Business Highlights: Inflation reading, vote on rail strike

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Fed-tracked inflation gauge slows to still-high 6%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation, closely monitored by the Federal Reserve, eased but remained high in October, keeping interest rates higher to cool the economy and slow inflation This could reinforce the Fed’s intent to Prices in October rose 6% year-on-year, according to a Department of Commerce report. This is down from September’s 6.3% year-on-year increase. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core inflation has stood at 5% over the past 12 months, below September’s annual increase of 5.2%.


Congress votes to avoid rail strike amid dire warnings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation to avoid freight train strikes in the United States is on President Joe Biden’s desk. A bill to avert the strike was finally approved on Thursday, clearing the Senate in a bipartisan vote. It is binding on the proposed settlement. The settlement proposal had been rejected by four of his 12 unions involved, raising the possibility of a strike. The Senate vote was 80-15, a day after the House decided to impose the accord. Biden vowed to sign immediately.


Claims for unemployment benefits fell last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell again last week and continues to move at levels that suggest the US labor market has been largely unaffected by the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes. I’m here. Claims for unemployment assistance fell to 225,000 in the week ending Nov. 26, down 16,000 from 241,000 the week before, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The 4-week moving average of claims smoothing out weekly fluctuations increased slightly from 1,750 to 227,000. The Labor Department said Thursday that 1.61 million people were receiving unemployment assistance in the week ending Nov. 19, up 57,000 from the previous week.


EU looms over Russian oil price cap, nearing $60 per barrel

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is nearing a price cap of $60 a barrel for Russian oil. This is a highly anticipated complex political and economic crisis designed to keep Russian oil flowing into world markets while President Vladimir Putin cracks down on his ability to finance war in Ukraine. It’s a strategy. EU countries tried to push the cap on Thursday after Poland held out to get the lowest possible figure. There is a deadline to set discounted oil prices by Monday, when the European embargo on Russian offshore crude oil and a ban on shipping insurance for those supplies takes effect.


US average long-term mortgage rates fall for 3rd straight week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average US long-term mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, down more than half a percentage point since hitting a 20-year high less than a month ago. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that his benchmark 30-year rate average fell to his 6.49% from last week’s 6.58%. A year ago his average rate was 3.11%. Mortgage rates are more than double what they were in early January, and combined with ever-rising home prices, it’s creating an affordability hurdle for many homebuyers. Second-hand home sales have fallen for the ninth straight month.


Chicago Fed names ex-Obama adviser Goolsby as president

WASHINGTON (AP) — Austan Goolsby, former chief economic adviser to President Barack Obama, has been selected as the next president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the regional Federal Reserve announced. Goolsby, 53, an economics professor at the University of Chicago and a frequent commentator in opinion columns and television appearances, will succeed Charles Evans on January 9. As head of his Fed bank in the region, Goolsbee will take turns voting on the committees that determine central bank interest rate movements.


Wall Street ends December with shaky start

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market ended in mixed trading and bond yields fell sharply after the government reported that inflation, which the Federal Reserve has been eyeing, eased in October. The S&P 500 closed 0.1% lower on Thursday. The benchmark index has risen for the second month in a row. Markets rallied a day earlier after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell suggested the central bank might slow down the pace of rate hikes. The Fed has deliberately slowed the economy to curb stubborn inflation. Salesforce plummeted after its co-CEO announced he was stepping down.


Google appeals huge Android antitrust fine to EU Supreme Court

LONDON (AP) — Google is challenging record European Union antitrust fines aimed at the Android operating system’s role in limiting mobile competition and consumer choice. The company said Thursday it has appealed the $4.3 billion fine. This is because “there are areas that require legal clarification from the European Court of Justice”, the Supreme Court of the Block. Google appealed to the lower courts, and the EU Executive Board largely sided with the EU Executive Board by slightly reducing the fines from the original penalties issued in 2018. 2017 and 2019.


Rapper Ye no longer buys right-wing social app Parler

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Rapper Ye no longer buys conservative social media site Parler. Parler is a small platform in the emerging field of right-leaning, far-right, libertarian social apps. and little promise of content moderation. Lack of moderation will inevitably lead to an increase in racist, sexist and other hateful content on the platform, but so far nothing has gone mainstream. Parler launched in August 2018 but didn’t gain momentum until 2020. In January 2021, he was taken offline for his ties to the deadly riots at the US Capitol, but has since returned.


The S&P 500 fell 3.54 points (0.1%) to 4,076.57. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 194.76 points (0.6%) to 34,395.01. The Nasdaq rose 14.45 points (0.1%) to 11,482.45. The Russell 2000 Index for small businesses fell 4.90 points (0.3%) to 1,881.68.

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