Trading Highlights: Inflation Questions, Short Sellers



WASHINGTON (AP) – Inflation is starting to look like that unexpected – and unwanted – guest who just doesn’t want to leave. For months, many economists had been sending out a reassuring message that a surge in consumer prices, something the United States had lacked for a generation, would not last long. It would prove to be “transient,” in the soothing words of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and White House officials, as the economy shifts from chaos linked to the virus to something closer to normal. Yet, as any American who’s bought a carton of milk, a gallon of gasoline, or a used car might tell you, inflation has set in.


Saudi Arabia denies playing climate saboteur in Glasgow

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) – Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister dismisses complaints that the oil kingdom is working behind the scenes to undermine global climate talks. Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al Saud told reporters on Wednesday that such claims were “a false allegation, a cheat and a lie”. As the world’s largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia has long been accused of trying to slow down and weaken the deals that emerged from the UN climate talks. During talks underway in Glasgow, Scotland, Saudi Arabia has offered to end negotiations at 6 p.m. every night. Negotiators and observers accuse the kingdom of more complex efforts behind closed doors to play factions against each other in the talks.


Endangered shorts: As stocks skyrocket, skeptics are surrendering

NEW YORK (AP) – Wall Street skeptics are gone. As the stock market soars record after record, activity has slumped to an almost two-decade low for traders known as short sellers, who make their money betting stocks will drop. It will hardly sadden anyone. Critics of Capitol Hill on Main Street often portray short sellers as dealers in pain who only hurt the market. But the remaining experts and short sellers say they are providing an important service fit for this time: providing a counterweight against stock prices that may rise too high, too fast.


UN chief says global warming target is “life support”

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F) was “alive” in the last days of the UN climate talks in Glasgow. In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press Thursday, Guterres said the talks failed to achieve any of the UN’s three goals. He added that “until the last moment, hope must be maintained”. Guterres says the current negotiations must accomplish more than securing a weak deal that participating countries agree to support. “The worst would be to reach an agreement at all costs by a minimum common denominator which would not meet the enormous challenges,” he said.


Stocks make small gains, always headed for a weekly loss

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks managed to close mostly higher on Wall Street on Thursday, but the S&P 500 is still on track for its first weekly loss in six weeks. The core index gained less than 0.1%, while gains by tech companies helped push the Nasdaq up 0.5%. The mixed performance came a day after a surge in inflation stumbled major indices. Disney fell 7.1% in intense trading after reporting slowing subscriber gains on its streaming channel. Beyond Meat fell 13.3% after reporting a much larger loss than analysts expected. Bond exchanges were closed for Veterans Day.


Kellogg’s takes legal action against striking grain workers

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The Kellogg Co. has filed a complaint against its local union in Omaha. He complains that strikers are blocking the entrances to his grain plant and intimidating replacement workers entering the plant. The Battle Creek, Mich.-Based company has asked a judge to order the Omaha branch of the International Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union to stop interfere with its activities while workers picketed outside the factory. Workers from Omaha and Kellogg’s three other American grain factories in Battle Creek; Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Memphis, Tennessee, have been on strike since October 5. Two days of contract talks earlier this month failed to reach a deal.


Study: US buyers spend more than Chinese to restore luxury market

MILAN (AP) – New research shows the personal luxury market for high-end accessories, leather goods and clothing has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Consulting firm Bain says American buyers have fueled this recovery, overtaking those in China in pursuit of the latest fashion trends. Global consumer spending on personal luxury goods, including the latest sneaker or design collaboration trend, is expected to increase 29% this year to € 283 billion. It’s a return to 2019 levels and a turnaround from the gloomy 2020 pandemic closures that have closed stores and disrupted international travel. The recovery should be supported by a strong holiday shopping season.


Chinese shoppers spend $ 139 billion on Singles Day

BEIJING (AP) – Chinese shoppers spent $ 139.1 billion during this year’s annual Singles Day shopping extravaganza, breaking last year’s record even as consumer spending slowed in a context of economic uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic. Experts say the world’s largest online shopping festival has taken on a more low-key tone this year with less hype following a regulatory crackdown on the tech industry. This year, e-commerce platforms have reduced the online hype with pressure from the Chinese government for less extravagance. Buyers say big discounts on Singles Day are a thing of the past.


The S&P 500 rose 2.56 points, or less than 0.1%, to 4,649.27. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 158.71 points, or 0.4%, to 35,921.23. The Nasdaq gained 81.58 points, 0.5%, to 15,704.28. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index added 19.56 points, or 0.8%, to 2,409.14.


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