Falling Wall Street, natural gas prices


Inventories close in September with their worst monthly loss since the start of the pandemic. The S&P 500 ended the month down 4.8%, its first monthly decline since January and the largest since March 2020. After climbing steadily for much of the year, the stock market has become volatile in recent years. weeks with the spread of the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19, a sudden surge in long-term bond yields, and the news that the Federal Reserve may begin to loosen its support for the economy. The S&P 500 fell 1.2% on Thursday. It is still up 14.7% for the year.


Unionized jobs? Ford’s plan for new electric vehicle factories raises questions

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) – Ford’s blockbuster announcement this week that it would build four new factories in Kentucky and Tennessee by 2025 and hire nearly 11,000 workers raised a big unanswered question: how good will these jobs be? No one – not Ford, the United Auto Workers, or the future job holders themselves – yet knows how much workers will be paid or whether they will vote to join the union. The new factories, which will be built by 2025, are collectively intended to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles as well as to assemble many vehicles of this type.


Soaring natural gas prices: Threat for consumers this winter?

NEW YORK (AP) – Prepare for a nasty surprise on your winter heating bills. After years of exceptionally low levels, the price of natural gas in the United States has more than doubled since the same period last year. Wholesale prices in Europe and Asia are more than five times what they were a year ago. Soaring costs have coincided with a robust recovery from the pandemic recession, with more homes and businesses burning all forms of fuel. This intensified demand is poised to contribute to higher heating costs in many parts of the world.


Congress passes bill to avoid partial government shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) – With just a few hours to spare, Congress passed legislation that would prevent a partial federal government shutdown and keep the government funded until December 3. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden for enactment. The votes will help avert a crisis, but efforts to avert a second crisis appear likely to continue over the next two weeks as Democrats and Republicans grapple with how to raise the government’s borrowing limit. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said failure to raise the debt ceiling would lead to a financial crisis and economic recession.


Powell sees inflation cool, avoiding ‘tough spot’

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday that current high inflation levels are expected to subside next year and will not prevent the Fed from pursuing its goal of full employment. In comments to the House Financial Services Committee, Powell said he believed inflation would come down without the Fed having to raise rates, potentially slowing hiring.


Senators push Facebook executive on Instagram policies for young people

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senators have launched a barrage of criticism against a Facebook executive over the social media giant’s handling of internal research into how its photo-sharing platform Instagram can harm teens. Lawmakers accused Facebook of covering up negative findings about Instagram and asked the company to commit to making changes. In testimony before a Senate Commerce subcommittee, Facebook’s global security chief Antigone Davis defended Instagram’s efforts to protect young people using its platform. The panel examines Facebook’s use of information from its own researchers that could indicate potential harm to some of its young users, especially girls, while publicly downplaying negative impacts.


Senate confirms choice of Biden to lead consumer watchdog

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate narrowly endorsed President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, giving the office a director who could take an aggressive “watchdog” role. Rohit Chopra’s nomination was approved at 50-48, with Vice President Kamala Harris previously expected to vote to break the debate. Republicans were united in opposition against Chopra. Prior to its approval, it held one of the Democratic seats on the Federal Trade Commission. He has often used his position to publicly advocate for tougher sanctions and enforcement against companies found guilty of wrongdoing.


US slightly revises second quarter GDP estimate to 6.7%

WASHINGTON (AP) – The US economy grew at an annual pace of 6.7% from April to June, the Commerce Department said Thursday, slightly improving its estimate of last quarter’s growth in the face of a resurgence of COVID -19 in the form of the delta a variant. The government’s estimate of second-quarter growth – its last of three – was up from its previous estimate of a 6.6% annual pace that will likely mark a peak for the economy’s expansion this year as the virus slows some activity, government support programs slow down and manufacturing supply chain problems persist. Thursday’s government report showed that the country’s gross domestic product – its total production of goods and services – accelerated by an annual rate of 6.3% in the first three months of the year.


The S&P 500 lost 51.92 points, or 1.2%, to 4,307.54. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 546.80 points, or 1.6%, to 33,843.92. The Nasdaq lost 63.86 points, or 0.4%, to 14,448.58. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index lost 20.94 points, or 0.9%, to 2,204.37.


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