Business Highlights


More U.S. workers getting Juneteenth off as awareness grows

NEW YORK (AP) — A unprecedented number of U.S. companies are giving employees off for Juneteenth this year. The trend has been inspired in large part by the Black Lives Matters protests and has raised hopes that the day commemorating the end of slavery could someday become a true national celebration. The momentum could hinge, however, on whether the federal government joins in the movement. The date June 19th is not a federal holiday, and many non-black Americans have only recently become aware of the day. ___

Hiring rose in 46 states in May yet jobless rates still high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers added jobs in 46 states last month, evidence that the U.S. economy’s surprise hiring gain in May was spread broadly across the country — in both states that began reopening their economies early and those that did so only later. Unemployment rates fell in 38 states, rose in three and were largely unchanged in nine, the Labor Department said. All told, the figures illustrate the unusually broad nature of the recession, with all states enduring unemployment rates that soared in April as the coronavirus forced business closures and then generally fell but remained painfully high in May. ___

AMC Theaters reverses course on masks after backlash

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nation’s largest movie theater chain changed its position on mask-wearing less than a day after the company became a target on social media for saying it would defer to local governments on the issue. AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron said Friday that its theaters will require patrons to wear masks upon reopening, which will begin in July. AMC Theaters wasn’t the first to say it would defer to officials on the mask issue but it hit a nerve for many on Thursday and #boycottAMC quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. ___

Apple closes stores in 4 states, again, as infections rise

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Apple is closing 11 stores in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina that it had reopening just a few weeks ago. The decision announced Friday arrives amid rising infections in some states, particularly those that began loosening restrictions requiring most people to stay home and most stores to shut down this spring. There were 286.7 new cases per 100,000 people in Arizona over the past two weeks, which ranks first in the country for new cases per capita. The rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by 143.1%. Johns Hopkins University researchers tracking the virus say new cases in Florida have increased by 144.4%.


Wall Street dips as virus fears drown out economy hopes

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street ended a wobbly day lower Friday after worries about rising coronavirus infections in several states undercut an early rally. The selling followed word that Apple will temporarily close 11 stores as coronavirus cases rise across swaths of the South and West, just weeks after reopening them. The closures crystallize investors’ worries that rising infection levels could halt the budding improvements the economy has shown recently. The S&P 500 lost 0.6%, but still ended the week 1.9% higher, its fourth weekly gain out of the last five. Crude oil prices ended higher and bond yields held steady.


China charges 2 Canadians with spying in Huawei-linked case

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese prosecutors have charged two detained Canadians with spying in an apparent bid to step up pressure on Canada to drop a U.S. extradition request for a Huawei executive. Michael Kovrig was charged on suspicion of spying for state secrets and intelligence. Michael Spavor was charged on suspicion of spying for a foreign entity and illegally providing state secrets. Both men were detained shortly after the December 2018 arrest of Meng Wanzhou at the request of U.S. authorities who want her on fraud charges related to trade with Iran. China has denied any explicit link but Chinese diplomats have strongly implied a connection between Meng’s case and those of the two Canadians. ___

India-China Himalayan standoff deadly for cashmere herds

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A standoff between Indian and Chinese troops high in the Himalayas near Tibet is taking a dire toll on traditional goat herds that supply the world’s finest, most expensive cashmere. Officials and residents say a military buildup and tensions in the remote Ladakh region near Tibet are disrupting access to traditional grazing lands and trapping the goats and their nomadic herders in extreme cold conditions, causing tens of thousands of Himalayan goat kids to perish. That is likely to result in a shortage of the super-soft wool used to make Pashmina, the world’s most delicate cashmere, which is woven into shawls and stoles that sell for up to $1,000 apiece in the world’s fashion capitals.


The S&P 500 fell 17.60 points, or 0.6%, to 3,097.74. The Dow Jones Industrial average dropped 208.64 points, or 0.8%, to 25,871.46 after earlier swinging from a gain of 371 points to a loss of 320 points. The Nasdaq composite inched up by 3.07 points, or less than 0.1%, to 9,946.12. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 8.44 points, or 0.6%, to 1,418.63.