US jobless claims hit a pandemic low as hiring strengthens
WASHINGTON: The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week for a fourth straight time to a pandemic low, the latest sign that Americas job market is rebounding from the pandemic recession as employers boost hiring to meet a surge in consumer demand. The Labor Department reported that jobless claims fell by 29,000 to 348,000. The weekly pace of applications for unemployment aid has fallen more or less steadily since topping 900,000 in early January. The dwindling number of first-time jobless claims has coincided with the widespread administering of vaccines, which has led businesses to reopen or expand their hours and drawn consumers back to shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Govt sharpens antitrust attack against Facebook with filing
WASHINGTON: Federal regulators have sharpened their antitrust attack against Facebook. They are alleging in a revised complaint that the social network giant pursued a laser-focused strategy to buy or bury innovative rivals to suppress competition. It is the second try by the Federal Trade Commission. A federal judge in June dismissed antitrust lawsuits brought against Facebook by the agency and a broad coalition of state attorneys general that came amid multiplying efforts by federal and state regulators to rein in tech titans market power. The new complaint lays out a detailed history of Facebooks conduct, especially since the advent of mobile networks.
Landlords look for an exit amid federal eviction moratorium
NEW YORK: Landlords are fuming over the decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a new eviction moratorium lasting until Oct. 3. Smaller landlords say they have suffered financially due to various state, local and federal moratoriums in place since last year. Many are falling behind on their bills and racking up debt, while others are selling off properties or holding off on renting to new tenants. The trends, they argue, could make things harder for low-income families, who could find fewer units available and landlords less willing to rent to those who werent able to pay rent during the moratorium.
Dairy farmers eligible for pandemic-related assistance
BURLINGTON, Vt.: The U.S. Department of Agriculture says help is on the way for dairy farmers who got a lower price for their products because of pandemic-related market abnormalities. The department said Thursday that it will provide about $350 million in assistance payments to eligible farmers. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says family dairy farmers have been battered by the pandemic, trade issues and unpredictable weather. USDA says qualified dairy farmers will get payments for 80% of the revenue difference per month based on an annual production of up to 5 million pounds of milk marketed and on fluid milk sales from July through December 2020.
Under delta, supply chain strains, Toyota slashes production
TOKYO: Toyota is scaling its production back 40%, affecting 14 auto assembly plants in Japan, as the surging coronavirus pandemic in Southeast Asia crimps parts supplies. Japans top automaker says production will halt completely next month at some plants and partly at others, affecting a wide range of models, including the Corolla subcompact, Prius hybrid and Land Cruiser sport utility vehicle. Global production for September will decline by 360,000 vehicles, according to Toyota Motor Corp. But it stuck to its annual forecast to produce 9.3 million vehicles, as coronavirus risks were figured in.
Another choppy day on Wall Street ends with indexes mixed
NEW YORK: Major indexes closed mixed on Wall Street Thursday after another choppy day of trading. The S&P 500 ended just 0.1% higher after wobbling between gains and losses for much of the day. Even though most stocks in the S&P 500 fell, the benchmark index managed to rise thanks largely to gains in several big technology companies, like Microsoft. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2% and the Nasdaq rose 0.1%. Small-company stocks lost ground. Prices for crude oil and other commodities fell broadly, pulling mining and energy stocks lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.25%.
Boy Scouts get conditional approval of $850M bankruptcy deal
DOVER, Del.: A bankruptcy judge has approved a proposal by the Boy Scouts of America to set up an $850 million fund to compensate tens of thousands of men who say they were sexually abused as youngsters by scout leaders. But the judge on Thursday also rejected two key provisions of the deal, potentially jeopardizing the agreement that the organization had been hoping to use as a springboard to emerge from bankruptcy later this year. It was not immediately clear how Thursdays ruling will affect the future of the bankruptcy case for the Texas-based organization.
OnlyFans website to ban sexually explicit content
NEW YORK: OnlyFans, a site where fans pay creators for their photos and videos, is planning to ban sexually explicit content. A spokesperson says the ban will start Oct. 1 and is the result of requests from banking partners. Nudity is still OK if its consistent with the companys policy, but its not clear what that policy is. OnlyFans has become famous as a space for celebrities to interact with people on a personal level, as well as a place where sex workers can post and get paid in a relatively safe manner. OnlyFans says it has 130 million users and 2 million creators who have collectively earned $5 billion.
The S&P 500 rose 5.53 points, or 0.1 %, to 4,405.80. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 66.57 points, or 0.2%, to 34,894.12. The Nasdaq gained 15.87 points, or 0.1%, to 14,541.79. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 26.36 points, or 1.2%, to 2,132.42.
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