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Business Highlights

Business Highlights

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Wrangling over virus relief persists despite high stakes

MIAMI (AP) — The desperate race to corral the coronavirus pandemic is taking on even greater urgency as a burgeoning economic crisis collides with political turmoil. Even as the latest experimental vaccine appears to show promise, politicians in Washington are still far apart in finding a way to bring financial relief to Americans. Even as Republicans are at odds with Democrats over how much money is enough, top Republican members of Congress are also facing pushback from the White House. GOP leaders met Monday with President Donald Trump as the White House panned some $25 billion in the GOP’s plan that would be devoted to testing and tracing.

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Head of the line: Big companies got coronavirus loans first

NEW YORK (AP) — Ever since the U.S. government launched its emergency lending program for small businesses on April 3, there have been complaints that bigger companies had their loans approved and disbursed more quickly. There is now evidence to back up those complaints. An Associated Press analysis of Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program shows that nearly a third of the loans approved in the program’s first week ranged from $150,000 to $10 million, the maximum allowed. In a second round of funding that began April 27, such loans made up just 7.4% of the total.

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Workers protest racial inequality on day of national strike

NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of workers are rallying in U.S. cities to protest systemic racism and economic inequality. The efforts are part of a nationwide strike that organizers hoped would involve tens of thousands of people walking off the job. Visible shows of support for the effort on Monday largely came in the form of smaller protests held in cities around the country. Dubbed the “Strike for Black Lives,” the protest was arranged by labor unions and social and racial justice organizations, which planned a range of actions in more than two dozen U.S. cities.

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Eldorado finishes $17.3B buyout of Caesars Entertainment

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada company has completed a $17.3 billion buyout of Caesars Entertainment Corp. and will take the iconic company’s name going forward as the largest casino owner in the world. Eldorado Resorts said Monday it now owns more than 55 casino properties in 16 U.S. states. The buyout also affects Caesars properties in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Canada, Dubai and a golf course in Macau. The company plans to shed several properties in Indiana, New Jersey and elsewhere to satisfy antitrust concerns raised before the merger gained approval from federal and state regulators.

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Pandemic throws lives - and waistlines - into flux

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are heading back to clothing stores with a new size as they either turned to stress-eating or stepped up the exercise out of boredom during pandemic lockdowns. Brands from Levi Strauss & Co. to high end lingerie label Cosabella are taking note. So are body measuring technology companies, which report that shoppers are changing their measurements in their online profiles. The trend could be good for clothing companies since new sizes mean that customers’ wardrobes need to be updated. But they also face some pain with an increase in costly returns as shoppers try to figure out their new sizes.

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Tech drives indexes higher on Wall Street after choppy start

NEW YORK (AP) — Big technology companies powered stocks higher on Wall Street Monday, extending the market’s gains after a three-week winning streak. The S&P 500 rose 0.8% after being down 0.3% in the early going. Gains by technology and communication stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending outweighed losses elsewhere in the market. Amazon jumped almost 8%. Noble Energy climbed after the company agreed to be acquired by Chevron for $5 billion. Investors are looking ahead to a busy week of earnings reports from major U.S. companies including Coca-Cola and Microsoft. European markets were broadly higher and Asian markets ended mixed.

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Insults, flaring tempers mark marathon EU summit on budget

BRUSSELS (AP) — Weary European Union leaders are expressing cautious optimism that a deal is in sight on their fourth day of wrangling over an unprecedented 1.85 trillion euro ($2.1 trillion) budget and coronavirus recovery fund. That follows a weekend of walkouts, flaring tempers and insults. It took an emotional dinner speech by European Council President Charles Michel about leaders not failing their union, French President Emmanuel Macron expressing his frustration, and a new set of budget numbers to send the marathon summit onward.

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Alibaba-backed Ant Group to go public in Shanghai, Hong Kong

HONG KONG (AP) — Ant Group, the online payments arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has announced plans for an initial public stock offering that could become the world’s biggest since the coronavirus pandemic began. Ant was valued at $150 billion after a 2018 private fundraising round. It gave no indication how much money it hopes to raise in the joint offering in Hong Kong and Shanghai. But the offering will test investor willingness to look beyond the pandemic and worsening global economy.

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The S&P 500 gained 27.11 points, or 0.8%, to 3,251.84. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 8.92 points, or less than 0.1%, to 26,680.87. The Nasdaq climbed 263.90 points, or 2.5%, to 10,767.09. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks gave up 5.36 points, or 0.4%, to 1,467.95.


Updated : 2021-01-27 23:07 GMT+08:00