US inflation is likely to remain high despite falling gas prices
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans may finally get a break from steadily rising prices — if only slightly — though inflation is expected to remain painfully high for months. Thanks in large part to falling gas prices, the government’s July inflation report, released on Wednesday morning, is expected to show prices up 8.7% on a year earlier – still higher. There is bullish momentum but bearish momentum at 9.1% yoy. In June, that number was the highest in four decades. Should economists’ forecasts prove correct, they would raise hopes that inflation is peaking and the race for higher prices is easing.
Most electric vehicles do not qualify for the federal tax credit
DETROIT (AP) – Tax credits of up to $7,500 can be used to help cover the cost of an electric vehicle under the inflation-mitigating bill now pending final approval in Congress. However, the auto industry has warned that the vast majority of electric vehicle purchases do not qualify for the tax credit. This is largely due to the bill, which requires that to qualify for the credit, an electric vehicle must have a battery made in North America that used minerals mined or recycled on the continent. And those rules will get stricter over time – to the point where in a couple of years it’s likely that no EV will be eligible for the tax credit.
‘Sacrifice Zone’: Myanmar bears the cost of green energy
Birds no longer sing. cows are dying. And if the people in this jungle in northern Myanmar complain, they too face death at the hands of the militia. This forest is the source of the most important metallic elements known as rare earth elements, often referred to as the vitamins of the modern world. Crafted into everything from hard drives to elevators, rare earths are critical to the fast-growing green energy space. But an AP investigation found their costs include environmental destruction, land theft and giving funds to brutal militias. AP has connected Myanmar’s rare earth elements to the supply chains of 78 companies. Almost all respondents stated that they take environmental protection and human rights seriously.
As the market starts to boom, billions are poured into bioplastics
CLEVELAND (AP) — Billions of dollars are pouring into companies changing plastic recipes. Plastics are typically made from natural gas or crude oil as the basic carbon building block. Manufacturing these plastics from hydrocarbons in petrochemical plants releases millions of tons of carbon dioxide every year. Bioplastics plants using renewable materials such as corn, sugar and cooking oil have been built around the world to produce eco-friendly plastics. Some bioplastics can dissolve in water or soil under the right conditions, while other types can biodegrade in large industrial fertilizers. The market share of bioplastics is expected to almost triple by 2028.
Biden signs $280 billion CHIPS bill to bolster US over China
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has signed into law a bipartisan $280 billion bill to boost domestic high-tech manufacturing. The move is part of his administration’s pressure on China to boost US competitiveness. Tuesday morning’s signing ceremony at the Rose Garden ceremony comes as Biden tries to uncover a new law that would boost investment in the US semiconductor industry. It aims to reduce US dependence on foreign supply chains for critical, high-tech goods. According to the White House, Micron announces a $40 billion plan to boost domestic production of memory chips. Qualcomm and GlobalFoundry announce a $4.2 billion expansion of a chip fab in upstate New York.
Wall Street slips as tech, travel stocks fall on weak earnings
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks close lower on Wall Street as disappointing earnings reports weigh on tech and travel companies. The S&P 500 fell 0.4%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq were also down on Tuesday afternoon. Chipmaker Micron Technology fell after warning investors that earnings could be lower than forecast due to weak demand. Norwegian Cruise Line fell after reporting disappointing financial results and giving investors weak sales forecasts. Two price reports later this week could signal investors whether the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes this year have brought inflation under control.
Warren Buffett’s company is betting $47 billion on the oil sector
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett’s company bought more than $11 billion in Occidental Petroleum stock this year to give Berkshire Hathaway control of more than 20% of the oil producer. After Buffett announced his latest purchase of nearly 6.7 million shares of Occidental worth more than $400 million last week, Occidental shares are up nearly 5% on Tuesday to $62.89 . Berkshire also tumbled more than $20 billion in Chevron stock in the first quarter of this year and benefited from a surge in oil prices after Russia invaded Ukraine. That means Berkshire has about $47 billion invested in the oil sector because Berkshire also owns $10 billion in random preferred stock.
Chipotle pays $20 million to New York workers for violating labor laws
NEW YORK (AP) – Fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill is paying $20 million to current and former workers at its New York City restaurants for violating the city’s labor laws. The settlement between the city and Chipotle was announced Tuesday. That includes around 13,000 employees who worked at the chain’s New York City stores between 2017 and this year. The $20 million deal is the largest workplace safety deal in New York City history. Scott Boatwright, Chipotle’s chief restaurant officer, said the restaurant chain is pleased to be able to resolve the issues. He said Chipotle has taken steps to improve compliance.
The S&P 500 fell 17.59 points, or 0.4%, to 4,122.47. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 58.13 points, or 0.2%, at 32,774.41. The Nasdaq fell 150.53 points, or 1.2%, to 12,493.93. The Russell 2000 Index of Small Companies ended down 28.31 points, or 1.5%, at 1,912.89.