European Central Bank hikes rates again and vows more after US Fed hits pause
FRANKFURT, Germany — The European Central Bank has pressed ahead with another interest rate hike and is making clear more are on the way. The quarter-percentage point increase Thursday aims to crush inflation that’s driving up the cost of groceries, utility bills and summer vacations. It comes a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve took a break from its own string of increases. In Europe, it was the eighth straight rise since July 2022 as the bank seeks to bring down inflation from 6.1%. ECB President Christine Lagarde says the bank “will continue to hike at our next meeting” in July and it’s “not thinking about pausing.”
China’s factory, consumer activity weakens in May, youth unemployment rises
BEIJING — China’s factory and consumer activity weakened further in May and surging unemployment among young people in cities broke the previous month’s record as an economic rebound following the end of anti-virus controls slowed. The government reported surveys found more than a fifth of potential workers in cities aged 16-24 were unemployed, up slightly from April. China’s economic activity rebounded after the ruling Communist Party in December lifted controls that cut off access to major cities for weeks at a time and blocked most international travel. But consumers, uneasy about the economic outlook and possible job losses, returned to shops and restaurants less quickly than expected. The government said the recovery is “not yet solid.”
Twitter worst among major social media platforms when it comes to LGBTQ+ safety, GLAAD says
SAN FRANCISCO — All major social media platforms do poorly at protecting LGBTQ+ users from hate speech and harassment — especially those who are transgender, non-binary or gender non-conforming, the advocacy group GLAAD said on Thursday. But Twitter is the worst. In its annual Social Media Safety Index, GLAAD gave Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter low or failing scores, saying the platforms don’t do enough to keep their users safe. That said, most mainstream platforms improved from a year earlier. Twitter, which taken private by Tesla CEO Elon Musk last October, was the only exception.
With Sam Bankman-Fried looking on, judge seems skeptical of request to reject criminal fraud charges
NEW YORK — FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers encountered a skeptical federal judge when they argued that he should toss out criminal fraud charges their client faces after the collapse of his cryptocurrency business. Bankman-Fried sat with his lawyers in Manhattan federal court Thursday as they argued that an indictment charging him with cheating investors and looting customer deposits should be thrown out. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan did not immediately rule. He pushed back on several arguments and when one defense attorney finished, he thanked him for what he described as extraordinarily imaginative arguments. Bankman-Fried remains free on $250 million bail, confined to his parents Palo Alto, California, home.
Biden hosts Live Nation, SeatGeek and Airbnb execs to showcase push to end hidden ‘junk fees’
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has highlighted progress in chipping away at so-called junk fees as a “win for consumers” while meeting at the White House with executives from Live Nation, Airbnb and other companies that have taken steps to embrace more transparent pricing. Biden prioritized the effort to combat surprise or undisclosed fees in his State of the Union address and has called for legislation, regulation and private sector action to end them. At Thursday’s event, the president highlighted actions by companies that have eliminated or plan to eliminate those surprise fees. he consumer advocacy push is part of Biden’s pitch to voters ahead of his 2024 reelection bid.
West Coast dockworkers, shippers reach tentative contract agreement
SAN FRANCISCO — The union for thousands of West Coast dockworkers has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract after more than a year of negotiations and several work disruptions that snarled shipping traffic at some of the largest ports. On Wednesday the dockworkers union announced a tentative deal for a new six-year contract with the Pacific Maritime Association, a trade group for cargo carriers and terminal operators. However, details weren’t released. If ratified, the agreement will affect 22,000 dockworkers at 29 ports from Washington state through California. The dockworkers have been without a contract since last July. They were demanding higher wages, noting that shippers and terminal operators made record profits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Number of Americans filing for jobless claims is elevated for second straight week
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits remained elevated last week, a possible sign that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes over the past year may taking hold in what’s been a resilient job market. The Labor Department reported Thursday that U.S. applications for jobless claims were 262,000 for the week ending June 10, more than analysts were expecting. This week’s number mirrors last week’s, which was revised up by 1,000. The claims numbers for the past two weeks are the highest since October of 2021. Overall, 1.78 million people were collecting unemployment benefits the week that ended June 3.
The S&P 500 rose 53.25 points, or 1.2%, to 4,425.84. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 428.73 points, or 1.3%, to 34,408.06. The Nasdaq composite rose 156.34 points, or 1.1% to 13,782.82. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 15.18 points, or 0.8%, to 1,889.28.