Business Highlights: Investing in 2022, holiday travel
Pain, few gains for investors as markets slumped in 2022
NEW YORK (AP) — Investors found few, if any, places to safely put their money in 2022, as central banks in the U.S. and around the globe raised interest rates for the first time in years to fight surging inflation, stoking fear of a global recession. Uncertainty about how far the Federal Reserve and other central banks would go in the fight against inflation sparked a return of volatility. Large swings in stocks were common on Wall Street as the Fed raised its key interest rate seven times and signaled more hikes to come. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s strict COVID-19 policies also roiled the global economy.
FTX founder agrees to extradition, expected to fly to US
NEW YORK (AP) — Sam Bankman-Fried told a Bahamian court Wednesday that he has agreed to be extradited and is expected to be sent to the U.S. later in the day to face criminal charges related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. The former FTX CEO appeared at a Magistrate’s Court and is expected to head to Odyssey Aviation to return to the United States, according to Bahamian news organization Our News. Bahamian authorities arrested Bankman-Fried last week at the request of the U.S. government.
Storm adds uncertainty to strong holiday travel demand
NEW YORK (AP) — Concerns about illness or inflation aren’t stopping Americans from hitting the roads and airports this holiday season. But a massive winter storm might. Forecasters are predicting heavy snow, ice and powerful winds between Thursday and Saturday across much of the country. Delta, United and other airlines say they are loosening their change fee policies so travelers can choose new flights and avoid the bad weather. The weather added uncertainty to what’s expected to be a busy travel season. AAA estimates that nearly 113 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2. That’s 4% higher than last year.
Holidays can bring financial stress, here’s how to reduce it
NEW YORK (AP) — The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time, but they can also be financially stressful. With gifts, social gatherings and plane tickets home, the costs can start piling up. With inflation still high, 57% of Americans say it has been harder to afford the gifts they want to give. That’s according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Experts have some recommendations for reducing financial stress around the holidays. They include making a budget and being clear about expectations with your family and friends. You can also give homemade gifts or gift experiences rather than things.
Wall Street gains ground, turning higher for the week
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose on Wall Street, lifting major indexes into the green for the week as investors welcomed a report showing consumer confidence is holding up better than expected. That’s despite the Federal Reserve’s campaign to fight inflation by reining in the economy with sharp increases in interest rates. The S&P 500 index climbed 1.5% Wednesday and the Nasdaq rose 1.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.6% with a lot of help from Nike, which soared after reporting better-than-expected results. Treasury yields mostly fell. Technology stocks were among the big winners. Energy stocks gained ground along with rising oil prices.
US home sales fell in November, the 10th consecutive month
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes slowed for the tenth month in a row in November, constrained by a tight inventory of properties on the market and mortgage rates averaging more than double what they were a year ago. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that existing home sales fell 7.7% last month from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.09 million. That’s lower than what economists were expecting, according to FactSet. Sales plunged 35.4% from November last year. Despite the slowdown, home prices continued to rise. The national median home sales price rose 3.5% in November from a year earlier to $370,700.
Wyoming bullishly courts crypto, even after collapse of FTX
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — For decades, Wyoming has sought to escape the boom-and-bust cycles of its fossil-fuel-driven economy. Now, many see hope in a new industry to smooth out those ups and downs: crypto. The recent fall of cryptocurrency exchange FTX hasn’t dissuaded the state’s “fintech” cheerleaders. Crypto is here to stay, they say, and the state that gets out front with the tech is one that will win. With a suite of new laws and regulations, Wyoming as positioned itself as arguably the friendliest state for crypto companies. The result: crypto banks, exchanges and businesses that build crypto mining rigs are setting up in the least-populated state.
States contend with short timeline to correct broadband map
LOS ANGELES (AP) — States are racing against a deadline to challenge the map federal officials will use to divvy up the nation’s largest-ever investment in high-speed internet. At stake is a share of the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program, part of the infrastructure measure President Joe Biden signed into law last year. States have until Jan. 13 to challenge a broadband speed map the Federal Communications Commission released last month. For the first time, it illustrates the haves and have nots of internet access down to specific street addresses.
The S&P 500 jumped 56.82 points, or 1.5%, to 3,878.44. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 526.74 points, or 1.6%, to 33,376.48. The Nasdaq gained 162.26 points, or 1.5%, to 10,709.37. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies added 28.92 points, or 1.7%, to 1,776.94.