Markets edge higher, oil prices slump


BERLIN (AP) — The International Energy Agency says high prices for natural gas and supply fears due to the war in Ukraine will slow the growth in demand for the fossil fuel in the coming years. In a report published Tuesday, the Paris-based agency forecast global demand for natural gas will rise by 140 billion cubic meters between 2021 and 2025. That’s less than half the increase of 370 bcm seen in the previous five-year period, which included the pandemic downturn. The revised forecast is mostly due to expectations of slower economic growth rather than buyers switching from gas to other fossil fuels, such as coal or oil. The IEA said gas-saving measures and the switch to renewable energy sources also had a lesser impact.

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Many won’t rely on virtual options after COVID: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new poll shows that many Americans don’t expect to rely on the digital services that became commonplace during the pandemic after COVID-19 subsides. That’s even as many think it’s a good thing if those options remain available in the future. The poll comes from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll shows that close to half or more of US adults say they are not likely to attend virtual activities, receive virtual health care, have groceries delivered or use curbside pickup after the coronavirus pandemic ends. Still, close to half of adults also say it would be a good thing if virtual options continue.

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US indexes shake off an early slump and eke out gains

Major stock indexes shook off an early slump and ended with meager gains on Wall Street Tuesday as worries about the economy continue to weigh on markets. Oil prices slumped, bringing the price of US crude back below $100 a barrel for the first time since early May. Tech stocks staged a turnaround and ended higher. The S&P 500 eked out a gain of 0.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 1.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average remained in the red, losing 0.4%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set mortgage rates, fell to 2.82%.

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Carrier SAS files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in US

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Scandinavian Airlines has filed for bankruptcy in the United States. The airline group said Tuesday’s announcement would not affect its operations and flight schedule. But the chief executive of SAS said the pilots’ strike had accelerated the move to seek bankruptcy protection voluntarily in the US Filing for Chapter 11 in New York puts civil litigation on hold while the business reorganizes its finances. Pilots say their pay and conditions are inadequate and the company is not rehiring pilots laid off during the pandemic. They claim the company negotiated for months but never intended to reach a deal with them.

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Biden to Ohio, spotlighting rescued pensions for millions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is taking a message of shoring up workers’ pensions to Ohio, hoping to reinvigorate his political standing with blue-collar voters. The state has been trending strongly Republican in recent years, with Donald Trump easily carrying it twice. But the Democrats have hopes of winning a Senate seat that is coming open. Biden on Wednesday is announcing a new rule that will allow major new financial support for troubled pensions that cover some 2 million to 3 million workers.

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In major blow, 2 key ministers quit Boris Johnson government

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is clinging to power after two of his most senior Cabinet ministers quit, saying they had lost confidence in Johnson’s leadership amid shifting explanations about his handling of a sexual misconduct scandal. chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned within minutes of each other Tuesday, costing Johnson the support of the men responsible for tackling two of the biggest issues facing Britain — the cost-of-living Treasury crisis and surging COVID-19 infections. Both men cited Johnson’s credibility after a day in which the prime minister was forced to backtrack on earlier statements about a misconduct scandal that has ratted his government for the past six days.

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Profiles of Sunak and Javid, who quit Johnson’s Cabinet

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is facing a fresh crisis after two of his most senior Cabinet ministers resigned within minutes of each other. Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid quit saying the government under Johnson’s leadership was no longer competent or “acting in the national interest.” Both Javid and Sunak are key members of the Cabinet and both are seen as potential successors to Johnson, leaving his position perilous. Sunak was, until recently, widely regarded as the party’s brightest rising star. Javid, 52, has been health secretary since June 2021, leading Britain’s COVID-19 response. Before that, he served as treasury chief, but resigned in early 2020 after clashing with Johnson

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Australian central bank boosts rate for 3rd month in a row

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s central bank has lifted its benchmark interest rate for a third time in three straight months, changing the cash rate to 1.35% from 0.85%. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s half a percentage point rise on Tuesday was the same size as its June increase. When the bank lifted the rate by a quarter percentage point at its monthly board meeting in May, it was the first rate hike in more than 11 years. Increases at the June and July board meetings were widely expected. Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said in May it was “not unreasonable” to expect the cash rate to climb to 2.5%.

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Smithfield Foods settles pork price-fixing lawsuit for $42M

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Smithfield Foods will pay restaurants and caterers $42 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the giant meat producer of conspiring to inflate pork prices. Smithfield didn’t admit any wrongdoing but the deal will likely only add to concerns about how the lack of competition in the industry affects meat prices. The meat industry argues that supply and demand, not anticompetitive behavior, determine prices, but the industry’s practices have been questioned by the White House, Congress and trade groups. The restaurant companies that sued said the major meat processors shared confidential information to help them coordinate efforts to limit the supply of hogs and inflate prices.

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Reports: Twitter challenges India order to block content

NEW DELHI (AP) — Media reports say Twitter has challenged the Indian government in court over its recent orders to take down some content on the social media platform. The Press Trust of India and the Bar and Bench legal news site report that he lawsuit was filed on Tuesday. It represents part of a growing confrontation between Twitter and Indian officials over new laws giving the government more power to police online content. Experts say the rules amount to censorship. Indian officials call them necessary to tackle disinformation and hate speech. Twitter has complied with most content takedown orders in the past but also resisted the new rules, calling them a potential threat to freedom of expression.

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The S&P 500 rose 6.06 points, or 0.2%, to 3,831.39. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 129.44 points, or 0.4%, to 30,967.82. The Nasdaq rose 194.39 points, or 1.7%, to 11,322.24. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 13.57 points, or 0.8%, to 1,741.33.

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