Business highlights: infrastructure, outlook for the Fed’s throttling



Big win for infrastructure bill of 1 ton: Dems, GOP come together

WASHINGTON (AP) – With a robust vote after weeks of attempts, the Senate approved the bipartisan infrastructure plan worth $ 1 trillion. A rare coalition of Democrats and Republicans joined forces on Tuesday to provide a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s agenda. Passage adds momentum as it is now heading for the house. The package would provide nearly $ 550 billion in new spending on roads, bridges, broadband internet, water pipes, and other public construction systems over five years. Biden said it shows that “democracy can still work”. The Senate is turning to Biden’s larger package, a $ 3.5 trillion plan, the debate that is likely to extend into the fall.


Bullard: Robust employment growth supports Fed cut “soon”

WASHINGTON (AP) – Last week’s labor market report showed the continued strength of the US economy and underscored the need for the Federal Reserve to curb its stimulus measures, a Fed official said Tuesday. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said Friday’s report, which showed healthy jobs growth of 943,000 last month, means the economy is making sufficient progress to accommodate the Fed’s monthly bond purchases Reduce or throttle the amount of 120 billion US dollars. These purchases are designed to lower longer-term interest rates and stimulate the economy.


Tenn. Nissan plant will be closed for 2 weeks due to lack of chips

DETROIT (AP) – Nissan says its huge factory in Smyrna, Tennessee will be closed for two weeks starting Monday. The shutdown is due to a shortage of computer chips caused by a coronavirus outbreak in Malaysia. The shutdown is one of the longest at a U.S. auto plant of this size since the semiconductor shortage began late last year. The shortage has hampered auto production worldwide. Nissan said in a statement Tuesday that it had run out of chips due to a COVID-19 outbreak at a chip factory in Malaysia. Production is expected to resume on August 30th. The 6 million square foot Tennessee factory employs 6,700 people and makes six Nissan models, including the small Rogue SUV, its best-selling vehicle.


Facebook bans company behind Pfizer, AstraZeneca smear campaign

PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) – Facebook has removed hundreds of accounts connected to a disinformation network operating out of Russia trying to smear COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca. The company said Tuesday that it had banned the advertising firm behind the campaign that had offered to pay social media influencers in Europe if they post their misleading content. The plan backfired when two of these influencers revealed the network. Facebook said it traced the content to a company called Fazze, which operates out of Russia. Messages solicited for comments by Faze’s parent company were not returned on Tuesday.


The Kansas City Southern railroad bidding war reignites

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) – Canadian Pacific has jumped back into the bidding war for Kansas City Southern with an increased bid of $ 31 billion for the U.S. railroad. But the latest offer remains lower than the competing $ 33.6 billion offer from Canadian National, which Kansas City Southern accepted back in May. Still, Canadian Pacific’s new offering will give Kansas City Southern shareholders more food for thought before they vote on the CN deal on August 19th. Investors are also waiting to see if the US Surface Transportation Board approves a key portion of the CNs plans to acquire Kansas City Southern, and that decision could be made any day.


Stocks rise as banks, industrial companies offset the technology slide

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks ended another jagged day on Wall Street Tuesday, mostly higher, as gains in banks and elsewhere in the market outweighed a decline in tech companies. The S&P 500 index rose 0.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5%. The Nasdaq lost 0.5%. Crude oil rose 2.7% after collapsing the previous day. Grocer Sysco rose 6.5% after posting results much better than analysts expected. Kansas City Southern rose 7.5% after Canadian Pacific raised its bid on the railroad operator, reigniting a bidding war with Canadian National. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.35%.


Without the “right to repair”, companies lose time and money

NEW YORK (AP) – As software and other technology flow into more products, manufacturers are making these products increasingly difficult to repair, which can cost business owners time and money. Manufacturers of products ranging from smartphones to farm equipment can withhold repair tools and create software-based locks that prevent even simple updates unless they’re done by a company-authorized repair facility. This can cost independent repair shops valuable business and countless man hours to source parts. Farmers can lose thousands waiting for authorized dealers to fix faulty equipment. And consumers end up paying more for repairs – or for items to be replaced entirely.


Robinhood buys shareholder communications company Say

NEW YORK (AP) – Robinhood, the trading app that brought millions of new investors to the stock market, is buying a company that helps people communicate with the companies whose stocks they buy. Robinhood Markets announced Tuesday that it had agreed to buy Say Technologies for approximately $ 140 million in cash. Say helps publicly traded companies hear what questions their investors want answered and helps investors vote at company annual meetings.


The S&P 500 rose 4.40 points, or 0.1%, to 4,436.75. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 162.82 points, or 0.5%, to 35,264.67. The Nasdaq fell 72.09 points, or 0.5%, to 14,788.09 points. The Russell 2000 Smaller Business Index gained 4.55 points, or 0.2%, to 2,239.36 points.

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