxman Narasimhan will join Starbucks on October 1 after moving from London to Seattle, where Starbucks is based. He will work closely with Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz until April 1, when he will assume the role of CEO and join the company’s board of directors. Narasimhan was most recently CEO of Reckitt, a UK-based consumer health and nutrition company that makes Lysol cleanser and Enfamil infant formula, among other products. Reckitt had announced Narasimhan’s surprise departure earlier on Thursday.

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Stocks end mixed on Wall Street, S&P 500 gains

NEW YORK (AP) — A late wave of buying erased some of the stock market’s losses, leaving indices mixed on Wall Street at the closing bell. The S&P 500 index of large companies managed to pull off a gain of just over a quarter of a percent, all in the last 10 minutes of trading. The narrow gain ended a four-day losing streak for the benchmark. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also finished about half a percent higher. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite ended lower, as did several measures of small and medium-sized companies. Treasury yields rose and crude oil prices fell.

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Judge refuses to overturn Elizabeth Holmes’ guilty verdict

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday tentatively declined to overturn the jury’s conviction of disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes on four counts of fraud and conspiracy. That leaves the former Silicon Valley star one step closer to jail time. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila will not make that decision final until October 17, when he is due to convict Holmes of misleading investors in his high-profile blood testing startup. Holmes, 38, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, plus compensation, for lying to investors about a Theranos technology she hailed as a breakthrough in the field of health but which, in practice, produced dangerously inaccurate results.

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Mortgage rates climb to 5.66%, weighing on the housing market

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates hit a two-month high this week, bringing no relief to a falling housing market. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year rate rose to 5.66% from 5.55% last week. A year ago, the rate was 2.87%. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, popular among homeowners looking to refinance, jumped to 4.98% from 4.85% last week. A once-hot housing sector has cooled considerably, with many potential buyers squeezed out of the market as higher interest rates have added hundreds of dollars to monthly mortgage payments.

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Fewer Americans claim unemployment benefits last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week as the job market continues to shine despite weaker elements of the U.S. economy. Unemployment assistance claims for the week ending August 27 fell by 5,000 to 232,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week average of claims, which evens out some of the week-to-week volatility, fell by 4,000 to 241,500. Early claims typically reflect layoffs and are often seen as an early indicator of direction of the labor market. Hiring in the United States in 2022 has been remarkably strong even as the country faces rising interest rates and weak economic growth.

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The S&P 500 gained 11.85 points, or 0.3%, to 3,966.85. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 145.99 points, or 0.5%, to 31,656.42. The Nasdaq fell 31.08 points, or 0.3%, to 11,785.13. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index fell 21.30 points, or 1.2%, to 1,822.82.

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