GM: New batteries cut electric car costs, increase range
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says a pending breakthrough in battery chemistry will cut the price of its electric vehicles so they equal those powered by gasoline within five years. The technology also will increase the range per charge to as high as 450 miles. The company’s product development chief promised a small electric SUV that will cost under $30,000 and pledged to roll out 30 battery-powered models worldwide by 2025. Nearly all current electric vehicles cost more than $30,000. The announcement illustrates how fast electric vehicle technology is moving and shows that it may become the primary fuel for transportation faster than expected.
Mnuchin rejects renewal of some Fed emergency loan programs
WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he will not to extend several emergency loan programs set up with the Federal Reserve to support the economy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The decision drew a terse rebuke from the Fed. The central bank says it would prefer that the full suite of emergency facilities remain as a backstop for the pandemic hobbled economy. In a letter to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, Mnuchin said that the Fed’s corporate credit, municipal lending and Main Street Lending programs would not be renewed when they expire on Dec. 31.
US jobless claims rise to 742,000; millions to lose aid
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose last week to 742,000, the first increase in five weeks and a sign that the resurgent viral outbreak is likely slowing the economy and forcing more companies to cut jobs. The Labor Department’s report Thursday showed that applications for benefits rose from 711,000 in the previous week. Claims had soared to 6.9 million in March when the pandemic first intensified. Before the pandemic, applications typically hovered about 225,000 a week. The economy’s modest recovery is increasingly at risk, with newly confirmed daily infections in the United States having exploded 80% over the past two weeks to the highest levels on record.
BuzzFeed buying HuffPost from Verizon for undisclosed price
NEW YORK (AP) — BuzzFeed is buying HuffPost from Verizon as part of a bigger deal that has the wireless giant investing in the digital-media company. BuzzFeed and Verizon did not disclose terms of the deal. Verizon will be a minority shareholder in BuzzFeed and the two companies will partner on content and ads. BuzzFeed is known for its quizzes and lists but also invested in its news division. Its founder and CEO, Jonah Peretti, also co-founded HuffPost, then known as The Huffington Post, in 2005. AOL bought it for $315 million in 2011.
Macy’s loses money in 3Q; virus surges into holiday season
NEW YORK (AP) — Macy’s swung to a loss and sales tumbled 22% as the department store chain struggled to bring shoppers back to stores during a pandemic. The results, which were better than Wall Street analysts expected, come as Macy’s faces a surge in COVID cases around the country just as the holiday shopping season ramps up. Like its peers, Macy’s was forced to close its stores during the spring to curb the spread of the coronavirus and sales evaporated.
Tyson suspends Iowa plant managers amid virus betting claim
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Tyson Foods has suspended top officials at its largest pork plant and launched an investigation into allegations that they bet on how many workers would get infected during a widespread coronavirus outbreak. Tyson Foods President and CEO Dean Banks said Thursday that he was “extremely upset” about the allegations against managers at its plant in Waterloo, Iowa, saying they do not represent the company’s values.
Stocks rise amid investors’ tug of war between hope, fear
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended higher, shaking off a weak start and nearly erasing the S&P 500′s losses for the week. The index rose 0.4% Thursday. Major indexes had wavered for much of the day as Wall Street’s tug of war continues between worries about the worsening pandemic and optimism that a vaccine will come soon. The S&P 500 fell 1.2% a day earlier, and set a record high on Monday. A discouraging report on jobless claims underscored the fears that have slowed Wall Street’s big rally this month. It showed more workers filed for unemployment benefits last week than expected.
US mortgage rates fall to new lows; 30-year loan at 2.72%
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, reaching record lows for the 13th time this year amid fresh signs of weakness in the pandemic-ravaged economy. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported that the average rate on the 30-year benchmark loan declined to 2.72% from 2.84% last week. The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage eased to 2.28% from 2.34%. Fresh signs emerged this week that the resurgent coronavirus outbreak is likely slowing the economy and forcing more companies to cut jobs. The government reported that retail sales in the U.S. grew a sluggish 0.3% in October, even as retailers offered early holiday discounts online and in stores.
The S&P 500 gained 14.08 points, or 0.4%, to 3,581.87. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 44.81 points, or 0.2%, to 29,483.23. The Nasdaq composite climbed 103.11 points, or 0.9%, to 11,904.71. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 14.82 points, or 0.8%, 1,784.13.