Business Highlights: Infrastructure, Fed Weakening Outlook


WASHINGTON (AP) – With a strong vote after weeks of turmoil, the Senate approved the two-party $ 1 trillion infrastructure plan. A rare coalition of Democrats and Republicans gathered on Tuesday to deliver a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s agenda. Passage gives momentum as he now heads for the house. The package would provide nearly $ 550 billion in new spending over five years for roads, bridges, high-speed internet, water pipes and other public works systems. Biden said it shows that “democracy can still work.” The Senate turns to Biden’s biggest package, a $ 3.5 trillion plan with debate likely to extend into the fall.


Bullard: Robust job growth supports Fed cut “soon”

WASHINGTON (AP) – Last week’s jobs report demonstrated the continued strength of the US economy and underscored the need for the Federal Reserve to curb its stimulus efforts, a Fed official said on Tuesday. St. Louis Federal Reserve Chairman James Bullard said Friday’s report, which showed a healthy gain of 943,000 jobs last month, means the economy is making enough progress to start shrinking, or decrease, the $ 120 billion in monthly Fed bond purchases. These purchases are aimed at lowering long-term interest rates and supporting the economy.


Nissan plant in Tennessee to close for 2 weeks due to chip shortage

DETROIT (AP) – Nissan has announced that its massive Smyrna, Tennessee plant will close for two weeks starting Monday. The shutdown is due to a shortage of computer chips caused by a coronavirus outbreak in Malaysia. The shutdown is one of the longest for a U.S. auto plant of this size since the semiconductor shortage began to hit late last year. The shortage has hampered auto production around the world. Nissan said in a statement Tuesday that it was running low on chips due to a COVID-19 outbreak at a chip factory in Malaysia. She expects production to resume on August 30. The 6 million square foot Tennessee plant employs 6,700 people and manufactures six Nissan models, including the small SUV Rogue, its best-selling vehicle.


Facebook bans the company behind Pfizer and AstraZeneca smear campaign

PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) – Facebook has deleted hundreds of accounts linked to a disinformation network operating from Russia that sought to smear COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca. The company said on Tuesday it had banned the advertising company behind the campaign, which had offered to pay social media influencers in Europe if they posted their misleading content. The plan backfired when two of these influencers exposed the network. Facebook said it traced the content to a company called Fazze which operates from Russia. Messages left seeking comment from Fazze’s parent company were not returned on Tuesday.


Kansas City Southern Rail Auction War Relaunched

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) – Canadian Pacific has returned to bidding war for Kansas City Southern with an increased bid of $ 31 billion for the US railroad. But its latest offer falls short of the competing $ 33.6 billion offer from Canadian National that Kansas City Southern accepted in May. Nonetheless, Canadian Pacific’s new offer will give Kansas City Southern shareholders more thought before they vote on the deal with CN on August 19. Investors are also still waiting to see if the U.S. Surface Transportation Board will approve a key component of considering acquiring Kansas City Southern, and that decision could come any day.


Stocks are on the rise as banks and industrials offset tech slippage

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks ended another turbulent day, mostly higher on Wall Street on Tuesday, as gains by banks and elsewhere in the market offset lower tech companies. The S&P 500 Index rose 0.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5%. The Nasdaq slipped 0.5%. Crude oil rose 2.7% after falling the day before. Food distributor Sysco jumped 6.5% after posting much better results than analysts expected. Kansas City Southern jumped 7.5% after Canadian Pacific increased its bid for the rail operator, reigniting a bidding war with Canadian National. The 10-year Treasury yield was 1.35%.


Without a “right of repair”, businesses waste time and money

NEW YORK (AP) – As software and other technologies become part of more and more products, manufacturers are making these products increasingly difficult to repair, which can cost owners time and money business. Manufacturers of products ranging from smartphones to farm equipment can withhold repair tools and create software locks that prevent even simple updates, unless they are performed by a company-authorized repair shop. It can cost independent repair shops valuable business and countless labor hours to procure parts. Farmers can lose thousands of people while waiting for authorized dealers to fix faulty equipment. And consumers end up paying more for repairs – or for complete item replacement.


Robinhood acquires Say

NEW YORK (AP) – Robinhood, the trading app that has attracted millions of new investors to the stock market, is buying a company that helps people connect with the companies whose shares they buy. Robinhood Markets announced Tuesday that it has agreed to buy Say Technologies for around $ 140 million in cash. Say helps listed companies know what questions their investors want answered, and he helps investors vote at annual company meetings.


The S&P 500 rose 4.40 points, or 0.1%, to 4,436.75. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 162.82 points, or 0.5%, to 35,264.67. The Nasdaq lost 72.09 points, or 0.5%, to 14,788.09. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index gained 4.55 points, or 0.2%, to 2,239.36.


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