Business Highlights: July jobs, Musk countersuit
‘What recession?’: US employers add 528,000 jobs in July
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added an astonishing 528,000 jobs last month despite flashing warning signs of an economic downturn, easing fears of a recession and handing President Joe Biden some good news heading into the midterm elections. Unemployment dropped another notch, from 3.6% to 3.5%, matching the more than 50-year low reached just before the pandemic took hold. The economy has now recovered all 22 million jobs lost in March and April 2020 when COVID-19 slammed the U.S. The red-hot numbers were reported Friday by the Labor Department. Economists had expected only 250,000 new jobs last month, in a drop-off from June’s revised 398,000. Instead, July proved to be the best month since February.
Hourly workers still have leverage as US hiring booms
NEW YORK (AP) — As inflation skyrockets, hourly workers keep changing jobs in pursuit of higher wages. And with unemployment still near a 50-year low, experts say that option is likely to remain open to them for the near future. A new Pew Research Center survey shows that about one in five U.S. workers say they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next six months. But for many at the lower end of the pay scale, inflation has already eaten into or erased any pay gains.
Wall Street falls as jobs data suggests Fed hikes not over
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing mostly lower Friday after new data on the hot U.S. jobs market suggested the Fed won’t soon rein in its aggressive rate hikes. The S&P 500 is down 0.2% and the Nasdaq lost 0.5%, while the Dow Jones industrials notched a small gain. Employers unexpectedly accelerated their hiring last month and added hundreds of thousands more jobs than forecast. While the data suggests the economy may not be in a recession, it also undercuts investor hopes that inflation may be close to peaking. Treasury yields jumped. Warner Bros. Discovery had its third worst day ever after recording weak second quarter results.
Musk countersuit accuses Twitter of fraud over ‘bot’ count
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Elon Musk accused Twitter of fraud in a countersuit over his aborted $44 billion deal for the social media company, which he said held back necessary information and misled his team about its true user base. The countersuit filed by the billionaire and Tesla CEO on Thursday alleges that Twitter committed fraud, breach of contract and violation of the Texas Securities Act. Musk’s counterclaims were filed confidentially last week and unsealed in a filing late Thursday at the Delaware Chancery Court. Twitter called Musk’s claims an imagined story based on sloppy data from a generic web tool.
Amazon to buy vacuum maker iRobot for roughly $1.7B
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon on Friday announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the vacuum cleaner maker iRobot for approximately $1.7 billion. It’s a move that will allow Amazon to scoop up another company to add to its collection of smart home appliances amid broader concerns about its market power. iRobot sells its products worldwide and is most famous for the circular-shaped Roomba vacuum. Amazon says it will acquire the company for $61 per share in an all-cash transaction that will include iRobot’s net debt. The deal is subject to approval by shareholders and regulators. Upon completion, iRobot’s CEO, Colin Angle, will remain in his position.
US agency probes Tesla crashes that killed 2 motorcyclists
DETROIT (AP) — Two crashes involving Teslas apparently running on Autopilot are drawing scrutiny from federal regulators and point to a potential new hazard on U.S. freeways: The partially automated vehicles may not stop for motorcycles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent investigation teams to two crashes last month in which Teslas collided with motorcycles on freeways in the darkness, and the riders were killed. In both cases, the agency suspects that Tesla’s partially automated driver-assist system was in use. The agency says that once it gathers more information, it may include the crashes in an broader probe of Teslas striking emergency vehicles parked along freeways. Messages were left seeking comment from Tesla.
Storms ground US air travelers as airlines cancel flights
NEW YORK (AP) — Thunderstorms on the East Coast are causing travel headaches for tens of thousands of airline passengers. Airlines canceled more than 1,100 flights in the U.S. by midafternoon Friday. The highest numbers of canceled flights were at the three major airports in the New York City area — JFK, LaGuardia and Newark — and at Reagan National Airport outside Washington, D.C. American Airlines is canceling more than 200 flights — 6% of its schedule. That’s according to tracking service FlightAware. The Federal Aviation Administration says there were also long delays at many airports — more than 90 minutes at LaGuardia and Newark.
Warner Bros. Discovery Q2 results miss Wall Street’s view
NEW YORK (AP) — Warner Bros. Discovery, which went public in April, missed Wall Street’s expectations in the second quarter as the media giant looks to work through the growing pains of its merger. The New York-based company lost $3.42 billion, or $1.50 per share, in the quarter. Its adjusted loss was 11 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected breakeven results. Revenue totaled $9.83 billion, below the $11.53 billion that Wall Street was calling for.
The S&P 500 eased 6.75 points, or 0.2%, to 4,145.19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 76.65 points, or 0.2%, to 32,803.47. The Nasdaq slipped 63.03 points, or 0.5%, to 12,657.55. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gained 15.37 points, or 0.8%, to 1,921.82.