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Business Highlights

"Darla Brickhouse" (2020-08-08)



Billions of dollars in aid for small businesses go unclaimed

NEW YORK (AP) - Billions of dollars offered by Congress as a lifeline to small businesses in the pandemic are about to be left on the table when a key government program stops accepting loan applications.
Business owners and advocacy groups complain that the money in the Paycheck Protection Program was not fully put to work because it created obstacles that stopped countless small businesses from applying. For those that did seek loans, the ever-changing application process proved to be an exercise in futility.

A report from a research group says the program´s shortcomings also made it more difficult for minority businesses to get loans.


Wall Street stocks claw back a chunk of last week´s losses

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Monday, clawing back half of their losses from last week.

The S&P 500 rose 1.5%. The index shook off a wobbly start and drove decisively higher after a much healthier-than-expected report on the housing market. Among big-name companies, Boeing and Apple did especially well. Stocks of smaller companies jumped more than the rest of the market, which often happens when investors are feeling more optimistic about the economy.


Businesses weigh reopening - or close again - as cases rise

NEW YORK (AP) - It´s not the reopening businesses were hoping for.

After months of shutdown, restaurants, stores and even amusement parks announced their reopening with fanfare. But now that states like Texas and Arizona are seeing alarming surges in cases of COVID-19 and pausing plans to lift restrictions, businesses large and small must decide whether to keep their doors open. On Friday, Texas and 칙칙이 Arizona shut down bars except for takeout and scaled back restaurant dining capacity.

Florida banned alcohol consumption at its bars. But many businesses had already taken those steps on their own, saying shifting advice from state and local governments wasn´t giving them the confidence to stay open.


Fed´s program for loaning to Main Street off to slow start

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve´s Main Street lending program is off to a slow start.

Banks are showing a surprising lack of interest in the program, while businesses are having a hard time accessing it. Fed officials say more than 200 banks have signed up to participate since the program began two weeks ago, but that´s a small slice of the nation´s roughly 8,000 lenders.
And none have made any loans yet. The Fed has come under criticism from a congressional watchdog for quickly taking steps to ease the flow of credit for large corporations but doing little for smaller companies.


Social media platforms face a reckoning over hate speech

NEW YORK (AP) - For years, social media companies have fueled political polarization and allowed hate speech to thrive on their platforms with half-measured solutions.

Now, with four months until the election and the country´s divisions reaching a boiling point, they are upping their game. But is it too little, too late? Reddit, an online comment forum that is one of the internet´s most popular websites, on Monday banned a forum that supported President-Donald Trump as part of a crackdown on hate speech.

Also on Monday, live-streaming site Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, temporarily banned Trump´s account for violating its hateful conduct rules.


US pending home sales see record-breaking rebound in May

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) - The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rebounded a record 44.3% in May after a record-breaking decline the previous month, as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic sidelined both buyers and sellers.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its index of pending sales rose to 99.6 in May, the highest month-over-month gain in the index since its inception in January 2001. The pending home sales index plunged 21.8% from March to April to a level of 69.
The contract signings - a barometer of finalized purchases over the next two months - have fallen 5.1% over the past year.


Powell says US economy facing heightened uncertainty

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the outlook for the U.S.

economy is "extraordinarily uncertain." He adds that the success of the recovery effort will depend in large part on the country´s ability to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Powell´s comments come in prepared remarks he is scheduled deliver in an appearance with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday.


India bans dozens of Chinese apps, citing security reasons

NEW DELHI (AP) - India is banning 59 apps with Chinese links, saying their activities endanger the country´s sovereignty, defense and security.

India´s decision comes as its troops are in a tense standoff with Chinese soldiers in eastern Ladakh in the Himalayas that started last month. India lost 20 soldiers in a June 15 clash. The government says the banned apps include TikTok, UC Browser, WeChat and Bigo Live, as well as the e-commerce platforms Club Factory and Shein, that are used in mobile and non-mobile devices connected to the Internet.


The S&P 500 gained 44.19 points, or 1.5%, to 3,053.24.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 580.25 points, or 2.3%, to 25,595.80. The Nasdaq composite added 116.93 points, or 1.2%, to 9,874.15. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks picked up 42.43 points, or 3.1%, to 1,421.21.