Stocks plunge amid new spike for oil prices
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are tumbling on Wall Street as another big leap for oil prices threatens to squeeze inflation’s grip on the global economy. The S&P 500 fell 2.3% after a barrel of U.S. oil surged to $130 overnight on the possibility the U.S. could bar imports from Russia.
Stocks around the world slid even more sharply earlier in the day, also taking their cue from oil’s movements, though their losses moderated as crude receded toward $120 per barrel. Gold and a measure of nervousness on Wall Street were also higher, though not by quite as much as when oil prices hit their peak.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR-ENERGY PRICES
Gasoline prices rise
UNDATED (AP) — Gasoline prices are rising again as talk grows about the United States banning imports of oil from Russia to punish the country for invading Ukraine.
Today’s national average price jumped above $4.06 a gallon. Auto club AAA says that’s the highest price that American motorists have faced since July 2008. Prices are up 45 cents a gallon in just the past week, and they’re now nearly 50% higher than a year ago.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR-CARD PAYMENTS
Russian banks mull China UnionPay; big accounting firms exit
LONDON (AP) — Leading Russian banks are looking into using a Chinese payment rival after Visa and Mastercard suspended operations over the invasion of Ukraine.
All the big global accounting firms also said they would pull out of Russia in the latest corporate fallout.
Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank say they’re considering the possibility of payment cards powered by China’s UnionPay system. They told users that Visa and Mastercard will work within Russia but will stop working for payments outside the country after Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ernst & Young and Deloitte cut ties with their operations in Russia on Monday, a day after KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers did so.
EPA rule would make heavy trucks cut smog, soot pollution
DETROIT (AP) — The Biden administration is proposing stronger pollution regulations for new tractor-trailer rigs that would clean up smoky diesel engines and encourage new technologies during the next two decades.
The proposal released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency would require the industry to cut smog-and-soot-forming nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90% per truck over current standards by 2031.
Although truck manufacturers are working on battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, the EPA says the proposal is not a zero-emissions truck requirement. Rather, the agency says there are pollution control devices in development that can keep diesels in use and still clean the air.
Public transit gets $3.7B to woo riders, adopt green fleets
WASHINGTON (AP) — Public transit systems straining to win back riders after being crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic are getting a $3.7 billion boost to stay afloat and invest in electric buses.
It’s part of several initiatives being announced Monday by the Biden administration to promote green-friendly transit as workers begin returning to offices.
The Transportation Department says it’s awarding $2.2 billion in coronavirus relief funding to 35 transit agencies in 18 states. The money would be used to prop up day-to-day operations hurt by lost revenue from reduced ridership. Another $1.5 billion in grants will be made available under President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law to purchase low-emission buses and build bus facilities.
Food or power: Energy bill late fees force tough choices
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Americans paid a combined $561 million in late payment fees to electrical utilities in 2019. But how much you pay depends on where you live.
An AP analysis of federal regulatory data found that several major utility companies in states like Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Florida and Maryland are charging late fees that are much higher than the national average.
Late fees typically punish customers who are least able to afford their utility bill to begin with. The fees account for a small part of major energy companies’ overall revenue. But for the people who must pay them, they can be crushing.
BED BATH & BEYOND-COHEN
Bed Bath & Beyond shares soar as Ryan Cohen takes huge stake
UNDATED (AP) — The investment firm of billionaire Ryan Cohen has taken a large stake in Bed Bath & Beyond and is recommending that the struggling retailer sell all or part of its business.
RC Ventures LLC has acquired a nearly 10% stake in Bed Bath & Beyond, according to a regulatory filing. RC stands for Ryan Cohen, a co-founder at Chewy, who was at heart of the GameStop meme saga last year. Cohen built a huge following on Reddit and on social media in 2021 as smaller investors gobbled up GameStop and other meme stocks.
News of his possible involvement at Bed Bath & beyond sent shares of the company, which have tumbled 15% this year, up 75% before the opening bell.
Kohl’s to open 100 small-format stores, expand Sephora shops
NEW YORK (AP) — Department store chain Kohl’s says it aims to increase sales by a low-single-digit percentage annually, with plans to open 100 new small-format stores in the next four years and expand its partnership with Sephora to be a $2 billion business, among other moves. Kohl’s announced its long-term goals ahead of the company’s annual investor meeting as it faces increasing pressure from activist investors. Kohl’s is on track to have Sephora shops in 850 of its stores by next year.
Moderna signs with Kenya for first mRNA facility in Africa
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Moderna says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Kenya’s government for the drugmaker’s first mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Africa.
Moderna said in a statement that the goal is to produce up to 500 million doses of vaccines a year for the African continent. It says the focus is on drug substance manufacturing. But the facility could be expanded to include fill-and-finish work.
Moderna also said it’s working on plans to allow it to fill doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in Africa as early as 2023 “subject to demand.” The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the huge need for vaccine manufacturing in Africa.
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