AP NEWS
ADVERTISEMENT

Business Highlights

February 8, 2021 GMT

___

Tesla buys $1.5B in Bitcoin, will accept as payment soon

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Tesla says it has invested more than $1 billion in Bitcoin and will accept the digital currency as payment for its electric vehicles. In a regulatory filing Monday, Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company said its board approved of the $1.5 billion investment and potentially more in the future. It said it expected to begin accepting Bitcoin as payment for its high-end cars “in the near future, subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis.” The digital currency jumped more than 15% on the news, to more than $43,000 for one Bitcoin.

ADVERTISEMENT

___

Budget office: $15 wage would reduce poverty, increase debt

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new report from the Congressional Budget Office finds that increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour would reduce the number of Americans living in poverty and boost wages for millions of people. It would also add to the national debt and joblessness. The office says the federal deficit would increase by about $54 billion over 10 years if the wage is gradually lifted. That’s largely because the higher wages paid to workers would contribute to an increase in federal spending. Democrats are pushing to include the $15 wage in their COVID-19 bill, but it’s unclear if it will make it in.

___

Amazon, Cadillac score with Super Bowl ads

NEW YORK (AP) — During this year’s Super Bowl, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reigned supreme on the field. During advertising’s biggest night, there were hits and misses too. Overall, this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads focused on light humor that strove to entertain and connect. But that made the few ads that took a different approach stand out even more. Amazon’s Michael B. Jordan ad and Cadillac’s Edward Scissorhands updates were hits, while overcomplicated ads like Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer missed the mark.

___

Stocks push to more gains, and record highs, on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks pushed to more gains and record highs on Wall Street, just as the market came off its biggest week since November. The S&P 500 rose 0.7% Monday. Investors are keeping their focus on better-than-expected company earnings and the prospects for more economic stimulus to combat the impact of the coronavirus. Small-company stocks continued to outpace the rest of the market, a sign that investors are feeling optimistic about the economy. Treasury yields also rose. Tesla climbed after saying it bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and pIans to allow customers to pay for electric vehicles with the digital currency.

ADVERTISEMENT

___

Around the globe, virus cancels spring travel for millions

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Around the globe, tough new restrictions on travel because of variants of the coronavirus are hitting just when millions of people are normally on the move. That’s more bad news for airlines, restaurants and hotels, which have been struggling mightily for the past year. In late winter and early spring, Chinese factory workers are normally heading home for Lunar New Year, American college students are hitting the beach over spring break, and Germans and Britons are fleeing drab skies for some Mediterranean sun over Easter. But all of that is canceled or in doubt.

___

Bally’s acquires SportCaller free-play game provider

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Bally’s Corporation’s shopping spree shows no signs of slowing down as the Rhode Island-based gambling company snapped up yet another company Monday to enlarge its fast-expanding brand. Bally’s said it acquired SportCaller, a leading provider of free-to-play games as it continues to add companies to its mix of gambling, media and technology firms. Terms of the deal were not revealed. SportCaller is but the latest acquisition for Bally’s, which recently added Bet.Works and Monkey Knife Fight, and a media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group. Using Bet.Works’ technology, SportCaller is expected to enable Bally’s to launch its own group of free-to-play games this year.

___

Delta Air Lines to leave middle seats empty through April

ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines says it will continue to block middle seats through April to provide a bit more space between passengers. Delta announced Monday that it will limit capacity on all flights through April 30. During the early days of the pandemic several U.S. airlines blocked seats, although United Airlines never did. The others that temporarily tried to separate passengers have since dropped the practice, at least in the main cabin, including Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska and American. Delta CEO Ed Bastian says blocking some seats has helped his airline command higher ticket prices than United.

___

Florida man sentenced in Giuliani-related fraud case

NEW YORK (AP) — A Florida businessman whose fraud-busting business was exposed as a fraud itself was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in prison in a case in which prosecutors said Rudy Giuliani was hired as a consultant to attract investors. David Correia, 45, was sentenced remotely by U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken in Manhattan. He also ordered Correia to pay back the roughly $43,000 he received illegally, as well as over $2 million in restitution.

___

The S&P 500 rose 28.76 points, or 0.7%, to 3,915.59. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 237.52 points, or 0.8%, to 31,385.76. The Nasdaq composite climbed 131.35 points, or1%, to 13,987.64. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 56.43 points, or 2.5%, to 2,289.76.