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Business Highlights: Biden on EVs, Apple on self-repair

November 17, 2021 GMT

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Biden pushes electric vehicle chargers as energy costs spike

DETROIT (AP) — President Joe Biden is highlighting billions of dollars in his big new infrastructure deal to pay for the installation of electric vehicle chargers across the country. It’s an investment Biden says will go a long way in curbing planet-warming carbon emissions while creating good-paying jobs. During a tour of a General Motors plant in Detroit that manufactures electric vehicles, the president got a chance to test drive an electric GMC Hummer, which is being sold at a starting price of $108,700. Currently, the U.S. market share of plug-in electric vehicle sales is one-third the size of the Chinese EV market.

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Amid crypto’s Wild West, Binance says a sheriff is needed

NEW YORK (AP) — In the cryptocurrency world, which gets likened to the Wild West of financial markets, one of the industry’s major players is asking for a sheriff. Binance, the world’s largest exchange for trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, says it’s time for global regulators to establish rules for crypto markets. The company acknowledges that crypto platforms have an obligation to protect users and to implement processes to prevent financial crimes, along with the responsibility to work with regulators and policymakers to set standards to keep users safe. It also says more regulation may help draw in people who are still hesitant to get into crypto.

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Under pressure, Apple allows self-repairs to iPhones, Macs

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple is letting some iPhone users fix their own phones, a sharp turnaround for a company that has long prohibited anyone except Apple-approved technicians from fiddling with its proprietary parts and software. The company said Wednesday it will enable users of two of the newest iPhone models and later some Mac computers to get access to genuine Apple parts and tools to be able to repair them. The shift reflects a strengthening “right to repair” movement embraced by President Joe Biden and affecting everything from smartphones to tractors. It’s a reaction to the infusion of software into more and more everyday products and the practices of manufacturers who have increasingly made those products difficult to repair.

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Electric vehicles get spotlight at Los Angeles Auto Show

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Battery-powered vehicles will get top billing at the Los Angeles Auto Show opening this week after a year’s hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Subaru will unveil its first all-electric vehicle, a smallish SUV named the Solterra. VinFast is a Vietnamese automaker that plans to start selling in the U.S. next year. It will show off two all-electric SUVs. Auto shows have been waning in importance because auto companies have decided to avoid the expenses and unveil vehicles at their own events. Automakers showing new vehicles have only 10 news conferences at the L.A. show this year, many from electric vehicle startups. In 2019, the show said it had 25 global reveals from automakers.

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US offers investment to boost global COVID vaccine capacity

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is making billions of dollars available to drugmakers to scale up domestic production of COVID-19 vaccines. It hopes that will build capacity to produce an additional 1 billion shots per year to share globally as well as prepare for the next pandemic. Under the new initiative previewed Wednesday, the government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is soliciting pharmaceutical companies with proven ability to make the more-effective mRNA vaccines to bid for U.S. investment in scaling up their manufacturing abilities. Drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna produce the two U.S.-approved mRNA shots. The Biden administration believes the boosted capacity of COVID-19 shots would help ease a global shortage of doses.

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US stocks shuffle lower, pulling indexes further from highs

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes shuffled lower on Wall Street Wednesday, pulling a bit further off their record heights. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% after earlier drifting between a tiny gain and a 0.4% decline. It’s sitting just below its all-time high set a week and a half ago. The majority of stocks in the S&P 500 fell, and the smaller stocks in the Russell 2000 dropped even more. But gains for some heavyweight stocks helped soften the losses. Treasury yields eased back following a week of big gains amid worries about high inflation. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.59%.

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US home construction dips 0.7% in October, but permits jump

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Construction of new homes in the U.S. fell 0.7% in October, a sign that builders are still facing difficulties keeping up with demand as supply chain problems persist. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that October’s decline put home construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.52 million units, which is an increase of 0.4% from the rate at this time last year. Applications for building permits, a barometer of future activity, rose 4% from September and is up 3.4% from October of last year.

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Target tames global supply backups; sales surge 13.2% in Q3

NEW YORK (AP) — Target delivered another strong quarter, overcoming a slew of challenges from inflationary pressures to congested ports. Third-quarter profits rose nearly 47%, while sales increased 13.2%, both exceeding expectations and the Minneapolis company raised projections for fourth-quarter comparable store sales. Target joins a number of retailers including Walmart heading into the holiday shopping season with momentum. Some of the biggest U.S. retailers are rerouting goods to less congested ports, even chartering their own vessels.

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The S&P 500 fell 12.23 points, or 0.3%, to 4,688.67. The Dow Jones Industrial Average down 211.17 points, or 0.6%, to 35,931.05. The Nasdaq slipped 52.28 points, or 0.3%, to 15,921.57. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 28.02 points, or 1.2%, to 2,377.01.