Company Highlights: March Rate Hike, Biden on Inflation

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Fed officials agree to rate hike in March, but nothing else

WASHINGTON (AP) — Worsening inflation has sparked a series of opinions from Federal Reserve policymakers on how quickly they should raise interest rates starting at their next meeting in March. James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, reiterated his call for the Fed to take the aggressive step of raising its benchmark short-term rate by a full percentage point by July 1. July. Esther George, president of the Kansas City Fed, expressed support for a more “gradual” approach. And the San Francisco Fed’s Mary Daly declined to commit to more than a modest rate hike next month.

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Biden has a long-term inflation plan, but voters’ patience is short

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden entered office with a plan to fix inflation, but not the particular inflationary problem the country currently faces. His belief is that one corporate group controls too many industries, which reduces competition for customers and workers. This leads to higher prices and lower wages. The White House says it costs an average of $5,000 a year for American families. Biden is now trying to remedy the situation with 72 separate initiatives. But even administration officials acknowledge that the initiatives outlined by the president’s competition council will not stop the 7.5% inflation that is frustrating Americans and hurting Biden’s popularity.

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Stocks close lower as Wall Street monitors tensions in Ukraine

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed lower on Wall Street on Monday as the United States decided to close its embassy in Ukraine amid heightened geopolitical tensions over the thousands of Russian troops who amassed on the border. . The S&P 500 fell 0.4% after losing as much as 1.2%. Financial, healthcare and energy companies were among the largest weights, dragging the market lower. The broader market fell sharply on Friday after the White House warned that Russia could soon invade Ukraine. European markets fell sharply and crude oil prices rose. The yield on the 10-year note rose to 2%.

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Tripwire for the real war? Cyber’s fuzzy rules of engagement

BOSTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said in July that if the United States ever found itself in a war with a major power, it would be “following a cyber breach of great consequence.” Now tensions are skyrocketing over Ukraine, with Western officials warning of the danger of Russia launching damaging cyberattacks. While no one is suggesting this could lead to full-scale war between nuclear-armed rivals, the risk of escalation is serious. The danger lies in uncertainty as to what crosses a digital red line. Cyberattacks have been increasing for years and often go unpunished. It is unclear how serious a malicious cyber operation would have to be to cross the threshold of an act of war.

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Texas AG sues Facebook parent Meta for facial recognition

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas attorney general is suing Facebook parent Meta. The lawsuit claims the social media giant unlawfully collected biometric data on Texans for commercial purposes, without their informed consent. Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit on Monday that claims Facebook has stored millions of biometric identifiers from photos and videos people upload to its service. Biometric identifiers can be retina or iris scans, voice prints, or a record of hand and face geometry. Monday is also the first day of early voting in a primary election in Texas, where Paxton faces several GOP opponents following his top aides reporting him to the FBI for alleged corruption.

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Mexican president sees conspiracy behind avocado ban

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president says a U.S. ban on avocado imports and recent environmental complaints are part of a plot against his country by political or economic interests. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador advanced the conspiracy theory on Monday after the United States suspended imports of Mexican avocados on the eve of the Super Bowl following a threat against a US factory safety inspector in Mexico. The U.S. move was prompted by years of fear that drug cartel violence and threats against producers in Mexico’s western state of Michoacan had turned into threats against U.S. inspectors.

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The billionaire who piloted SpaceX last year has returned to orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The billionaire who flew on his own SpaceX flight last year is ascending, aiming for an even higher orbit and the chance to participate in a spacewalk. Tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman announced on Monday that he would perform another private spaceflight. It will be the first of three SpaceX crew flights to try out new technologies, culminating in the first flight of the company’s new Starship with people on board. Plans call for Isaacman and three others, including two SpaceX engineers, to blast off aboard a Falcon rocket no earlier than November for a five-day trip. Isaacman said he and SpaceX are cost sharing.

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Maine lobsters had a big year and set a record value of $725 million

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine regulators say the state’s lobster industry rebounded in 2021 and set a record $725 million for the total value of lobsters at the docks. That’s more than $300 million more than in 2020. The state’s lobster fishing activity plummeted in 2020, bringing in about $412 million. The price per pound of lobster soared in 2021, which contributed to the record value. Regulators also say fishermen caught about 108 million pounds in 2021, the most since 2018. Still, Maine’s lobster industry is grappling with new whale conservation rules, as well as trade markets. volatiles and uncertainty caused by warming oceans.

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The S&P 500 fell 16.97 points, or 0.4%, to 4,401.67. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 171.89 points, or 0.5%, to 34,566.17. The Nasdaq slipped 0.24 points, or less than 0.1%, to 13,790.92. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index fell 9.36 points, or 0.5%, to 2,020.79.

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