Business Highlights: Intel chip factory, GM EV plants
Intel building $20B Ohio chip facility amid global shortage
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Chip maker Intel said it will invest $20 billion to build a new factory in Ohio, an attempt to help alleviate a global shortage of chips powering everything from phones to cars to home appliances while also signaling the giant company’s commitment to manufacturing crucial technology products in the U.S. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said two new chip “fabs” will reduct supply chain pressure while also bolstering U.S. national security and bringing more tech jobs to the region. The new Intel site is expected to create 3,000 company jobs and 7,000 construction jobs, and to support tens of thousands of additional jobs for suppliers and partners.
Stocks extend losses for third week; Netflix plunges
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks extended their losses on Wall Street Friday as major indexes finished with another weekly loss. The S&P 500 fell 1.9%, and notched its worst weekly performance since March 2020. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.3% and the Nasdaq lost 2.7%. Technology and communications stocks fell. Netflix plunged over 20% after the streaming service delivered another quarter of disappointing subscriber growth. Treasury yields fell. Inflation fears and concerns about the impact of higher interest rates have prompted a cautious shift in the broader market after a solid year of gains in 2021.
GM to spend $6.5B, add 4,000 jobs at Michigan EV factories
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — General Motors is poised to announce next week major electric vehicle investments in Michigan. It plans to spend $6.5 billion and create up to 4,000 new jobs at two plants in the state. According to a meeting agenda, Michigan’s economic development board is expected to approve an incentives package on Tuesday. The Associated Press previously reported the Detroit automaker’s plan to partner in a joint venture to build a $2.5B electric vehicle battery factory in the Lansing area and add as many as 1,700 workers. GM also plans to spend $4 billion and create up to 2,300 jobs by designating an existing plant in Orion Township as its third electric-vehicle factory.
US blocks flights by Chinese airlines in escalating dispute
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is blocking some flights by Chinese airlines in retaliation for China canceling more than a dozen flights there by American carriers. The U.S. Transportation Department issued an order Friday to block 44 flights by four different Chinese airlines. The move is a response to China recently canceling flights by Delta, United and American after some passengers on earlier flights tested positive for COVID-19. The U.S. says China’s actions violate a treaty over access to each country by the other country’s airlines.
Think your home value is soaring? Talk to a farmer
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — For all the talk about rising U.S. home values in cities and suburbs, they have nothing on the skyrocketing price of farmland. While median existing-home prices rose by 15.8% in the U.S. last year, farmland values went up about double that rate in places like Iowa. The rising values, especially in the Midwest, are due to high prices being paid for the key commodity crops of corn and soybeans, plentiful harvests in recent years coupled with low interest rates and optimism the good times will continue. But it’s a mixed blessing. The soaring prices enrich farmers who already have a lot of land, but it makes it harder for young farmers to get started unless they happen to inherit land.
Climate, COVID, China: Takeaways from online Davos event
GENEVA (AP) — Government and business leaders have urged global cooperation on climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recovery at the World Economic Forum’s virtual gathering this week. Speeches and discussions from the likes of Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres moved online after COVID-19 concerns delayed the group’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Big ideas were debated this week, but no concrete deals on how to act. Germany’s chancellor pushed for a new global “climate club,” many leaders urged joint efforts to combat the inequalities of the pandemic and inflation was a big issue for the global economy.
New step to curb tech giants’ power advanced by Senate panel
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has taken a new step toward reining in the market dominance of Big Tech. Bipartisan legislation advanced by a Senate panel would bar the dominant online platforms from favoring their own goods and services over those of rivals on the platforms. It could, for example, prevent Amazon from steering consumers to its own brands and away from competitors’ products on its giant e-commerce platform. The bill also could bring strictures for Google’s dominant search engine. The legislation won a 16-6 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday and was sent on to the full Senate.
Mars gives M&M’s a makeover to promote inclusivity
NEW YORK (AP) — Candy maker Mars is giving a makeover to its six M&M’s characters as a way to promote inclusivity. The company said that it will provide a modern take on the appearances of the characters — which Mars calls “lentils” — and give them more nuanced personalities. The lentils, which are featured in red, green, orange, yellow, brown and blue, will also come in different shapes and sizes. Mars, whose brands also include Twix and Snickers, said that it will also put added emphasis on the ampersand in the M&M’s logo to demonstrate how the brand aims to bring people together.
The S&P 500 dropped 84.79 points, or 1.9%, to 4,397.94. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 450.02 points, or 1.3%, to 34,265.37. The Nasdaq tumbled 385.10 points, or 2.7%, to 13,768.92. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 36.12 points, or 1.8%, to 1,987.92.