A key inflation gauge rose 5.8% in 2021, most in 39 years
WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of prices that is closely tracked by the Federal Reserve rose 5.8% last year, the sharpest increase since 1982, as brisk consumer spending collided with snarled supply chains to raise the costs of food, furniture, appliances and other goods. The report Friday from the Commerce Department also said that consumer spending fell 0.6% in December. A wave of omicron cases discouraged many Americans from traveling, eating out or visiting theaters and other entertainment venues. At the same time, incomes rose 0.3% last month, providing fuel for future spending.
Stocks end a turbulent week with biggest gains of the year
NEW YORK (AP) — A turbulent week for markets ended with a late burst of buying, breaking a three-week losing streak and giving major indexes their biggest gains of the year. The S&P 500 added 2.4% Friday, nearly all of it coming in the last hour of trading. That followed several days of sudden moves up and down throughout the week. Markets have been jittery as investors try to anticipate how aggressively the Federal Reserve will move to withdraw its economic stimulus and raise interest rates to fight inflation. Technology stocks led the rally. Apple rose after reporting strong holiday iPhone sales. Treasury yields fell.
UK's embattled Johnson seeks reset with major economic plan
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Court ruling gives Biden chance for reset on climate policy
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has an opportunity for a reset on climate policy after a federal judge rejected an administration plan to lease millions of acres in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore oil drilling. A judge tossed the drilling plan late Thursday, saying the Interior Department did not adequately take into account the proposed drilling’s effect on planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. Environmentalists say the lease sale should not have been conducted in the first place and goes against Biden’s campaign promise to stop new oil and gas leasing on federal land and water. The court decision was released on the one-year anniversary of a federal leasing moratorium Biden ordered as part of his efforts to combat climate change. ___
FAA clears Verizon and AT&T to turn on more 5G cell towersADVERTISEMENT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Concern about new high-speed wireless service interfering with airplanes appears to be easing. Federal safety regulators said Friday they have cleared the way for Verizon and AT&T to turn on more 5G towers. The Federal Aviation Administration says the move is possible because the telecom companies are providing more information about the location of their wireless transmitters. Aviation groups and the FAA had warned that 5G service could interfere with planes because it uses part of the radio spectrum that is close to that used by radio altimeters on planes. Altimeters measure the height of planes above the ground, and they’re crucial for landing when visibility is poor because of bad weather.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise wins $5B fraud suit vs UK tycoon
LONDON (AP) — Tech giant Hewlett Packard Enterprise has won a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against a British businessmen it accused of fraud after purchasing his software company Autonomy a decade ago. The decision by the U.K.’s High Court also removes a hurdle for the potential extradition to the U.S. of Autonomy’s founder, British entrepreneur Michael Lynch. Hewlett Packard bought Autonomy for $11 billion in 2011 but was forced to write off most of its value the following year, in a corporate debacle that sparked a boardroom shakeup at the printer and computer maker. A High Court judge delivered a summary of his conclusions in court, saying HP had “substantially won” its claim.
Ohio lured Intel’s chip plant with $2B incentive package
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s price tag for landing Intel’s new computer chipmaking factory comes in at roughly $2 billion. The state’s development director said Friday that the combination of tax breaks and incentives are likely the largest ever offered by Ohio. State officials say the deal is well worth it. Intel announced last week it will spend $20 billion to create a new technology hub in the Midwest. Intel’s CEO says the total investment could top $100 billion over the next decade and that its new facility could become one of the world’s biggest chipmaking sites.
After huge pandemic losses, governments see rapid rebound
NEW YORK (AP) — State and local governments reported more than $117 billion of revenue losses in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to an Associated Press analysis of newly available data. But those shortfalls proved less severe than originally feared. Many of those same governments are now awash in record amounts of money. In response to the dramatic turnaround, governors, lawmakers and local officials have proposed a surge in spending as well as a new wave of tax cuts. The AP calculated the estimated revenue loss figures for 2020 by reviewing thousands of reports filed with the Treasury Department by states, counties and larger cities.
In blow to telecoms, California’s net neutrality law upheld
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld California’s net neutrality law, rejecting an attempt by telecom groups to prevent it from going into effect. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a previous ruling, which means the status quo stays and the state can continue to enforce the law. This means California can enforce its ban on internet providers slowing down or blocking access to websites and applications that don’t pay for premium service. On Friday, proponents of net neutrality cheered the decision, but called for federal net neutrality laws. But with Congress divided, such legislation may not draw enough support to pass.
The S&P 500 rose 105.34 points, or 2.4%, to 4,431.85. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 564.69 points, or 1.7%, to 34,725.47. The Nasdaq added 417.79 points, or 3.1%, to 13,770.57. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies advanced 37.22 points, or 1.9%, to 1,968.51.