Business Highlights: Inventories plummet, food banks see long lines

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Fed ethics probe clears trade between Powell and Clarida

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s inspector general concluded Thursday that financial transactions made years ago by President Jerome Powell and Richard Clarida, then vice president, did not violate any law or rule of ethics. Meanwhile, the letter says the investigation into the presidents of two regional Federal Reserve banks who resigned after their business activities were uncovered is still ongoing. The investigation stemmed from revelations last year that several Fed officials had bought and sold stocks, real estate investment trusts and other securities during periods of severe market turbulence in the spring of 2020 after the pandemic outbreak.

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Long lines are back at US food banks as inflation soars

PHOENIX (AP) — Long lines are back at outdoor food banks across the United States as American workers overwhelmed by inflation increasingly seek donations to feed their families. Many people are coming for the first time amid soaring grocery and gas prices. Food banks are struggling to help even as federal programs provide less food, grocery store donations are dwindling and cash donations aren’t going as far as US inflation hits a 40-year high. Charitable food distribution remained well above the amounts distributed before the coronavirus pandemic, although demand fell somewhat at the end of last year.

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Fed board member opens door for one-point hike if demand picks up

WASHINGTON (AP) — Christopher Waller, a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, said Thursday that he would be prepared to support a huge 1 percentage point hike in the Fed’s short-term interest rate later this year. this month if the upcoming economic data points to robust consumer spending. Such an increase would mark a further acceleration in Fed rate hikes as it steps up its fight against accelerating inflation. Faster rate hikes would increase the risk that the central bank’s anti-inflationary policies will cause a recession.

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Amazon offers concessions to avoid EU antitrust cases

LONDON (AP) — Amazon has promised to treat third-party merchants fairly on its website as it seeks to resolve two European Union antitrust investigations. The bloc’s competition watchdog said on Thursday the US online retail giant had offered to make a number of commitments to assuage competition concerns. The European Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s main antitrust enforcer, will now seek comment on those commitments from “interested parties.” The commission launched an investigation four years ago into concerns that Amazon was using data from merchants selling products on its platform to gain an unfair advantage over them. It has also opened a separate investigation into whether Amazon favors its own retail business and merchants who use its logistics and delivery system.

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Emirates denounces Heathrow airport’s order to cut flights

LONDON (AP) — Emirates Air has rejected a request from London Heathrow Airport asking airlines to reduce passenger numbers on summer flights in a bid to ease travel disruption. The Middle Eastern carrier calls it a “wholly unreasonable and unacceptable” decision that shows “blatant disregard for customers”. The airline on Thursday accused Heathrow management of “incompetence” for not being prepared for the “super peak period” for travel. It comes a day after Heathrow announced it was capping daily passenger numbers at 100,000 and asked airlines to stop selling tickets. It seeks to ease the travel chaos caused by growing demand and staff shortages. Heathrow says it has been seeking airline help on solutions for months.

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Officials suggest pipeline company hid issues after spill

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. prosecutors suspect a Wyoming company may have covered up issues with a pipeline that ruptured in 2015 and spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude into the Yellowstone River. The spill clogged Glendive, Montana’s water supply and took months to clean up. Operator Bridger Pipeline told federal officials the line was properly buried. But prosecutors say an investigation indicated it was just below the surface of the ever-changing river bottom. This would put it at greater risk of rupture. Bridger dismissed the allegations as “conspiracy theories.” Prosecutors are pursuing a parallel case against a related company that spilled 600,000 gallons of crude in North Dakota in 2016.

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June wholesale inflation jumped 11.3% from a year ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation at the wholesale level climbed 11.3% in June from a year earlier, the latest painful reminder that inflation is soaring in the U.S. economy. The US producer price index – which measures inflation before it hits consumers – rose at the fastest pace since hitting a record 11.6% in March. The wholesale price report came a day after the Labor Department reported that soaring gasoline, food and rent prices had pushed consumer inflation to a new four-decade high. in June, putting further pressure on households and likely sealing the case for another sharp interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

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US stocks fall as JPMorgan posts weak earnings, warning

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell sharply on Thursday afternoon on Wall Street and banks were among the biggest weights in the market after weak earnings and a warning from JPMorgan Chase. The S&P 500 fell 1.1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average 1.2% and the Nasdaq 0.8%. JPMorgan Chase announced a sharp drop in its profits for its last quarter, below forecasts. CEO Jamie Dimon reaffirmed a pessimistic view of the economy. Wholesale trade inflation rose 11.3% in June from a year earlier. This follows a worrying report on Wednesday showing prices at the consumer level remain high.

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The threat of wildfires becomes a tool to fight against home builders

Environmental groups have argued in California courts that developers don’t fully consider wildfire risks and choked escape routes when planning their developments near fire-prone areas. And they won. The lawsuits focus on housing at the edge of forests and scrub, called the wild-urban interface. Experts say such disputes could become more common. But builders say concern over escape routes is cover for anti-sprawl campaigners.

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EXPLAINER: What is the impact of the parity of the euro with the dollar?

The euro hit parity with the dollar, falling to its lowest level in 20 years and even brushing just below a one-to-one exchange rate with the US currency this week. This is the market’s verdict on Europe’s economic outlook. The euro is down as fears of a recession grow due to Russia’s cut in natural gas supplies. European officials say it is retaliation for the bloc’s support of Ukraine amid Russia’s war. US Federal Reserve moves strengthen the dollar with higher interest rates. American tourists may get a discount on some of their travel bills, but Europeans will pay more for imported oil because it is priced in dollars.

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Russian missiles kill at least 23 people in Ukraine and injure more than 100

VINNYTSIA, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian officials say Russian missiles that struck a town in central Ukraine killed at least 23 people and injured more than 100 others, including children. Ukraine’s national police said on Thursday that three missiles hit an office building and damaged residential buildings in Vinnytsia. The city is 268 kilometers (167 miles) southwest of Kyiv, the capital. The missile strike started a fire that engulfed 50 cars. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the attack “an open act of terrorism” against civilians in places of no military value. A military analyst says he thinks Thursday’s attack mirrors previous attacks on residential areas that Moscow launched “to try to pressure Kyiv into making concessions”.

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The S&P 500 fell 11.40 points, or 0.3%, to 3,790.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 142.62 points, or 0.5%, to 30,630.17. The Nasdaq gained 3.60 points, or 0.03%, to 11,251.19. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index fell 18.53 points, or 1.1%, to 1,707.51.

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