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Business Highlights

Business Highlights

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Dow sinks 2.9% after rate cut fails to stem market's dread

NEW YORK (AP) — Fear and uncertainty continue to control Wall Street, and stocks fell sharply Tuesday after an emergency interest-rate cut by the Federal Reserve failed to reassure markets wracked by worries that a fast-spreading virus will cause a recession. The Dow Jones Industrial average sank 785 points, or 2.9%. It had surged 5% a day earlier on hopes for aid from the Fed and other central banks. While the cut gave some investors exactly what they had been asking for, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that the ultimate solution to the virus challenge will have to come from health experts and others, not central banks.

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Virus spread prompts Fed to slash rates in surprise move

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a surprise move, the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate by a sizable half-percentage point in an effort to support the economy in the face of the spreading coronavirus. Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference that the virus “will surely weigh on economic activity both here and abroad for some time.” It was the Fed's first rate cut since last year, when it reduced its key short-term rate three times. It is also the first time the central bank has cut its key rate between policy meetings since the 2008 financial crisis and the largest rate cut since then.

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Trade show blues: Exhibitions go virtual as virus spreads

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Trade events are quickly going dark across the globe due to the new coronavirus. And that is taking away sales opportunities that may be difficult to make up for companies. Some are taking their shows online with virtual events they stream from their headquarters to reach customers anyway. But marketing experts and executives warn that there is no substitute for face-to-face contact with potential clients. With the virus still spreading across the world, exhibition companies are totaling up the losses being suffered by an industry that also pumps billions into hotels, restaurants and cabdriver's wallets.

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Looking for hand sanitizer? Good luck finding it

NEW YORK (AP) — Fear of the coronavirus has led people to stock up on hand sanitizer, leaving store shelves empty and online retailers with sky-high prices set by those trying to profit on the rush. But more of the clear gel is on the way. Purell, the best-selling hand sanitizer, is pumping up production. And Walmart and other stores say they are talking to suppliers to stock up bare shelves. Sales of hand sanitizers in the U.S. were up 73% in the four weeks ending Feb. 22, compared with the same period the year before, according to market research firm Nielsen.

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Greens, Thunberg say EU climate law lacks ambition

BRUSSELS (AP) — Green members of the European Parliament and youth climate activists are criticizing the lack of ambition of the European Commission's strategy to reach climate neutrality by 2050. As part of the European Green deal, the EU commission will present its plans for a climate law on Wednesday. The Commission is proposing a mechanism for regularly raising the EU's emission reduction target over the next three decades, but there is no plan to raise the EU’s overall emissions goal for 2030. Both Greenpeace, the Greens and youth climate activists say delaying an upgraded 2030 target will have damaging consequences.

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Exxon outlines its steps to reduce harmful methane emissions

NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil is outlining how it is reducing the methane its operations release into the atmosphere, detailing its efforts as governments around the globe write new rules to regulate the harmful greenhouse gas. The oil and gas giant is seeking to influence the way those rules are written. It hopes companies and regulators adopt the procedures Exxon says helped reduce methane emissions by 20% in some of its U.S. drilling operations over the past two years. But some environmental activists say Exxon needs to be much more aggressive in its efforts to curtail global warming.

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Justices likely to preserve SEC power to recoup fraud money

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seems prepared to preserve an important tool that federal securities regulators used last year to recoup $3.2 billion in ill-gotten gains in fraud cases. At most, the justices might impose some limits on how the Securities and Exchange Commission seeks repayment, or disgorgement, of profits from people who have been found to violate securities law. But no one on the court appeared ready to say that the SEC lack the power to ask a federal court to order repayment of money obtained through fraud, A decision is expected by late June.

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The S&P 500 index fell 86.86 points, or 2.8%, at 3,003.37. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 785.91 points, or 2.9%, to 25,917.41, and the Nasdaq fell 268.07, or 3%, to 8,684.09. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks down 32.41 points, or 2.1%, to 1486.08.


Updated : 2021-02-25 21:33 GMT+08:00