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Business Highlights: Fed resignation, ‘metaverse’ pitfalls

November 8, 2021 GMT

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Latest exit from Fed’s board gives Biden three slots to fill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Randal Quarles announced Monday that he will resign from the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors at the end of the year after completing a four-year term as the central bank’s top bank regulator, opening up another vacancy on the Fed’s influential board for President Joe Biden to fill. Quarles had served as the Fed’s first vice chair of supervision, which gave him wide-ranging authority over the banking system. In that role, Quarles oversaw a broad loosening of the financial regulations that were put in place after the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and recession.

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Plenty of pitfalls await Zuckerberg’s ‘metaverse’ plan

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mark Zuckerberg promises that the virtual-reality “metaverse” he’s planning to build will “let you do almost anything.” That might not be such a great idea. On the plus side, as Zuckerberg said in a late October presentation, the metaverse could let you attend virtual concerts with your friends, fence with holograms of Olympic athletes and — best of all — join mixed-reality business meetings. But the dystopian downsides are also easy to imagine, ranging from much more detailed surveillance and data collection to online trolls who can shout into your face instead of just typing nasty messages.

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Europe bolsters pioneering tech rules with help from Haugen

LONDON (AP) — European lawmakers have pioneered efforts to rein in big technology companies and are working to strengthen those rules, putting them ahead of the United States and other parts of world. While Europe shares values with the U.S., none of the big tech companies that dominate online life are based on the continent. Some say that allowed European officials to make a more clear-eyed assessment of the risks posed by tech companies largely headquartered in the U.S. Drawing up a new package of digital rules for the 27-nation European Union is getting a boost from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who answered questions Monday in Brussels from a European Parliament committee.

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Another day, another record on Wall Street as stocks inch up

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks notched some modest gains on Wall Street Monday, enough to mark more record highs for major U.S. indexes. The S&P 500 edged up 0.1% for its eighth straight gain, matching its longest winning streak since April 2019, however most of the gains during this stretch have been modest. Stocks of construction-related companies made some of the strongest gains after Congress passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Friday. Stocks have been climbing broadly over the last month as companies have reported stronger-than-expected profits. Crude oil prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.50%.

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Biden team defends worker vaccine rule, wants cases combined

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration wants the multiple challenges to its workplace COVID-19 vaccination rule consolidated in a single federal court and has asked for a decision by early next week. The U.S. Department of Justice said in court filings Monday that one of the federal circuit courts should be chosen at random on Nov. 16 to hear the cases. At least 27 states plus several businesses and associations filed legal challenges in at least six federal appeals courts after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released its mandate last week. Over the weekend, judges on the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals halted the rule from taking effect.

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Musk: I’ll sell 10% of Tesla stock based on Twitter poll

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Tesla shares closed Monday down nearly 5% after CEO Elon Musk said he would sell 10% of his holdings in the electric car maker — more than $20 billion worth by most calculations — based on the results of a poll he conducted on Twitter over the weekend. According to analyst Dan Ives of WedBush Securities, Musk owns about 23% of Tesla’s stock and has about $10 billion in taxes coming due to stock options that vest next summer. Much of Musk’s wealth is held in shares of Tesla, which does not pay him a cash salary.

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Fed: Risks to US financial system ease as economy recovers

NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Reserve says that the risks to the U.S. financial system have eased significantly compared to a year earlier. The central bank noted Monday that as the economy recovers from the pandemic-driven recession, the balance sheets of individual Americans and businesses continue to strengthen. However, the Fed did point out the significant rise in asset prices — most notably home and stock prices — as well as the rise of volatile trading of so-called “meme” stocks as potential growing risks.

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Robinhood hit by data breach exposing users’ emails, names

NEW YORK (AP) — Popular investing app Robinhood said Monday that it suffered a security breach last week where hackers accessed some personal information for roughly 7 million users and demanded a ransom payment. The online trading platform said that it believes no Social Security numbers, bank account numbers or debit-card numbers were exposed and that customers have seen no financial losses because of the intrusion. For the vast majority of affected customers, the only information obtained was an email address or a full name. For 310 people, the information taken included their name, date of birth, and ZIP code, with 10 customers in that group having more extensive details revealed.

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The S&P 500 rose 4.17 points, or 0.1%, to 4,701.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 104.27 points, or 0.3%, to 36,432.22. The Nasdaq rose 10.77 points, 0.1%, to 15,982.36. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 5.66 points, or 0.2%, to 2,442.74.