Business Highlights: Fossil fuel plans, Bitcoin over $66,000
Study: Fossil fuel plans would far overshoot climate goals
LONDON (AP) — A U.N.-backed study has found that the world needs to cut by more than half its production of coal, oil and gas in the coming decade to maintain a chance of keeping global warming from reaching dangerous levels. The report published Wednesday by the U.N. Environment Program noted that many governments have made ambitious pledges to curb greenhouse gas emissions. But it found they are still planning to extract double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than what would be consistent with the goal of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Climate experts say the world must drastically reduce the burning of fossil fuels as soon as possible.
Workers fed up with nights, weekends seek flexible schedules
NEW YORK (AP) — Companies are confronting demands by hourly workers on terms that often used to be non-negotiable: scheduling. That has meant pushing back on weekend, late night or holiday shifts. Hourly workers are taking a page from their white-collar peers who are restructuring their workdays to accommodate their lifestyles. Similarly, hourly workers are seeking flexibility in how — and when — they do their jobs. Desperate for hired hands, companies are responding by adjusting schedules to meet worker demands. But they are limited in what they can do given the nature of how they operate, especially with customers having grown accustomed to getting what they want when they want it.
Bitcoin tops $66,000, sets record as crypto goes mainstream
NEW YORK (AP) — Bitcoin stormed above $66,000 for the first time on Wednesday, riding a wave of excitement about how the financial establishment is increasingly accepting the digital currency’s rise. One bitcoin was valued at $66,096, as of 4:15 p.m. Eastern time, after earlier climbing as high as $66,974.77. It has roared back after sinking below $30,000 during the summer to top its prior record set in April. That previous all-time high was nearly $64,889. The surge has come as more businesses, professional investors and even the government of El Salvador buy into Bitcoin, broadening its base beyond its initial core of fanatics.
Fed survey finds economy facing supply chain, other drags
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve reports that the economy was facing a number of headwinds at the start of this month from supply chain disruptions and labor shortages to uncertainty about the delta variant of COVID. In its latest survey of business conditions around the nation, the Fed said that a majority of its 12 regions viewed consumer spending, the main driving force for the economy, as remaining positive. The report noted wide differences in performance, however, with auto sales suffering because of constrained inventories while manufacturing was growing either moderately or robustly depending on which Fed district was reporting.
Senator asks Facebook CEO to testify on Instagram and kids
WASHINGTON (AP) — The senator leading a probe of Facebook’s Instagram and its impact on young people is asking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify in the Senate. Zuckerberg is being asked to appear before the panel that has heard far-reaching criticisms from a former employee of the company. Sen. Richard Blumenthal heads the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection. He called on Zuckerberg in a sharply worded letter to testify on Instagram’s effects on children’s mental health and wellbeing. As public discomfort and scrutiny of the social network giant has grown in recent weeks, the focus has homed in on Zuckerberg, who controls over 50% of Facebook’s voting shares.
Stocks end higher, bringing S&P 500 to the cusp of a record
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended higher on Wall Street Wednesday, bringing the S&P 500 to the brink of another record high. The benchmark index climbed 0.4% for its sixth gain in a row. Anthem and Abbott Laboratories helped lead gains among health care stocks after turning in solid quarterly earnings reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% and the Nasdaq fell less than 0.1%. Netflix fell after forecasting earnings for its current quarter that were below analysts’ estimates. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.65%. The price of Bitcoin rose above $66,000 for the first time.
Tesla hits record profit despite parts shortage, ship delays
DETROIT (AP) — Record electric vehicle sales last summer amid a shortage of computer chips and other materials propelled Tesla Inc. to the biggest quarterly net earnings in its history. The company said Wednesday that it made $1.62 billion in the third quarter, beating the old record of $1.14 billion set in the second quarter of this year. The profit was nearly five times larger than the $331 million Tesla made in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue of $13.76 billion from July through September also set a record, but it fell short of Wall Street expectations of just over $14 billion. Excluding special items such as stock-based compensation, Palo Alto, California-based Tesla made $1.86 per share, beating analyst estimates of $1.62.
CSX 3Q railroad profit jumps 32% as volume grows 3%
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX delivered a 32% jump in third-quarter profit as the volume of goods it hauled rose even beyond last fall’s strong level. The Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad said Wednesday that it made $968 million, or 43 cents per share, in the quarter. That’s up from $736 million, or 32 cents per share, a year ago. Shipping volume was up 3% overall across CSX’s network. That’s even with the 26% drop in automotive shipments as that industry continues to struggle to maintain production because of the ongoing chip shortages. The railroad said it is working to clear up supply chain bottlenecks that have delayed shipments nationwide.
The S&P 500 rose 16.56 points, or 0.4%, to 4,536.19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 152.03 points, or 0.4%, to 35,609.34. The Nasdaq fell 7.41 points, or less than 0.1%, to 15,121.68. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies added 13.85 points, or 0.6%, to 2,289.77.