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Business Highlights: Wall Street rally, airlines' criticism

Business Highlights:  Wall Street rally, airlines' criticism

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Stocks rally, driving Wall Street to a rare winning week

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks racked up more gains on Wall Street Friday, as the S&P 500 had its best day in two years and just its second winning week in the last 12 to provide a bit of relief from the market’s brutal sell-off this year. The benchmark index rose 3.1%, with technology and banks leading the broad rally. The S&P 500 notched a 6.4% gain for the week, erasing the brutal loss it took a week earlier, though it’s still close to 20% below its record set early this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.7% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended 3.3% higher.

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After Roe, Dems seek probe of tech’s use of personal data

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the Supreme Court ending the constitutional protections for abortion, four Democratic lawmakers are asking federal regulators to investigate Apple and Google for allegedly deceiving millions of mobile phone users by enabling the collection and sale of their personal data to third parties. The decision Friday by the court’s conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade is expected to lead to abortion bans in about half the states. Privacy experts say that could make women vulnerable because their personal data could be used to surveil pregnancies and shared with police or sold to vigilantes. Online searches, period apps, fitness trackers and advice helplines could become rich data sources for such surveillance efforts.

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Federal court blocks FDA ban on Juul e-cigarette sales in US

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal court has put a temporary hold on the government’s order for Juul to stop selling its electronic cigarettes. Juul had filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington so it can appeal the sales ban from the Food and Drug Administration. The court granted the motion Friday. The FDA on Thursday said Juul must stop selling its vaping device and its cartridges. The FDA said Juul didn’t give it enough information to evaluate the potential health risks of its e-cigarettes. In its court filing, the company disagreed.

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Airlines aim to shift blame for flight problems to FAA

DALLAS (AP) — With an eye on the upcoming July Fourth weekend, airlines are stepping up their criticism of federal officials over recent widespread flight delays and cancellations. The industry trade group Airlines for America said Friday that understaffing at the Federal Aviation Administration is crippling traffic along the East Coast. The airlines say they are doing everything they can to keep customers happy, including hiring more pilots and customer-service agents. The airlines are pushing back a week after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called them to a virtual meeting and threatened to punish carriers that fail to meet consumer-protection standards.

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A world apart, Lebanon and Sri Lanka share economic collapse

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon and Sri Lanka may be a world apart, but they share a history of political turmoil and violence that led to the collapse of once-prosperous economies bedeviled by corruption, patronage, nepotism and incompetence. The toxic combinations led to disaster for both: Currency collapse, shortages, triple-digit inflation and growing hunger. Snaking queues for gas. A decimated middle class. An exodus of professionals who might have helped rebuild. There usually isn’t one moment that marks the catastrophic breaking point of an economic collapse, although telltale signs can be there for months — if not years. When it happens, the hardship unleashed is all-consuming, transforming everyday life so profoundly that the country may never return to what it was.

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Pilots in line for big raises amid global travel disruptions

DALLAS (AP) — The largest pilots union has approved a contract that would boost the pay of pilots at United Airlines by more than 14% over the next 18 months, potentially clearing the way for similar wage hikes throughout the industry. The deal reflects the leverage currently held by unions with the industry facing a pilot shortage that has resulted in cancellations worldwide and fewer flights. The Air Line Pilots Association said Friday that the council overseeing relations with United approved a tentative two-year agreement that covers about 14,000 of the airline’s pilots. The contract would need to be ratified by rank-and-file pilots to take effect.

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Romanian port struggles to handle flow of Ukrainian grain

CONSTANTA, Romania (AP) — With Ukraine’s seaports blockaded or captured by Russian forces, neighboring Romania’s Black Sea port of Constanta has emerged as a main conduit for the war-torn country’s grain exports amid a growing world food crisis. It’s Romania’s biggest port, home to Europe’s fastest-loading grain terminal, and has processed nearly a million tons of grain from Ukraine — one of the world’s biggest exporters of wheat and corn — since the Feb. 24 invasion. But port operators say that maintaining, let alone increasing, the volume they handle could soon be impossible without concerted European Union support and investment. “If we want to keep helping Ukrainian farmers, we need help to increase our handling capacities,” said Dan Dolghin, director of cereal operations at the Black Sea port’s main Comvex operator.

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EU leaders tackle inflation, energy shocks from Russia’s war

BRUSSELS (AP) — A day after endorsing Ukraine’s candidacy to join the European Union, the bloc’s leaders turned their attention Friday to the severe economic turbulence from Russia’s war in the neighboring country as the conflict’s full impact sinks in and the threat of recession rises. The EU’s 27 leaders gathered in Brussels to grapple with surging inflation, energy shocks, dwindling business and consumer confidence, and growing budget pressures. The leaders also will have to contend with higher borrowing costs as the European Central Bank prepares to raise interest rates for the first time in 11 years to counter runaway price increases.

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The S&P 500 surged 116.01 points, or 3.1%, to 3,911.74. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 823.32 points, or 2.7%, to 31,500.68. The Nasdaq rose 375.43 points, or 3.3%, to 11,607.62. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gained 54.06 points, or 3.2%, to 1,765.74.