BofA CEO: Struggling Americans feel in recession
NEW YORK (AP) — The CEO of Bank of America said the recent debate over whether or not the U.S. economy is technically in a recession misses the point. What matters is that the current economic conditions are having a negative impact on the most vulnerable people. Brian Moynihan told The Associated Press that rising gas prices and rising rents are of particular concern when looking at the health of the American consumer. While gas prices have come down a bit recently, rents continue to rise. But overall, the BofA CEO said he thinks the American consumer is in good shape and able to weather the economic turbulence.
The Fed saw evidence of a slowing economy at its last meeting
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials saw signs the U.S. economy was weakening at their last meeting, but still called inflation “too high” before raising their rate. benchmark interest rates by three-quarters of a point in their drive to slow the price spike. In the minutes of their July 26-27 meeting, released Wednesday, policymakers said they expected the U.S. economy to expand in the second half of 2022. But many of them suggested growth would weaken as the higher rates take hold. Officials noted that the housing market, consumer spending, business investment and industrial production had already slowed after rising sharply in 2021.
U.S. retail sales flat in July as inflation takes its toll
WASHINGTON (AP) — The pace of U.S. retailer sales was flat last month as persistently high inflation and rising interest rates forced many households to spend more cautiously. Retail purchases were flat in July after rising 0.8% in June, the Commerce Department reported. U.S. consumers, whose spending accounts for nearly 70% of economic activity, have remained mostly resilient even with inflation near a four-decade high, growing economic uncertainties, and mortgage lending rates and others up. Yet their overall spending has declined and shifted more and more toward basic necessities like groceries and away from discretionary items like housewares, casual clothing and electronics.
Gas-powered muscle cars roll into the sunset, go electric
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Thundering gas-powered muscle cars will be closing in on their final Saturday night cruises for years to come. That’s because automakers are replacing vehicles with super-fast cars that run on batteries. Stellantis’ Dodge brand has long been the performance standard bearer for the company formerly known as Fiat Chrysler. Now he is officially moving towards electricity. On Wednesday night, Dodge unveiled a battery-powered Charger Daytona SRT concept car. Such will be in showrooms in 2024 at sunset on some tanker models. Other automakers are moving – or have moved – in the same direction.
Bank of America overdraft fees drop 90% under new policy
NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America says revenue it earns from overdrafts has fallen 90% from a year ago, after the bank cut overdraft fees to $10 from $35 $ and eliminated fees for NSF cheques. The nation’s biggest banks are moving away from the practice of charging exorbitant fees on mostly small-dollar purchases after years of public pressure. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan told The Associated Press that he expects any residual income the bank makes from overdraft fees to come from small businesses using overdraft fees for convenience. .
US to hold trade talks with Taiwan in fresh show of support
BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. government has said it will hold talks with Taiwan on a trade treaty in a further sign of support for the self-governing island democracy claimed by China’s ruling Communist Party as part of its territory. The announcements come after Beijing launched military drills that included firing missiles into the seas around Taiwan in a bid to intimidate the island after a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The U.S. Trade Representative’s announcement made no mention of tensions with Beijing, but said the talks aimed to strengthen trade and regulatory cooperation, a step that would involve closer official interaction.
US midterms bring little change from social media companies
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media companies are sharing their plans to protect the U.S. midterm elections, though they offered few details. Tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter are generally maintaining the course they were on during the 2020 voting season — which was marred by conspiracies and culminated in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol. Meta Platforms Inc., which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, said its approach to this election cycle is “largely consistent with the policies and safeguards” it had in place in 2020. TikTok announced an election hub that will help people to find polling places and candidate information.
Stocks slide on Wall Street, wiping out weekly S&P 500 gains
Stocks closed lower on Wall Street, led by declines in big tech companies and erasing the S&P 500’s gains for the week. The S&P 500 fell 0.7% on Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also fell. Small company stocks fell more than the rest of the market. Wall Street absorbed a mix of retail updates that showed inflationary pressure continues to affect businesses and consumers, but also shows spending remains strong. The target fell after reporting a fall in profits. The government reported that retail sales were flat in July.
Yellen asks the IRS to develop a modernization plan in 6 months
WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has ordered the IRS to develop a plan within six months outlining how the tax agency will modernize its technology, customer service and hiring. With the Democrats’ big bill on climate, taxes and health care, the tax agency is set to receive nearly $80 billion over 10 years. Yellen’s memo stresses the importance of modernizing the IRS’ computer systems and ensuring the agency has an adequate workforce. She says the IRS needs to “end the two-tier tax system, where most Americans pay what they owe, but those at the top of the distribution often don’t.” His memo Tuesday to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig was obtained by The Associated Press.
Amazon is testing TikTok-style feed on its app, AI firm says
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon appears to have caught the TikTok bug, joining other companies seeking to grab consumer attention by introducing replicas of the popular social platform. According to artificial intelligence firm Watchful Technologies, the e-commerce giant has tested a feed on its app that allows shoppers to scroll through photos and videos of TikTok-like products posted by other users. Using the feature, called Inspire, customers can like, save and share product posts and purchase items directly from the feed. The test doesn’t mean Amazon will roll out the widget to the public in its current form — or at all. An Amazon spokesperson declined to say what the company plans to do.
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