Business Highlights
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Business Highlights

Last Updated Jul 1, 2020 at 7:10 pm ADT

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Fed minutes show concerns about severity of downturn

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials last month expressed concerns about the severity of the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. They said the drop in economic activity in the spring would likely be the steepest in the post-World War II period. The minutes of the June 9-10 discussions that were made public Wednesday show officials grappling with economic disruptions that had already occurred. Fed officials noted that the crisis was not falling equally on all Americans. The minutes say officials discussed how the sharp rise in joblessness had been especially severe for lower-wage workers, women, African Americans, and Hispanics.

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Report: Boeing fell short in disclosing key changes to Max

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government watchdog says Boeing didn’t give regulators documents about changes it made in a key system blamed in two crashes of its 737 Max jet. The Transportation Department’s inspector general says government experts responsible for approving the plane didn’t know how powerful the flight-control system was. In both crashes, the system, called MCAS, pushed the nose of the plane down and pilots couldn’t regain control. The crashes killed 346 people and led regulators around the world to ground every Boeing 737 Max — nearly 400 of them. This week, Boeing and the FAA are testing changes Boeing has made in the plane.

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US manufacturing bounces back in June on reopenings

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. manufacturing rebounded in June as major parts of the country opened back up, ending three months of contraction in the sector caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its manufacturing index rose to 52.6 last month after registering 43.1 in May and 41.5 in April. Any reading below 50 signals that U.S. manufacturers are contracting. New orders, production, hiring and new export orders all jumped in June, after they all declined in May but at a slower pace than in April.

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S&P 500 index notches another gain on a mixed day for stocks

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks wound up with a mixed finish on Wall Street, even as gains for technology stocks pushed the Nasdaq to another record close. The Dow edged lower Wednesday but the S&P 500 rose 0.5%, a day after wrapping up its best quarter since 1998. That, however, came after its worst quarter since 2008 in the first three months of the year. The whiplash came as the economy screeched to a halt because of the coronavirus, then got loads of support from the Federal Reserve and Congress and hopes built for a relatively quick recovery. Treasury yields and the price of oil rose.

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California sues Cisco for bias based on Indian caste system

NEW YORK (AP) — California regulators have sued Cisco Systems for discriminating against an engineer at the company’s headquarters because he is a Dalit Indian. India’s caste system has long placed Dalits at the bottom of a social hierarchy. California’s lawsuit says Cisco broke the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. The lawsuit says two men who were Cisco managers and higher-caste Indians harassed and then retaliated against the engineer. It says Cisco did not stop it after he complained. Cisco says it will defend itself against the allegations in the complaint.

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Background checks, a metric for gun sales, hit all-time high

NEW YORK (AP) — Historic numbers of background checks to purchase or possess a firearm have been conducted in June. It’s just the latest month with record-breaking numbers since the system was created in 1998. The FBI reported Wednesday that 3.9 million checks were done last month in what’s a key barometer of gun sales. The numbers are driven by the crises that have roiled the U.S., including the coronavirus pandemic, an economic recession, protests over racial injustice and calls to reduce police funding. A group representing gunmakers says firearm purchases are a reasonable reaction to the political climate, while gun control advocates say they’re concerned first-time buyers don’t have enough training.

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Survey: Companies added 2.4 million jobs in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies added nearly 2.4 million jobs in June, according to a private survey, a large gain that still leaves the job market far below its pre-pandemic levels. The payroll company ADP said that small businesses reported the largest gain, adding 937,000 jobs. Construction firms and restaurants and hotels also posted big increases in hiring.

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Hot news cycle leads CNN to best ratings in 40 years

NEW YORK (AP) — A busy stretch of news with the coronavirus pandemic and racial demonstrations in the United States has led CNN to its best ratings in the network’s 40-year history. Fox News Channel and MSNBC have also had record-setting quarters, although its audience size did not jump as dramatically as CNN’s. That’s satisfying news to CNN’s leadership, which has been under attack by President Donald Trump and his allies for four years. CNN chief executive Jeff Zucker says viewers have come to CNN for the news coverage, while the network’s rivals are more about ‘political talk.’ That characterization rankled the president of MSNBC.

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The S&P 500 gained 15.57 points, or 0.5%, to 3,115.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 77.91 points, or 0.3%, to 25,734.97. The Nasdaq composite climbed 95.86 points, or 1%, to 10,154.63. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dropped 14.05 points, or 1%, to 1,427.31.

The Associated Press

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