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Business Highlights

Business Highlights

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Winter travel raises more fears of viral spread

NEW YORK (AP) — Tens of millions of people are expected to travel to family gatherings or winter vacations over Christmas. That’s despite pleas by public health experts who fear the result could be another surge in coronavirus cases. In the U.S., AAA predicts that about 85 million people will travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3, most of them by car. That would be a drop of nearly one-third from a year ago, but still a massive movement of people in the middle of a pandemic. Experts worry that Christmas and New Year’s will turn into super-spreader events because many people are letting down their guard.

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With Trump silent, reprisals for hacks may fall to Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — All fingers are pointing to Russia as the source of a punishing hack of U.S. government agencies. But President Donald Trump has long been wary of blaming Moscow for cyberattacks and has been silent. The lack of any statement seeking to hold Russia responsible casts doubt on the likelihood of a swift response to the attacks and suggests any retaliation will be left in the hands of President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration. The new administration could have a menu of choices to select from in responding. They include criminal charges, sanctions or retaliations in cyberspace. Biden issued a statement Thursday saying cybersecurity would be a top priority.

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States making bold new legal claims in 2 Google lawsuits

WASHINGTON (AP) — As a wave of antitrust actions surges against Google and Facebook, states in two lawsuits are stretching beyond the cases made by federal competition enforcers to level bold new claims. States are taking new legal gambits as they clamor to join the widening siege against the two once seemingly untouchable behemoths. The latest case came as dozens of states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that the search giant exercises an illegal monopoly over the online search market, hurting consumers and advertisers. It was the third antitrust salvo to slam Google in the past two months.

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Google’s antitrust case won’t go to trial until Sept. 2023

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. government’s attempt to prove Google has been using its dominance of online search to stifle competition and innovation at the expense of consumers and advertisers won’t go to trial for nearly three years. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta on Friday set a tentative trial date of Sept. 12, 2023. He also went over the ground rules for exchanging confidential documents and deposing top Google executives in the landmark case that the Justice Department filed two months ago. The lengthy wait for the trial reflects the complexity of a case seeking to defuse the power of a renowned company whose services are used by billions of people.

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US stocks slide from records as wait continues for Congress

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes pulled back from their record levels Friday as the wait drags on to see if Congress can reach a deal to send more cash to struggling workers and businesses. The S&P 500 fell 0.4%, a day after it and other major indexes returned to record heights. Hope that Congress may be nearing a deal to offer more support for the economy helped the S&P 500 post a 1.3% gain this week. So has enthusiasm about vaccines for COVID-19, which investors hope will get the economy back on the road to normalcy next year.

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Fed finds big US banks in solid shape; keeps dividend limits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says the 33 largest U.S. banks are in strong shape despite the pandemic’s economic shock. The central bank says they have ample capital cushions against unexpected losses, enabling them to keep lending under the most severe straits. The Fed announced the results from a special second round of “stress tests” this year that it added because of damage to the economy from the virus outbreak. The tests showed that all 33 banks remain above their minimum requirements for capital to protect against risk. Still, regulators decided to maintain restrictions on banks paying out dividends.

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US blacklists top Chinese chipmaker, alleging military ties

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration blacklisted China’s top chipmaker Friday, limiting the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.’s access to advanced U.S. technology because of its alleged ties to the Chinese military. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said his agency won’t allow such technology to help build the military of an increasingly belligerent adversary. SMIC has previously said it has no ties to the Chinese government. Commerce is putting more than 60 other firms on the so-called Entity List for allegedly being involved with the Chinese military, human rights violations, theft of trade secrets and the push to claim territory in the South China Sea.

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Volkswagen facing ‘massive’ shortage of electronic parts

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen says it’s facing a massive parts shortage that’s causing production slowdowns at factories in China, Europe and North America. Suppliers of semiconductor parts diverted their sales to consumer products earlier in the coronavirus pandemic as auto sales dried up. But now the car business is bouncing back, and there aren’t enough semiconductor parts to go around.

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The S&P 500 index fell 13.07 points, or 0.4%, to 3,709.41. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 124.32 points, or 0.4%, to 30,179.05. The Nasdaq composite gave up 9.11 points, or 0.1%, to 12,755.64. The Russell 2000 dropped 8.06 points, or 0.4%, to 1,969.99.


Updated : 2021-01-26 21:37 GMT+08:00