Business Highlights: US stocks’ late rally, Hyundai’s plans
Final-hour rally yanks Wall Street from maw of bear market
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street rumbled to the edge of a bear market Friday after another drop for stocks briefly sent the S&P 500 more than 20% below its peak set early this year. The S&P 500 was down as much as 2.3% for the day before a furious last hour of buying sent it to a tiny gain. It finished 18.7% below its record. The tumultuous trading capped a seventh straight losing week, its longest such streak since 2001. Rising interest rates, high inflation, the war in Ukraine, and a slowdown in China’s economy are all punishing stocks and raising fears about a possible U.S. recession.
Musk denies sexual misconduct allegation by flight attendant
NEW YORK (AP) — Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has denied a claim of sexual misconduct by a SpaceX flight attendant who worked on his private jet in 2016. A report by Business Insider said SpaceX paid the woman $250,000 in severance in 2018 in exchange for her agreeing not to file a lawsuit over her claim. The Business Insider report was based on an account by the flight attendant’s friend, who said the flight attendant told her about the incident shortly after it happened. Musk, who is in the process of buying Twitter, used the platform to respond to the allegation, saying the “wild accusations” are “utterly untrue.”
Hyundai announces $5.5B electric vehicle plant in Georgia
ELLABELL, Ga. (AP) — Hyundai Motor Group officials confirmed Friday the company will spend $5.5 billion on a huge electric vehicle plant near Savannah that will employ thousands — a deal Georgia’s governor called the largest economic development project in the state’s history. Hyundai Motor Group CEO Jaehoon Chang made the announcement with Gov. Brian Kemp at the site of the future factory in Bryan County, where state and local officials purchased a flat, sprawling tract for $61 million last year in hopes of luring a major manufacturer. Hyundai said it plans to employ at least 8,100 workers at the Georgia plant, where it will assemble electric vehicles as well as vehicle batteries.
Yellen’s global tax plan meets resistance abroad and at home
KOENIGSWINTER, Germany (AP) — Last July, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen celebrated it as a “historic day” when more than 100 nations agreed to a global minimum tax deal meant to reform and equalize the world’s economy. This week, as she met with Group of Seven finance ministers in Germany, she found herself insisting that prospects for moving ahead with the idea are at least “not hopeless.” The plan is running up against new resistance abroad and old divisions at home as fresh global concerns take center stage. The ongoing war in Ukraine, the threat of rising food insecurity, crushing inflation and other urgent matters have stolen finance ministers’ attention away from putting the plan in place before a 2023 deadline.
Mining companies back away from Brazil’s Indigenous areas
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Some of the world’s biggest mining companies have withdrawn requests to research and extract minerals on Indigenous land in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, and repudiated Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s efforts to legalize mining activity in the areas. The Brazilian Mining Association, which represents around 130 companies, conducted an internal survey of its members earlier this year. For the first time in decades, none of the companies have current research or mining applications for gold, tin, nickel, iron and other ores in Indigenous areas, he said. Neither the survey nor its results have been reported previously.
Driver must stand trial for deadly Tesla crash in California
COMPTON, Calif. (AP) — A judge says a driver who used a Tesla on autopilot must stand trial for a crash near Los Angeles that killed two people. The judge ruled Thursday that there’s enough evidence to try 27-year-old Kevin Riad for manslaughter. He’s pleaded not guilty to the charges. Prosecutors say Riad’s Tesla Model S hit another car at 74 mph after blowing through a red light at the end of a freeway in Gardena in 2019. It’s believed to be the first felony prosecution in the U.S. against a driver using a partially automated driving system. Tesla says drivers must always be attentive and ready to intervene when the system is activated.
The AP Interview: US trade rep. sees opportunity in recovery
BANGKOK (AP) — The top U.S. trade negotiator says with world economies all suffering from more than two years of the coronavirus pandemic and global supply problems exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States has an “incredible opportunity” to engage with other nations and forge new partnerships and agreements. Ahead of a planned announcement with President Joe Biden of a new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai told The Associated Press that the time is ripe for the proposal. She says: “I don’t think anybody’s economy is stronger because of COVID and there is a pretty pervasive sense of anxiety about how we recover. I actually think that this presents an incredible opportunity.”
Farmer sues VW over climate change; German court has doubts
BERLIN (AP) — A court in Germany cast has doubt on claims by a German farmer that automaker Volkswagen is partly responsible for the impact that global warming is having on his family business. The plaintiff alleges that drier soil and heavier rains due to climate change are harming his fields, cattle and commercial forests. He claims that VW as the world’s second-biggest automaker has contributed to the damage. But German news agency dpa reported that a regional court in the western town of Detmold asked the plaintiff on Friday to provide more details to back up their arguments. The case is supported by Greenpeace, which has backed similar legal efforts in Germany to hold companies and the government accountable for climate change.
The S&P 500 ended up 0.57 points, or less than 0.1%, to 3,901.36. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.77 points, or less than 0.1%, to 31,261.90. The Nasdaq fell 33.88 points, or 0.3%, to 11,354.62. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dropped 2.96 points, or 0.2%, to 1,773.27.