Business Highlights: Sandberg stepping down, job openings
Sheryl Sandberg, longtime No. 2 exec at Facebook, steps down
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sheryl Sandberg, the No. 2 exec at Facebook owner Meta, is stepping down, according to a post Wednesday on her Facebook page. Sandberg has served as chief operating officer at the social media giant for 14 years. She joined from Google in 2008, four years before Facebook went public. Meta did not immediately respond to a message for comment. Sandberg has led Facebook — now Meta’s — advertising business and was responsible for nurturing it from its infancy into an over $100 billion-a-year powerhouse.
Stocks slide as strong economic data raises rate worries
NEW YORK (AP) — A swift jump in Treasury yields rattled Wall Street Wednesday, weighing down stock indexes at the start of another month in what’s been a turbulent year. The S&P 500 fell 0.7% after an early morning gain quickly vanished. Stocks began their slide immediately after the release of several reports on the U.S. economy, including one showing manufacturing growth was stronger last month than expected. That bolstered investors’ expectations for the Federal Reserve to continue raising interest rates aggressively to slow the economy in hopes of reining in inflation. Treasury yields rose sharply, sending the yield on the 10-year note up to 2.92%.
US job openings decline from record level but remain high
WASHINGTON (AP) — The white-hot demand for U.S. workers cooled a bit in April, though the number of unfilled jobs remains high and companies are still desperate to hire more people. Employers advertised 11.4 million jobs at the end of April, the Labor Department said Wednesday, down from nearly 11.9 million in March, the highest level on records that date back 20 years. At that level, there are nearly two job openings for every unemployed person. That’s a sharp reversal from the historic pattern: Before the pandemic, there were always more unemployed people than available jobs.
Biden cites strain on families from infant formula shortage
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is acknowledging the strain on families from nationwide shortages of infant formula. He’s meeting manufacturers while his administration tries to address the situation by importing foreign supplies and using the Defense Production Act to speed domestic production. The White House says a third round of formula shipments from overseas will begin next week, from producer Kendamil in Britain. Shipments from Bubs Australia will be delivered next week as well. Biden says, “There’s nothing more stressful than feeling you can’t get what your child needs.” The president says that as a “father and a grandfather,” he understands how difficult the shortages have been for parents and their children.
Delta hikes Q2 revenue outlook on sharply higher airfares
Delta Air Lines is boosting its outlook for second-quarter revenue because it expects phenomenal demand for travel this summer. The airline said Wednesday that it expects second-quarter adjusted revenue will be back to pre-pandemic 2019 levels, and revenue per seat will be higher than originally expected. CEO Ed Bastian says travelers are paying more for any type of seat, from basic to premium. He says average prices this summer will be up around 30% on average — a jump he says the airline has never seen before. But Delta is also facing surging prices for jet fuel and other expenses, primarily labor.
Pressure growing to remove PFAS from fast food wrappers
BOSTON (AP) — Environmental and health groups are pushing dozens of fast food companies, supermarkets chains and other retail outlets to remove PFAS from their packaging. Known as “forever chemicals” for their persistence in the environment, PFAS have been used for decades to prevent grease, water and other liquids from soaking through wrappers, boxes and bags. Opponents of the practice argue that PFAS-treated packaging poses a danger to consumers as well as the environment, since the waste ends up as landfill. in compost or incinerated where the chemicals can leach into groundwater or the soil. They contend there are safer alternatives.
Ford CEO sees electric vehicle price war as EV costs decline
DETROIT (AP) — Ford’s chief executive says the global auto industry is headed for a huge price war in the coming years as electric vehicle costs drop and companies sell EVs priced around $25,000. CEO Jim Farley told the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference on Wednesday that the $25,000 electric vehicle will democratize EVs. Currently it costs way more to build an EV than one with a gas engine. But Farley said big cost reductions are coming with new battery chemistries that use fewer precious metals such as nickel and cobalt. Plus, he said EVs will take less time and labor to build, saving more money. Ford also plans to cut distribution and advertising costs.
Malaysia suspends chicken exports amid rising food prices
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia suspended exports of live chickens Wednesday. The move is meant to guarantee enough supplies for domestic markets, but it’s prompting distress in neighboring Singapore, where chicken rice is a national dish. Malaysia typically exports up to 3.6 million chickens a month. The ban is felt most in Singapore which sources a third of its poultry from Malaysia. Almost all the chickens are imported live to Singapore, where they are slaughtered and chilled. Singapore consumers have rushed stock up on fresh chicken. Malaysia’s ban comes as countries worldwide grapple with soaring food prices, fueled partly by the Ukraine war.
The S&P 500 fell 30.92 points, or 0.7%, to 4,101.23. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 176.89 points, or 0.5%, to 32,813.23. The Nasdaq shed 86.93 points, or 0.7%, to 11,994.46. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 9.22 points, or 0.5%, to 1,854.82.