Stocks stall as Wall Street wraps up bumpy week of trading
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are shifting between small gains and losses in afternoon trading on Wall Street as they wrap up a bumpy week with more uncertainty about where to go next. The S&P 500 fell 0.1%. Major indexes have been alternating between gains and losses all this week as markets try to figure out what’s next for inflation and the global economy as the repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continue to play out. The U.S. and Europe announced a partnership Friday to reduce the continent’s reliance on Russian energy. Treasury yields rose and oil prices remained volatile.
Ukraine war drives US, EU deal to undercut Russian energy
BRUSSELS (AP) — President Joe Biden is offering a major expansion of natural gas shipments to Europe amid the risks from Russia’s war in Ukraine. Biden told European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday that the core issue is “helping Europe reduce its dependency on Russian gas as quickly as possible.” Europe relies on Moscow for 40% of the natural gas it needs to heat homes, generate electricity and drive industry. Under the plan, the U.S. and a few like-minded partners will increase exports of liquefied natural gas to Europe. But U.S. export facilities are already operating at capacity, and Europe may struggle to receive those shipments.
US, EU sign data transfer deal to ease privacy concerns
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union and United States made a breakthrough in their yearslong battle over the privacy of data that flows across the Atlantic with a preliminary agreement that paves the way for Europeans’ personal information to be stored in the U.S. President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the deal Friday during Biden’s stop in Brussels while on a European tour amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. Business groups said the agreement will provide relief to thousands of companies that faced uncertainty over sending data between the U.S. and Europe, which has much stricter regulations on data privacy.
Yemen rebels strike oil depot in Saudi city hosting F1 race
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have attacked an oil depot in the Saudi city of Jiddah ahead of a Formula One race in the kingdom. It’s the rebels’ highest-profile assault yet and one that is threatening to disrupt the upcoming grand prix. The attack targeted the same fuel depot that the Houthis had attacked in recent days, the North Jiddah Bulk Plant. The plant sits just southeast of the city’s international airport, a crucial hub for Muslim pilgrims heading to Mecca. Saudi state TV acknowledged a “hostile operation” targeting the depot, without elaborating what type of attack it was. Journalists covering the F1 practice saw smoke rise over the city.
Mining group: ‘Attack’ on Alabama pipeline prompts reward
BROOKWOOD, Ala. (AP) — A late-night explosion at a natural gas pipeline in rural west Alabama is under investigation by federal agents. And a company says it’s offering a $25,000 reward for what it calls an attack on critical infrastructure. The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office says someone called 911 late Wednesday and reported hearing a loud noise. No one was hurt and local investigators called state and federal bomb squads after officers realized an explosion had occurred at a pipeline near Warrior Met Coal Inc. Miners have been striking at the company nearly a year and Warrior Met says it believes the explosion is linked to the dispute. The miners union says it condemns all violence.
Spain’s truckers get gas price cut but some keep striking
MADRID (AP) — Spain’s government and the country’s main trucking federations have reached an agreement on financial help for an industry hurt by high gas prices. But self-employed truckers said Friday they would continue their 12-day strike. Russia’s war in Ukraine has helped drive gas prices higher in Europe. Spain’s Socialist-led government announced it is discounting gas 0.20 euros ($.22) per liter for truckers as part of measures worth more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion). However, one group of striking truckers said its demands go beyond gas prices and its walkout will continue. The strike has disrupted supply chains and brought scattered shortages of vegetables, milk and fish. Also Friday, farmers on tractors drove slowly through Madrid to protest soaring prices for fuel and fertilizer.
GENERAL MOTORS-CHIP SHORTAGE
Chip shortage forces GM to pause production at Indiana plant
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is shutting down its pickup truck factory in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, for two weeks next month because the company has run short of computer chips. It’s a sign that the auto industry is still facing problems more than a year after the chip shortage surfaced in late 2020. GM says it has seen better chip supplies during the first three months of this year compared with 2021. The company says production and deliveries improved in the first quarter. But there’s still uncertainty in getting supplies from chip manufacturers. The Ft. Wayne plant will be closed the weeks of April 4 and 11.
WIND ENERGY LEASE-CAROLINAS
US ready to auction wind energy rights off Carolinas coast
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — The federal government plans to auction off the rights to produce power from wind energy in two areas offshore of North Carolina and South Carolina. The Department of the Interior says the leases are part of President Joe Biden’s goal of increasing clean energy generation. The sites being put up for auction on May 11 are 50 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and about 30 miles south of Bald Head Island in North Carolina. The agency has already leased wind power sites off New York’s coast and is planning to add sites off California and Oregon, the Gulf of Maine, the Gulf of Mexico and in the central Atlantic Ocean.
As NY preps pot market, sales grow on Native American land
ST. REGIS MOHAWK RESERVATION, N.Y. (AP) — As New York inches toward launching a retail marijuana market, sales are flourishing on some Native American territory in the state. Shops selling marijuana have opened on the U.S. side of Mohawk territory straddling the Canadian border. Others have opened on Seneca territory in western New York, and by the Cayuga Nation in the Finger Lakes. There’s an internal dispute over the legality of about a dozen businesses on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation operating without tribal licenses. But the sales show how Native Americans have been able to tap early into what’s expected to be a multibillion-dollar statewide market.
Small businesses face tax headaches on top of pandemic woes
NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses that have been buffeted by the pandemic, inflation and shipping woes have another challenge to add to their plate: taxes. Tax season can be complicated for everyone, but as the April 18 filing deadline looms, small business owners, contractors, entrepreneurs and others face even more rules and regulations that are ever-changing. The Internal Revenue Service has announced a backlog and warned that more delays are to be expected. The IRS said earlier this month it was hiring 10,000 workers to deal with a backlog of 23 million items triggered by limiting operations during the coronavirus pandemic. But with understaffing at both the federal and state government levels, CPAs have found it difficult to reach anyone if any problems or questions arise.
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