Business Highlights: Recession forecasts, Huawei’s display
2023 US recession now expected to start later than predicted
WASHINGTON (AP) — A majority of the nation’s business economists expect a U.S. recession to begin later this year than they had previously forecast, after a series of reports have pointed to a surprisingly resilient economy despite steadily higher interest rates. Fifty-eight percent of 48 economists who responded to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics envision a recession sometime this year, the same proportion who said so in the NABE’s survey in December. But only a quarter think a recession will have begun by the end of March, just half the proportion who had thought so in December.
Huawei dominates MWC mobile tech fair despite US sanctions
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A contingent of Chinese companies led by technology giant Huawei is turning the world’s biggest wireless trade fair into an opportunity to show their muscle. The display comes in the face of Huawei’s blacklisting by Western nations concerned about cybersecurity and escalating tensions with the U.S. over TikTok, spy balloons and computer chips. After three years of pandemic disruption, MWC, also known as Mobile World Congress, kicked off Monday in Barcelona, Spain, with mobile phone makers showing off new devices and telecom industry executives perusing the latest networking gear and software. Huawei has expanded its footprint despite being at the center of a geopolitical battle over global technology supremacy that’s left parts of its business crippled by Western sanctions.
‘Take It Down:’ a tool for teens to remove explicit images
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — “Once you send that photo, you can’t take it back,” goes the warning to teenagers, often ignoring the reality that many teens send explicit images of themselves under duress, or without understanding the consequences. A new online tool aims to give some control back to teens, or people who were once teens, and take down explicit images and videos of themselves from the internet. Called Take It Down, the tool is operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and funded in part by Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook and Instagram.
Supreme Court to hear challenge to consumer agency
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says it will take up a Republican-led challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a case that could threaten how the consumer watchdog agency functions if the high court agrees with the challenge. It is the second time in three years that the justices will be examining the federal agency, which was created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The case will not be heard before October. That’s when the court begins its next term. Late last year, a federal appeals court ruled that the agency’s funding structure is unconstitutional, threatening its ability to function. The Biden administration asked the high court to review that decision.
Stocks steady themselves after Wall Street’s rout last week
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed slightly higher, clawing back some of the losses from their worst week since early December. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% Monday, just its second gain in the last seven days. The Dow and the Nasdaq also rose. Treasury yields eased a bit. That helped take some pressure off stocks after yields soared this month as Wall Street raised its forecasts for how high the Federal Reserve will take interest rates and how long it will keep them there. Such forecasts have jumped as inflation and much of the overall economy have remained more resilient than expected.
EU official defends talks on Big Tech helping fund networks
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A top European Union official says existing telecom networks aren’t up to the job of handling surging amounts of internet data traffic and defended a consultation on whether Big Tech companies should help pay for upgrades. Thierry Breton said Monday that the telecom industry needs to reconsider its business models as it undergoes a “radical shift” fueled by a new wave of innovation such as immersive, data-hungry technologies like the metaverse. Breton’s remarks at a major industry expo in Barcelona called MWC, or Mobile World Congress, came days after he announced a consultation on whether digital giants should help contribute to the billions needed to build the 27-nation bloc’s future communications infrastructure.
UN chief slams ‘climate-wrecking’ firms at human rights body
GENEVA (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres is stressing the importance of legal challenges against “climate-wrecking corporations” like fossil-fuel producers. Guterres ratcheted up his call for the fight against climate change. The U.N. chief’s appeal opened the latest session of the Human Rights Council. It was part of an address that decried summary executions, torture and sexual violence in places like Ukraine among other issues. The council’s session opening Monday is its longest ever at more than five weeks.
UK, EU hail ‘new chapter’ with deal to fix Brexit trade spat
LONDON (AP) — The U.K. and the European Union have sealed a deal to resolve their thorny post-Brexit trade dispute over Northern Ireland. The two sides hailed the agreement Monday as the start of a “new chapter” in their often fractious relationship. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says the U.K. and the EU made a “decisive breakthrough,” with a deal labeled the Windsor Framework. Speaking alongside EU leader Ursula von der Leyen in Windsor, near London, Sunak said the two sides have agreed to changes that will remove onerous customs checks on goods moving to Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K. Von der Leyen said the agreement restores U.K.-EU relations to the “right footing.”
The S&P 500 rose 12.20 points, or 0.3%, to 3,982.24. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 72.17 points, or 0.2%, to 32,889.09. The Nasdaq composite added 72.04 points, or 0.6%, to 11,466.98. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies ended up 5.78 points, or 0.3%, to 1,896.27.