Business Highlights: Floating Gas Terminals, GM Company

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European project for floating gas terminals raises climate fears

NEW YORK – As winter approached, European nations, desperate to replace the natural gas they once bought from Russia, adopted a short-term solution: a series of about 20 floating terminals that would receive liquefied natural gas from other countries and convert it into heating fuel. Still, the plan, with the first floating terminals due to deliver natural gas by the end of the year, has raised alarm among scientists who fear the long-term consequences for the environment. They warn that these terminals would perpetuate Europe’s dependence on natural gas, which releases climate-warming methane and carbon dioxide when produced, transported and burned.

Inflation reaches 9.1% in countries using the euro

LONDON — Inflation in European countries using the euro hit a new high in August, fueled by soaring energy prices mainly caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Annual inflation in the 19 eurozone countries reached 9.1% in August, compared to 8.9% in July. That’s according to the latest figures released by the European Union’s statistics agency on Wednesday. Inflation is at its highest level since the euro began recording in 1997. Energy prices jumped 38.3%, while food prices rose 10.6%. The prices of goods increased by 5% and the cost of services increased by 3.8%.

Silver lining: Northeast drought benefits some businesses

BOSTON — There’s a silver lining to the drought affecting the northeastern United States that has frustrated farmers, dried up rivers and reservoirs and led to water use restrictions and bushfires in the region. The arid conditions have benefited amusement parks, minor league baseball teams, construction contractors and other businesses that need hot, dry weather to attract paying customers and complete jobs on time. . Although several factors have affected the bottom line this summer, including inflation, staff shortages and supply chain issues, some companies say things are generally going well, partly due to the weather.

Stocks end lower in choppy trade, on pace with weekly loss

NEW YORK — Stocks closed lower on another choppy trading day on Wall Street, on pace for a weekly loss after several days of declines. Losses in technology and retail stocks outpaced gains in communications and other sectors. The S&P 500 lost nearly 1% on Wednesday after swinging between gains and losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq composite also lost ground. Bed Bath & Beyond lost almost a quarter of its value after announcing a major restructuring and share sale. Treasury yields rose and energy prices fell. The market ended August overall down after surging in July.

German prosecutors raid JPMorgan offices in tax probe

BERLIN — German prosecutors raided the Frankfurt office of JPMorgan Chase & Co. as part of a wider tax evasion probe targeting numerous banks in Germany and beyond. Cologne prosecutors said on Wednesday that dozens of investigators began raiding the offices of a Frankfurt-based financial institution and several auditing and tax firms on Tuesday. The raids also targeted the private apartments of four suspects. Prosecutors said the raids were linked to an investigation into so-called cum-ex stock trading and related tax avoidance practices that allegedly cost the German government billions of euros. JPMorgan said in a statement that its Frankfurt offices were “visited” this week and said it was cooperating with German authorities.

Bed Bath & Beyond will close stores and cut jobs as part of a rebound bid

NEW YORK — Bed Bath & Beyond said it will close stores and lay off workers in a bid to turn around its beleaguered business. The Union, New Jersey-based home goods retailer announced Wednesday that it will be closing about 150 of its namesake stores and reducing its workforce by 20%. He estimated the cuts would save the company $250 million in the current fiscal year. He also said he plans to sell more of his shares to shore up his finances and has lined up more than $500 million in new funding. But he will keep his buybuy Baby channel, which he considered selling earlier this year. Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond fell more than 20%.

GM Company Begins Building Battery Cells at New Ohio Plant

DETROIT — General Motors says a new electric vehicle battery plant built in Ohio has started producing cells, which could help customers get federal tax credits. The joint venture plant near Warren, Ohio, is focused on training as it prepares to ramp up manufacturing. A company spokeswoman said it was producing cells but not yet shipping them. They will go in vehicles equipped with GM’s Ultium batteries, which currently include Hummer EVs, Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup trucks and the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV. Eventually, the plant is expected to help GM’s electric vehicles meet the requirements for a federal tax credit of $7,500 per vehicle under the Inflation Reduction Act.

States tap historic surpluses for tax cuts and refunds

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Cash-rich state governments are returning billions of dollars to their residents. Already this year, at least 31 states have adopted some form of tax reduction or refund. That is expected to increase when Missouri and Idaho convene special sessions in September to consider tax relief. The number of states enacting tax relief is well above normal. States have extra money due to increased tax revenue and federal pandemic assistance. But there are divisions on how far to go. Democratic states have generally opted for targeted tax breaks and one-time rebates, while some Republican states have adopted permanent tax rate reductions.

The S&P 500 slipped 31.16 points, or 0.8%, to 3,955. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 280.44 points, or 0.9%, to 31,510.43. The Nasdaq fell 66.93 points, or 0.6%, to 11,816.20. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index fell 11.48 points, or 0.6%, to 1,844.12.

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