Business Highlights: EV tax credits, Walmart earnings

August 16, 2022 GMT

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Which EVs qualify for new US tax credit? Websites offer help

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government is moving forward with its plan to award new tax credits to electric vehicle purchasers. It’s part of the rollout of a huge new climate, tax and healthcare law. Several new websites launched Tuesday to help people identify which vehicles qualify for the credits. Based on data submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 31 new 2022 and 2023 models qualify for the tax credit. For starters, they must be made in North America to be eligible. President Joe Biden signed Democrats’ landmark climate change and health care bill into law on Tuesday afternoon. It includes a tax credit of up to $7,500 that could be used to defray the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle.

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Companies facing 1st tax on stock buybacks in Biden bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats have pulled off a quiet first in legislation passed this month: the creation of a tax targeting stock buybacks. The bill includes a new 1% excise tax on companies’ purchases of their own shares, a tactic that companies have long used to return cash to investors and bolster their stock’s price. Democrats say that instead of buying back shares, big companies should use the money to increase employees’ wages or invest in their business. But is that likely to happen with the tax? Some experts are skeptical. The tax on stock buybacks is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

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Hot dogs vs deli meat; rising costs shape choices at Walmart

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart reported better-than-expected second quarter results as more Americans looked to cut costs on groceries at the nation’s largest retailer in the face of surging inflation. Those rising prices, however, meant that customers where cutting back on non-necessary purchases. Walmart reported a $5.15 billion quarterly profit Tuesday. It easily topped Wall Street’s profit and sales forecasts. ___

Home Depot posts record profit, revenue; sticks to outlook

NEW YORK (AP) — Home Depot’s sales rose in its fiscal second quarter, buoyed by continued demand for items related to home improvement projects. Revenue for the three months ended July 31 rose 6.5% to $43.79 billion. This beat the $43.35 billion that analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were calling for. Sales at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer’s health, climbed 5.8%. In the U.S., the figure increased 5.4%. While the number of customer transactions fell 3%, the amount shoppers spent per transaction rose 9.1%.

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Amazon: FTC probe hounding Bezos, execs; subpoenas too broad

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amazon has complained to federal regulators that they’re hounding company founder Jeff Bezos and senior executives. The e-commerce giant says regulators are making impossible-to-satisfy demands in their investigation of Amazon Prime, the popular streaming and shopping service with free delivery and an estimated 200 million members around the globe. The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the sign-up and cancellation practices of Amazon Prime, starting in May 2021 with the issuance of civil subpoenas, the retail and tech giant disclosed in a petition to the agency. The petition asks the FTC to cancel, or extend the deadline for answering, subpoenas sent to Bezos and current CEO Andy Jassy.

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American Airlines places deposit on 20 supersonic planes

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines says it has agreed to buy up to 20 supersonic jets that are still on the drawing board and years away from flying. American announced the deal Tuesday with Boom Supersonic. Neither company is giving financial details, such as how much American is paying in what they call a non-refundable deposit. It has been nearly 20 years since the last supersonic passenger flight by Concorde, the British-French plane. Boom CEO Blake Scholl says tickets on one of his company’s planes will cost about $4,000 to $5,000, and they’ll fly from New York to London in about three-and-a-half hours.

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Amazon workers in upstate New York file for union election

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon workers in upstate New York filed a petition for a union election on Tuesday, launching a major labor fight against the company. A spokesperson for the National Labor Relations Board says the petition was filed for a warehouse in the town of Schodack, near Albany. To qualify for a union election, the NLRB requires signatures from 30% of eligible voters. The agency now has to verify if the workers are qualified to seek an election. The Amazon Labor Union is backing the organizing effort. Earlier this year, it notched a historic win at a warehouse on Staten Island, New York, but also took a loss at another nearby location weeks later.

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Airbnb is rolling out new screening tools to stop parties

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Airbnb says it’s rolling out new technology to spot and block people who try to use the short-term rental service to throw a party. Airbnb said Tuesday that the new system examines the renter’s history on Airbnb, how far they live from the rental listing, and other factors. The system has been tested since last October in parts of Australia, and Airbnb says it has led to a 35% drop in unauthorized parties. Airbnb has been under growing pressure to clamp down on parties since 2019, when a Halloween house party in a San Francisco suburb ended with five people dead in a shooting.

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The S&P 500 added 8.06 points, or 0.2%, to 4,305.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 239.57 points, or 0.7%, to 34,152.01. The Nasdaq slipped 25.50 points, or 0.2%, to 13,102.55. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 0.82 points, or less than 0.1%, to 2,020.53.