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Business Highlights

Business Highlights

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Biden boosts pandemic lending to smallest businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is targeting more federal pandemic assistance to the nation’s smallest businesses and ventures owned by women and people of color. The administration is establishing a two-week window, starting on Wednesday, in which only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. Such businesses make up the majority of small businesses in the U.S. Biden’s team is also carving out $1 billion to direct toward sole proprietors, such as home contractors and beauticians, the majority of which are owned by women and people of color.

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Boeing: 777s with engine that blew apart should be grounded

CHICAGO (AP) — Boeing has recommended that airlines ground all 777s with the type of engine that blew apart after takeoff from Denver this weekend, and most carriers that fly those planes said they would temporarily pull them from service. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ordered United Airlines to step up inspections of the aircraft after one of its flights made an emergency landing Saturday. Pieces of the casing of the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engine rained down on suburban neighborhoods. United is among the carriers that has grounded the planes. The FAA administrator said in a statement Sunday that “the inspection interval should be stepped up for the hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine, used solely on Boeing 777 airplanes.”

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Microsoft, EU publishers seek Australia-style news payments

LONDON (AP) — Microsoft is teaming up with European publishers to push for a system to make big tech platforms pay for news. The move raises the stakes in the brewing battle over whether Google and Facebook should pay for journalism. The U.S. tech giant and four big European Union news industry lobbying groups unveiled their plan Monday to work together to come up with a solution to “mandate payments” for use of news content from online “gatekeepers with dominant market power.” They said they will “take inspiration” from proposed legislation in Australia to force tech platforms to share revenue with news companies and which includes an arbitration system to resolve disputes over a fair price for news.

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Cherokee chief: Time for Jeep to end use of tribe’s name

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The chief of the Cherokee Nation says it’s time for auto maker Jeep to stop using the tribe’s name on its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models. Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement he believes corporations and team sports should stop using Native American names, images and mascots on their teams and products. Hoskin’s comments were first reported by Car & Driver magazine. A spokeswoman for Jeep’s parent company, Stellantis, says the vehicle name was carefully selected to honor Native American people. Hoskin says the best way to honor the Tahlequah, Oklahoma-based tribe is to learn more about their sovereign government and its history.

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EPA changes stand, sides with ethanol industry in court case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government announced Monday that it will support the ethanol industry in a lawsuit over biofuel waivers granted to oil refineries under President Donald Trump’s administration. The Environmental Protection Agency said it is reversing course and will support a January 2020 decision by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a lawsuit filed by the Renewable Fuels Association and farm groups. The lawsuit is headed to arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court this spring. The move by the EPA comes roughly a month after President Joe Biden took office.

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Moet Hennessy buys 50% stake in Jay-Z’s Champagne brand

NEW YORK (AP) — Moet Hennessy is acquiring a 50% stake in rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z’s Champagne brand in an effort to up its cool factor and expand sales. Terms of the deal weren’t released Monday. Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, acquired Armand de Brignac in 2014. The brand, produced in France’s Champagne region, is known familiarly as Ace of Spades because of its distinctive label. Moet Hennessy President and CEO Philippe Schaus said Armand de Brignac breaks barriers and reflects contemporary ideas of luxury. Carter said the partnership will help Armand de Brignac grow and flourish.

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Weakness in Big Tech stocks leaves Wall Street mostly lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed mostly lower on Wall Street Monday, dragged down by losses in several Big Tech companies. The S&P 500 gave up 0.8%, its fifth straight decline. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 2.5%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain of just under 0.1%. Traders are still keeping a close eye on Washington and the next big round of stimulus that’s making its way through Congress. Concerns that inflation could come back have helped send Treasury yields to their highest level in a year. The yield on the 10-year Treasury nudged up to 1.35% and crude oil prices jumped another 3.8%.

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The S&P 500 fell 30.21 points, or 0.8%, to 3,876.50. The Dow gained 27.37 points, or 0.1%, to 31,521.69. The Nasdaq lost 341.41 points, or 2.5%, to 13,533.05. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 15.62 points, or 0.7%, to 2,251.07.


Updated : 2021-03-03 10:42 GMT+08:00