AP Business SummaryBrief at 5:34 p.m. EDT
What Friday’s jobs report means for Fed’s inflation fight
WASHINGTON (AP) — For most Americans, Friday’s September jobs report was welcome news: Businesses kept hiring at a brisk pace, unemployment fell back to a half-century low and average pay rose. Yet for the Federal Reserve, the jobs figures highlight how little progress they’re making in their fight against inflation. With the Fed more likely to keep raising borrowing costs rapidly, the risk of recession will also rise. Employers did pull back slightly on hiring last month, and average wage gains slowed. But economists say neither is falling fast enough for the Fed to slow its inflation-fighting efforts.
Another month of solid US hiring suggests more big Fed hikes
WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s employers slowed their hiring in September but still added 263,000 jobs, a solid figure that will likely keep the Federal Reserve on pace to keep raising interest rates aggressively to fight persistently high inflation. Hiring fell from 315,000 in August to the weakest monthly gain since April 2021. The unemployment rate fell from 3.7% to 3.5%, matching a half-century low. The Fed is hoping that a slower pace of hiring would eventually mean less pressure on employers to raise pay and pass those costs on to their customers through price increases — a recipe for high inflation. But September’s job growth was likely too robust to satisfy the central bank’s inflation fighters.
Stocks lose more ground on fears a recession may be looming
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street lost more ground on worries that a still-strong U.S jobs market may actually make a recession more likely. The S&P 500 fell 2.8% Friday after the government said employers hired more workers last month than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also fell sharply, and Treasury yields rose. Markets are worried the Federal Reserve could see the jobs report as proof the economy hasn’t slowed enough yet to get inflation under control. That could clear the way for continued, aggressive hikes to interest rates, something that risks causing a recession if done too severely.
To buy Twitter, Musk has to keep banks, investors on board
If the squabbling ever stops over Elon Musk’s renewed bid to buy Twitter, experts say he still faces a huge obstacle to closing the $44 billion deal: Keeping his financing in place. Earlier this week Musk reversed course and said he’d go through with acquiring the social media company under the same terms he agreed to in April. But after months of tweetstorms and legal barbs, there are scars and suspicions on both sides. Both sides are now fighting over whether Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk should be dropped. For the deal to go through, Musk has to hold together a group of banks and investors that will help him pay for the purchase.
Drought takes toll on country’s largest cotton producer
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Drought and extreme heat have severely damaged much of the cotton harvest in the U.S., which produces roughly 35% of the world’s crop. Nowhere is this more apparent than the Texas High Plains, the windswept region that grows most of the crop in the nation’s top cotton-producing state. Forecasters and agricultural economists say that Texas cotton farmers could abandon nearly 70% of what they planted in the spring, making it the worst harvest in more than a decade. Losses could cost the region $1.2 billion, despite the federal insurance payments that farmers rely on during bad harvest years.
EXPLAINER: How will OPEC+ cuts affect gas prices, inflation?
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Oil cartel OPEC and its allies are cutting production. And that means oil prices are likely going up. The OPEC+ alliance says they’re trying to support prices against future sagging demand from an uncertain and slowing global economy. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister says the alliance is bringing stability to the oil market. Yet high oil prices are contributing to fears of a slowdown and have been criticized by Washington. Meanwhile, supply could take another hit as the U.S. and allies try to impose a price cap on Russian oil to reduce the money flowing into Moscow’s war chest after it invaded Ukraine.
No summit breakthrough, EU struggles with gas price cap plan
PRAGUE (AP) — European Union leaders are struggling to bridge significant differences over a natural gas price cap as winter approaches and Russia’s war on Ukraine fuels an energy crisis. It’s hoped that a price cap will contain a crisis that is driving up prices for consumers and businesses. Russia has tightened the gas taps as European governments support Ukraine with weapons and money. Yet an EU leaders summit in Prague on Friday didn’t produce a breakthrough on the gas cap. Standing in the way of an agreement was the simple fact that each EU member country depends on different energy sources and suppliers. The leaders hope to make more progress when they meet again on Oct. 20-21.
Hurricane Ian floods leave mess, insurance questions behind
NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — Christine Barrett and her family had to climb on top of their kitchen cabinets because of flooding that surged into their house during Hurricane Ian. They put water wings on their 1-year-old, and were rescued by boat the next day. Their community of North Port is about 5 miles inland. And the Barretts _ like many neighbors _ live in areas where flood insurance isn’t required. And therefore they don’t have it. Now many wonder how they’ll afford much-needed repairs. There are concerns that not enough people nationally have flood insurance at a time when climate change is believed to be making storms wetter. The Insurance Information Institute says only about 4% of homeowners nationwide have flood insurance although 90% of catastrophes in the U.S. involve flooding.
Commerce tightens export controls on high end chips to China
The Commerce Department is tightening export controls to limit China’s ability to get advanced computing chips, develop and maintain supercomputers, and make advanced semiconductors. The department said Friday that its updated export controls are focusing on these areas because China can use the chips, supercomputers and semiconductors to create advanced military systems including weapons of mass destruction; commit human rights abuses and improve the speed and accuracy of its military decision making, planning, and logistics.
Binance crypto exchange hit by latest digital currency hack
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, may have lost more than $100 million following a hack of its Binance Smart Chain blockchain network. A reddit post by Binance discussing the incident said that the company temporarily suspended its BNB smart chain after detecting an exploit between two blockchains. “The issue is contained now. Your funds are safe. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide further updates accordingly,” CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a tweet. The post estimated that $100 million to $110 million in funds were taken, but that approximately $7 million was able to be frozen.
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