Inflation drives up retail spending

0

____

Retail sales up 1% in June, easing fears of a recession

NEW YORK (AP) – Consumers increased their spending from May to June, underscoring their resilience despite painfully high prices at the gas pump and in grocery store aisles and allaying fears that the economy is on the brink of collapse. a recession. Retail sales in the United States rose 1% in June, after falling 0.1% in May. The figures are not adjusted for inflation and therefore largely reflect higher prices, especially for gas. But they also show that consumers continue to provide crucial support to the economy. At the same time, the spending gain is modest enough that it probably does not encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates even more aggressively. Shares rose after the report was released.

____

Fired Southwest flight attendant wins $5.1 million verdict

DALLAS (AP) — A former Southwest Airlines flight attendant has won a $5.1 million verdict against the airline and the union for its flight attendants. Charlene Carter alleged that Southwest unlawfully fired her in 2017 at the union’s request regarding anti-abortion messages she sent to the union’s president. A jury in the Dallas Federal District Court returned the verdict Thursday. Carter was unhappy with what she saw as the union’s support for flight attendants who attended a protest march against President Donald Trump in Washington. Southwest believed that her posts, in which she could be identified as a company employee, were offensive and that the private messages to the union president constituted harassment.

___

Biden intervenes in rail contract fight to block strike

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — President Joe Biden has blocked a freight railroad strike that would disrupt shipments of all kinds of goods for at least 60 days by appointing a board of arbitrators to mediate the contract dispute. The decision announced Friday will keep 115,000 rail workers on the job while arbitrators work out a set of contract recommendations for both sides to consider. A new round of negotiations is planned after the publication of these recommendations. If the railroads and their 12 unions fail to agree on a contract within the next 60 days, Congress will likely step in to prevent a strike by voting to impose terms or taking other action.

___

A 5 letter word for fun? Hasbro and NYT create a Wordle board game

The company that makes some of the world’s most iconic board games, including Scrabble, Monopoly and Clue, is developing a new one based on Wordle, the obsessively popular digital guessing game. Hasbro Inc. and Wordle owner The New York Times announced on Thursday that Wordle: The Party Game will be available for purchase in North America in October. In the free online version, players get six tries to guess a five-letter word. The downside is that it can only be played once per day. The board game will give players the opportunity to play against others and play as much as they want.

___

Some schools are building affordable housing to retain teachers

DALY CITY, Calif. (AP) — A San Francisco Bay Area school district built subsidized housing for teachers and staff who couldn’t afford market rent. More districts in California and the United States are exploring the idea as rent and house prices spiral out of reach. In West Virginia, the American Federation of Teachers helped build a housing complex with teacher apartments and retail stores. But such projects face obstacles, including refusal from residents. The Jefferson Union High School District in San Mateo County, California, wants to develop more apartments, but a community garden is against it. Skeptics wonder if schools should even get into housing development.

____

Wells Fargo profits fall as higher rates curb homebuyers

Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, saw sales and profits decline in the second quarter as rising interest rates pushed people out of the housing market. The San Francisco bank earned $3.1 billion in the period, or 74 cents per share, below the 80 cents per share analysts expected. Revenue was $17 billion, also below Wall Street projections. Wells’ revenue from its home lending division fell 53% in the period as the housing market cooled in the face of rapidly rising interest rates. These higher rates allowed Wells to charge customers more for other loans. The shares rose more than 4%.

____

Enrollment surge, Optum Health propels UnitedHealth into Q2

UnitedHealth Group raised its 2022 guidance on Friday after lifting both growing health insurance enrollment and its new care delivery business to a better-than-expected second quarter. The healthcare giant said a nearly 9% increase in Medicare Advantage customers pushed its total enrollment to more than 51 million people. UnitedHealth Group operates UnitedHealthcare, one of the nation’s largest insurers. But it has also invested for several years in its Optum segment, which provides care, manages prescription plans and offers technology support. Revenue for this segment increased 18% to approximately $45.1 billion in the quarter

____

Ukrainian rescuers track Vinnytsia airstrike survivors

VINNYTSIA, Ukraine (AP) — Rescue teams with sniffer dogs scour the debris in a town in central Ukraine in search of people still missing after the devastating Russian missile strike that killed at least 23 people and injured more than 100 others. Russian forces have pounded other sites in Ukraine in a relentless push to wrest territory from Ukraine and try to soften the unyielding morale of its leaders, troops and civilians. Cruise missile strikes on the town of Vinnytsia launched by a Russian submarine on Thursday marked the latest carnage to stoke international outrage since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military invasion of Ukraine in February. Meanwhile, Russia has said progress is being made on a plan to get stranded Ukrainian grain to the world.

____

Italy enters into political uncertainty after the refusal of the 5 stars

ROME (AP) — Italy is entering five days of political and financial uncertainty after the 5 Star Movement sparked a government crisis by refusing to back a government-sponsored bill. On the immediate horizon are behind-the-scenes consultations to see if Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi could be persuaded to try to find a new majority or should prepare for a snap election as soon as September. Analysts said the Italian president wisely tried to keep Draghi in power, as the former head of the European Central Bank is seen as a pillar of fiscal stability. A lawmaker blasted the 5 Star Movement, saying it made the Kremlin happy to see Draghi weakened. Draghi supported European military aid to Ukraine.

____

Dockers’ strike hits cargo handling at German ports

BERLIN (AP) — Dockworkers at German North Sea ports are on strike in the latest of several walkouts that have added to pressures on shipping as their union demands a steep pay rise to counter high inflation. The 48-hour strike, which ends Saturday morning, has largely paralyzed cargo handling at major German ports, including Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven. It follows a 24-hour walkout in June and a previous warning strike by a team. However, there will be no further strikes until the end of August under an agreement reached at the Hamburg labor court on Thursday evening. The shipping industry has already been disrupted by a variety of issues, including coronavirus restrictions in China.

____

The S&P 500 rose 72.78 points, or 1.9%, to 3,863.16. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 658.09 points, or 2.2%, to 31,288.26. The Nasdaq gained 201.24 points, or 1.8%, to 11,452.42. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index rose 36.87 points, or 2.2%, to 1,744.37.

___

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.