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Business Highlights: Fed departures, plant-based chicken

September 27, 2021 GMT

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Dallas Fed’s Kaplan to leave in wake of trading disclosures

WASHINGTON (AP) — Robert Kaplan will step down as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas early next month, the Dallas Fed announced Monday. Kaplan, 64, will become the second senior Fed official to resign after ethics questions were raised this month over their trading activity in the financial markets. Kaplan’s planned resignation follows a similar announcement earlier Monday by Eric Rosengren, president of the Boston Fed. The two officials’ financial disclosures sparked criticism from government watchdogs after they revealed extensive stock trading in 2020, when the Fed was spending trillions of dollars stabilizing financial markets and boosting the economy. Because of their trading, the two officials could potentially have profited from the Fed’s actions.

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Facebook puts Instagram for kids on hold after pushback

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SAN FRANCISCO (CA) — Instagram is putting a hold on the development of Instagram kids, geared towards children under 13, so it can address concerns about the vulnerability of younger users. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, wrote in a blog post Monday that a delay will give the company time to “work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today.” The announcement follows a investigative series by The Wall Street Journal which reported that Facebook was aware that the use of Instagram by some teenage girls led to mental health issues and anxiety.

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Beyond, Impossible join crowded plant-based chicken market

NEW YORK (AP) — Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are getting into the fast-growing market for plant-based chicken. Beyond Meat said Monday that its new tenders, made from fava beans, will go on sale in U.S. groceries in October. Impossible Foods began selling its new soy-based nuggets at U.S. groceries this month. Beyond and Impossible made their names with plant-based burgers sold in the meat aisle. But this time, they have more competition, with more than 50 plant-based chicken brands already in the U.S.

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UK mulls calling in army to help ease gas shortages at pumps

LONDON (AP) — Lines of cars formed at British gas stations for a fourth day, as the government mulled bringing in the army to help ease supply disruption triggered by a shortage of truck drivers. Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, said training has been taking place for military personnel to drive tankers. The government says it has “no plans at the moment” to deploy troops. The haulage industry says the U.K. is short as many as 100,000 truckers, due to the coronavirus pandemic and an exodus of foreign workers following Brexit. The end result is empty supermarket shelves, shuttered gas pumps, panic buying and short tempers as some drivers wait for hours to get gas.

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Blackstone selling Vegas hotel Cosmopolitan in $5.65B deal

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The owner of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is selling the 3,000-room Las Vegas Strip hotel in a $5.65 billion deal. New York private equity firm Blackstone said Monday that the new owners will be the Cherng Family Trust, headed by Panda Express billionaires Andrew and Peggy Cherng; real estate investment firm Stonepeak Partners; and a Blackstone real estate fund. MGM Resorts will take over operations in a side deal. The transaction needs regulatory approval and is projected to close in the first half of 2022. Blackstone says it has agreements with unions for about 3,000 employees to keep their jobs.

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What’s the price of Biden’s plan? Democrats drive for zero

WASHINGTON (AP) — What will it cost to enact President Joe Biden’s massive expansion of social programs? Congress has authorized spending up to $3.5 trillion over a decade. But Biden is prodding Democrats to fully cover the cost of the legislation. That means raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, negotiating the price of prescription drugs and dialing up other sources of federal revenue such as increased IRS funding. The administration is sensitive to criticisms that their agenda would raise the debt. Biden says he’d prefer the price tag be described as “zero” once tax increases are included. Defending a bill not yet fully drafted, Democrats are determined to avoid a deficit financed spending spree.

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Global Citizen Live generates $1.1 billion to fight poverty

NEW YORK (AP) — Global Citizen Live, a 24-hour concert that featured performances from Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Lopez, BTS and Elton John and dozens of other stars, raised $1.1 billion in commitments and pledges over the weekend to fight extreme poverty. Broadcasting from sites on six continents, including New York’s Central Park and in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Global Citizen also secured pledges from France for 60 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for developing countries and corporate pledges for planting 157 million trees around the world. Vaccine pledges, which also came from the governments of Croatia and Ireland, followed numerous pleas, including from Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, onstage at Central Park on Saturday.

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Stocks end mixed as losses for Big Tech weigh on market

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks wound up a mixed bag on Wall Street Monday as losses for several Big Tech companies checked gains elsewhere in the market. The S&P 500 fell 0.3%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.5%. Microsoft fell 1.7% and Apple gave back 1.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.2% and a measure of small-company stocks jumped 1.5%. Treasury yields continued to climb. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.49%, its highest level since late June. That helped send bank stocks mostly higher. Energy companies also rose as the price of U.S. crude oil climbed 2%.

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The S&P 500 fell 12.37 points, or 0.3%, to 4,443.11. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 71.37 points, or 0.2%, to 34,869.37. The Nasdaq dropped 77.73 points, or 0.5%, to 14,969.97. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gained 32.93 points, or 1.5%, to 2,281.