Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: United States Economy

Stocks Hit a Record as Investors See Progress Toward a Spending Deal

Stocks Hit a Record as Investors See Progress Toward a Spending Deal

Business
Wall Street likes what it’s hearing from Washington lately.The S&P 500 inched to a new high on Thursday, continuing a rally aided by signs of progress in spending talks that could pave the way for an injection of some $3 trillion into the U.S. economy.The index rose 0.3 percent to 4,549.78, its seventh straight day of gains and a fresh peak after more than a month of volatile trading driven by nervousness over the still-wobbly economic recovery and policy fights in Washington.But even baby steps by lawmakers have helped end a market swoon that began in September.Share prices began to rise this month when congressional leaders struck a deal to allow the government to avoid breaching the debt ceiling, ending a standoff that threatened to make it impossible for the country to pay its bill...
The Economic Rebound Is Still Waiting for Workers

The Economic Rebound Is Still Waiting for Workers

Business
Some businesses seem determined to wait them out. Wages have risen, but many employers appear reluctant to make other changes to attract workers, like flexible schedules and better benefits. That may be partly because, for all their complaints about a labor shortage, many companies are finding that they can get by with fewer workers, in some instances by asking customers to accept long waits or reduced service.“They’re making a lot of profits in part because they’re saving on labor costs, and the question is how long can that go on,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist for the employment site ZipRecruiter. Eventually, she said, customers may get tired of busing their own tables or sitting on hold for hours, and employers may be forced to give into workers’ demands.Some businesses are alread...
Biden’s Plans Raise Questions About What U.S. Can Afford Not to Do

Biden’s Plans Raise Questions About What U.S. Can Afford Not to Do

Business
WASHINGTON — As lawmakers debate how much to spend on President Biden’s sprawling domestic agenda, they are really arguing about a seemingly simple issue: affordability.Can a country already running huge deficits afford the scope of spending that the president envisions? Or, conversely, can it afford to wait to address large social, environmental and economic problems that will accrue costs for years to come?It is a stealth battle over the fiscal future at a time when few lawmakers in either party have prioritized addressing debt and deficits. Each side believes its approach would put the nation’s finances on a more sustainable path by generating the strongest, most durable economic growth possible.The debate has shaped a discussion among lawmakers about what to prioritize as they scale ba...
Wall Street Sees a Record Deal Spree as a Reason for Optimism

Wall Street Sees a Record Deal Spree as a Reason for Optimism

Business
Sharon Yeshaya, Morgan Stanley’s chief financial officer, said the financial, health care and technology industries in the Americas and Europe have been the hottest areas, but momentum was building elsewhere, too.“What we’re seeing is really strong pipelines,” Ms. Yeshaya said in an interview after the bank reported a jump in profits to $3.7 billion. “The strength is broadening.”The frenetic pace has persisted despite the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic, trade disputes and geopolitical tension, Matt Toole, director of deals intelligence at Refinitiv, wrote about the record quarter. Buoyant stock markets, low borrowing costs and the emergence of new buyers from special purpose acquisition companies will continue to prop up activity, he wrote.“With the all-time full-year deal making...
Rising Rents Stoke Inflation Data, a Concern for Washington

Rising Rents Stoke Inflation Data, a Concern for Washington

Business
The recovery in the New York area as a whole has been uneven as some families have moved to the city, bidding up prices, while others are struggling to pay, said Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program, which represents landlords of mostly rent-stabilized housing.“You have bidding wars for one unit, and then a renter who can’t pay,” he said. “A tale of two cities is happening within the same building.”Drew Hamrick, the senior vice president of the Colorado Apartment Association, a landlord group, said the rise in rents is not driven by landlords but by market factors.“Landlords don’t really set the price, consumers set the price,” he said. “It’s musical chairs.”Even if there is a pullback in rents next year, today’s suddenly higher housing costs could ma...
September Consumer Price Index: Inflation Rises

September Consumer Price Index: Inflation Rises

Business
Consumer prices jumped more than expected last month, with rent, food and furniture costs surging as a limited supply of housing and a shortage of goods stemming from supply chain troubles combined to fuel rapid inflation.The Consumer Price Index climbed 5.4 percent in September from a year earlier, faster than its 5.3 percent increase through August and above economists’ forecasts. Monthly price gains also exceeded predictions, with the index rising 0.4 percent from August to September.The figures raise the stakes for both the Federal Reserve and the White House, which are facing a longer period of rapid inflation than they had expected and may soon come under pressure to act to ensure the price gains don’t become a permanent fixture.On Wednesday, President Biden said his administration w...
A Stock Market Malaise With the Shadow of ’70s-Style Stagflation

A Stock Market Malaise With the Shadow of ’70s-Style Stagflation

Business
Vaccine mandates seem to be working, younger children may be approved for shots by Halloween, and the coronavirus appears to be in retreat. But those hopeful signs herald a messy new phase for the country’s economic recovery — and that’s putting Wall Street more on edge than it’s been in months.The Federal Reserve has signaled it could begin dialing back programs that have helped prop up the markets for the past 18 months as soon as next month, while the breakneck pace of economic growth seems to be slowing, a fact underscored by a disappointing September jobs report.And price increases that grew out of pandemic-related shutdowns and supply chain disruptions have been stubbornly persistent. A key measure of inflation released Wednesday, the Consumer Price Index, climbed 5.4 percent in Sept...
World’s Growth Cools and the Rich-Poor Divide Widens

World’s Growth Cools and the Rich-Poor Divide Widens

Business
As the world economy struggles to find its footing, the resurgence of the coronavirus and supply chain chokeholds threaten to hold back the global recovery’s momentum, a closely watched report warned on Tuesday.The overall growth rate will remain near 6 percent this year, a historically high level after a recession, but the expansion reflects a vast divergence in the fortunes of rich and poor countries, the International Monetary Fund said in its latest World Economic Outlook report.Worldwide poverty, hunger and unmanageable debt are all on the upswing. Employment has fallen, especially for women, reversing many of the gains they made in recent years.Uneven access to vaccines and health care is at the heart of the economic disparities. While booster shots are becoming available in some wea...
Clear Differences Remain Between France and U.S., French Minister Says

Clear Differences Remain Between France and U.S., French Minister Says

Business
PARIS — As global finance leaders gather this week in Washington for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund, Bruno Le Maire, the finance minister of France, made clear that effective French-American cooperation on an overhaul of the international tax system could not mask stark differences on China and other issues.“The United States wants to confront China. The European Union wants to engage China,” Mr. Le Maire, a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron of France, said in a wide-ranging interview ahead of the meetings. This was natural, he added, because the United States is the world’s leading power and does not “want China to become in a few years or in a few decades the first superpower in the world.”Europe’s strategic priority, by contrast, is independence, “which mea...

As Democrats Trim Spending Bill, Some Americans Fear Being Left Behind

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — Democrats in Congress are curbing their ambitions for President Biden’s economic agenda, and Jennifer Mount, a home health care aide, worries that means she will not get the raise she needs to pay more than $3,000 in medical bills for blindness in one eye.Edison Suasnavas, who came to the United States from Ecuador as a child, has grown anxious about the administration’s efforts to establish a pathway to citizenship, which he hoped would allow him to keep doing molecular tests for cancer patients in Utah without fear of deportation.And Amy Stelly wonders — thanks to a winnowing of Mr. Biden’s plans to invest in neighborhoods harmed by previous infrastructure projects like highways that have harmed communities of color — whether she will continue to breathe fumes from a freeway...