Business Highlights: Amazon union rejection, Fed’s fight


Amazon workers in NYC reject union in a reversal of fortune

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon warehouse workers overwhelmingly rejected a union bid on Monday, dealing a blow to organizers who last month pulled off the first successful US organizing effort in the retail giant’s history. This time around, warehouse workers cast 618 votes – or about 62% – against the union, giving Amazon enough support to fend off a second union win. According to the National Labor Relations Board, which oversees the process, 380 workers – or 38% – voted in favor of the grassroots Amazon Labor Union. About 1,600 workers were eligible to vote. A union attorney says the group is planning to file objections to the election.


Fed to fight inflation with fastest rate hikes in decades

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve is poised this week to accelerate its most drastic steps in three decades to attack inflation by making it costlier to borrow – for a car, a home, a business deal, a credit card purchase – all of which will compound Americans’ financial strains and likely weaken the economy. Yet with inflation having surged to a 40-year high, the Fed has come under pressure to act aggressively to slow spending and curb the price spikes that are bedeviling households and companies. After the central bank’s latest rate-setting meeting ends Wednesday, the Fed is set to announce that it’s raising its benchmark short-term interest rate by a half-percentage point – the sharpest rate hike since 2000. ___

European Union moves forward in antitrust case against Apple

BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union says it believes Apple has abused its dominant position by limiting access to rivals to its Apple Pay mobile payment system. The EU’s executive arm has been investigating the technology company since 2020. The European Commission’s preliminary view is that Apple is restricting competition by preventing mobile wallets app developers from accessing the necessary hardware and software on its devices. The commission said Monday that the practice “has an exclusive effect on competitors and leads to less innovation and less choice for consumers for mobile wallets on iPhones.” The commission said it sent a Statement of Objections to Apple over its practices. It’s a formal step in its investigations into suspected violations of EU antitrust rules.


Poland urges EU to slap sanctions on Russian oil and gas

BRUSSELS (AP) – Poland is calling on its European Union partners to impose sweeping sanctions on Russia’s oil and natural gas sectors over the war in Ukraine. It’s also urging them not to cave in to pressure to pay for their gas in Russian rubles. Monday’s call came at emergency energy talks in Brussels to discuss Russia’s decision last week to cut gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland. Polish Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskwa says oil and gas sanctions are “the next, and urgent, and absolute step.” The EU has hit Russian officials, oligarchs, banks and companies with rafts of sanctions since Moscow sent its troops into Ukraine in February. More sanctions, possibly including on oil, could come later this week.


Spirit still prefers bid from Frontier Airlines over JetBlue

NEW YORK (AP) – Spirit Airlines ‘board still supports Frontier Airlines’ $ 2.9 billion takeover bid for the airline, saying it determined JetBlue’s competing $ 3.6 billion offer isn’t a superior proposal. Spirit said Monday that it’s concerned regulators won’t approve a deal with JetBlue. Last month, Spirit said it believed JetBlue’s offer could reasonably turn out to be the better of the two bids. But Spirit is changing its tune after a review of the regulatory situation. The big stumbling block for a JetBlue takeover is JetBlue’s current partnership with American Airlines in the Northeast, which already faces a lawsuit from federal and state regulators.


Late tech rally leaves Wall Street indexes modestly higher

NEW YORK (AP) – A late rally in big technology stocks erased an afternoon slump on Wall Street and left major indexes higher. The uneven start to May followed a brutal April in which widespread technology sell-offs dragged down major benchmarks. Facebook’s parent company and chipmaker Nvidia each rose more than 5%. The S&P 500 ended up 0.6% higher. It was down as much as 1.7% earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% and the Nasdaq aded 1.6%. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.99% and briefly traded at 3% for the first time since late 2018.


Energy chief Granholm touts $ 3B plan to boost EV batteries

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration has announced $ 3.1 billion in funding to US companies that make and recycle lithium-ion batteries. It’s part of the administration’s push to dramatically boost sales of electric vehicles. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says the plan will offer grants to companies that process or recycle battery components to increase domestic supplies of a market now dominated by China and other countries. Biden has set a goal to have electric vehicles make up half of all vehicle sales in America by 2030. The grant program is separate from an executive order President Joe Biden issued this spring, invoking the Defense Production Act to boost lithium production and other critical minerals needed for batteries.


Elon Musk’s big plans for Twitter: What we know so far

PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) – Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is buying Twitter for $ 44 billion to take it private, has outlined a mix of vague principles and technical details as he looks to make the platform “maximum fun!” But what’s in store if he follows through? Turns out that some of his bigger ideas about free speech, fighting spam and opening up the “black box” of artificial intelligence tools that amplify social media trends are still more intentions than actual plans. And implementing them is likely to be more complicated than he suggests.


The S&P 500 rose 23.45 points, or 0.6%, to 4,155.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 84.29 points, or 0.3%, to 33,061.50. The Nasdaq added 201.38 points, or 1.6%, to 12,536.02. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies advanced 18.81 points, or 1%, to 1,882.91.


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