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Business Highlights: Biden vs. inflation, oil release

Business Highlights: Biden vs. inflation, oil release

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Biden aims to do what presidents often can’t: Beat inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — LBJ tried jawboning. Richard Nixon issued a presidential edict. The Ford administration printed buttons exhorting Americans to “Whip Inflation Now.’’ Over the years, American presidents have tried, and mostly floundered, in their efforts to quell the economic and political menace of consumer inflation. Now, President Joe Biden is giving it a shot. Confronting a spike in consumer prices that’s bedeviling American households, Biden on Tuesday ordered the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S strategic petroleum reserve. The move is intended to contain energy costs. It was just the latest step Biden has taken to show he is doing everything he can to combat inflation as gasoline and food prices, in particular, have imposed a growing burden.

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Fighting gas prices, US to release 50 million barrels of oil

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is ordering a record 50 million barrels of oil released from America’s strategic reserve to help bring down energy costs. He said Tuesday he is acting in coordination with other major energy consuming nations, including China, India, and the United Kingdom. It will take time, he said from the White House, “but before long you should see the price of gas drop where you fill up your tank.” The action is aimed at global energy markets, and also to help Americans who are coping with higher inflation and rising prices ahead of Thanksgiving and winter holiday travel. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is an emergency stockpile to preserve access to oil in case of natural disasters, national security issues and other events.

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Jury holds pharmacies responsible for role in opioid crisis

CLEVELAND (AP) — A federal jury says CVS, Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies didn’t do enough to stop the flow of opioid pills into two Ohio counties. The verdict Tuesday could set the tone for U.S. city and county governments that want to hold pharmacies accountable for their roles in the opioid crisis. This is the first time pharmacy companies have completed a trial to defend themselves in a drug crisis that has killed a half-million Americans over the past two decades. Spokespeople for CVS, Walgreens and Walmart say the companies will appeal the verdict.

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Apple suing Israeli hacker-for-hire company NSO Group

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Tech giant Apple is suing Israel’s NSO Group, seeking to block the world’s most infamous hacker-for-hire company from breaking into Apple’s products, like the iPhone. Apple said in a complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in California that NSO Group’s spyware, called Pegasus, had been used to attack a small number of Apple customers worldwide. It’s the latest blow to the hacking firm, which was recently blacklisted by the U.S. Commerce Department and is currently being sued by social media giant Facebook. NSO Group has broadly denied wrongdoing and said its products have been use by governments to prevent terrorism and crime.

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Samsung expected to build $17B chip factory in Texas

Samsung is planning to build a $17 billion semiconductor factory in Texas amid a global shortage of chips used in phones, laptops, cars and other electronic devices. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has scheduled a press conference Tuesday to make an economic announcement; he is expected to unveil the Samsung investment then, according to a person familiar with the plan who wasn’t authorized to speak about it publicly ahead of the official event. The chip shortage has emerged as both a business obstacle and a serious national-security concern many U.S. companies are dependent on chips produced overseas, particularly in Taiwan.

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Stocks end mixed, oil prices rise despite release of crude

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed mixed on Wall Street Tuesday after a day of wobbly trading. Losses in big technology stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending tempered gains elsewhere in the market. The S&P 500 rose 0.2%, The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.5%. Prices for crude oil and wholesale gasoline rose despite the fact that President Joe Biden ordered 50 million barrels of oil released from the nation’s strategic reserve to help bring down energy costs. The move was made in concert with other big oil-consuming nations. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.68%.

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T-Mobile to pay $20M after outage led to failed 911 calls

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wireless carrier T-Mobile is paying $19.5 million in a settlement with the Federal Communications Commission over a 12-hour nationwide outage in June 2020 that resulted in thousands of failed 911 calls. The FCC said Tuesday that as part of the settlement, T-Mobile will also commit to improving communications of outages to emergency call centers. The agency says there was a complete failure of more than 23,000 911 calls because of the outage. T-Mobile has paid penalties for outages that prevented 911 calls before.

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Dollar Tree makes it official: Items will now cost $1.25

NEW YORK (AP) — Faced with the rising cost of goods and freight, discount retail chain Dollar Tree said Tuesday it will be raising its prices to $1.25 for the majority of its products. Dollar Tree said the reason for raising its prices to $1.25 was not due to “short-term or transitory market conditions” and said the price increases were permanent. The higher prices will also allow the company to cope with high merchandise cost increases as well as higher operating costs, such as wages, it said.

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The S&P 500 rose 7.76 points, or 0.2%, to 4,690.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 194.55 points, or 0.5%, to 35,813.80. The Nasdaq dropped 79.62 points, or 0.5%, to 15,775.14. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies slipped 3.49 points, or 0.1%, to 2,327.86.