Business Highlights News Staff

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Pandemic puts 1 in 3 nonprofits in financial jeopardy

NEW YORK (AP) — More than one-third of U.S. nonprofits are in jeopardy of closing within two years because of the financial harm inflicted by the viral pandemic, according to a study being released Wednesday by the philanthropy research group Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. The study’s findings underscore the perils for nonprofits and charities whose financial needs have escalated over the past year, well in excess of the donations that most have received from individuals and foundations. The researchers analyzed how roughly 300,000 nonprofits would fare under 20 scenarios of varying severity.

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Google ends sale of ads using individual web tracking data

LONDON (AP) — Google says it won’t develop new ways to follow individual users across the internet after it phases out existing ad-tracking technology from Chrome browsers. The change threatens to shake up the online advertising industry. The digital giant has been working on proposals to remove so-called third party cookies from Chrome. These are snippets of code that record browsing history in order to show users personalized ads. Third-party cookies have been a longstanding source of privacy concerns, so Google proposes instead grouping together web users with similar interests. Google itself will still continue to be able to track users through its widely used services like Search or Maps.

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US infrastructure gets C- from engineers as roads stagnate

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — America’s infrastructure has scored near-failing grades for its deteriorating roads, public transit and storm water systems due to years of inaction from the federal government. That’s according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. Its overall grade: a mediocre C-minus. In its “Infrastructure Report Card” released Wednesday, the group is calling for “big and bold” relief. It estimates it would cost $5.9 trillion over the next decade to bring roads, bridges and airports to a safe and sustainable level. That’s about $2.6 trillion more than what government and the private sector already spend.

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Technology stocks lead indexes lower as yields resume climb

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology companies led stocks lower on Wall Street as another rise in bond yields rattled investors. The S&P 500 fell 1.3% Wednesday, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 2.7%. Higher bond yields can signal that inflation could be on the way as the economy picks up. They can also make stocks that have made huge gains, like many of the Big Tech companies, look expensive. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rose to 1.47% from 1.41%. Banks benefited from the increase in bond yields, which allows them to charge higher rates on mortgages and many other kinds of loans.

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‘Meme stocks’ go mainstream: There’s now a fund for that

NEW YORK (AP) — Interested in trading some of the stocks that have rocked Wall Street recently fueled by social media buzz? Has the craziness of the comments talking up the so-called meme stocks on Reddit and other sites kept you away? Well, the financial industry has something for you. On Thursday, investment firm VanEck expects to list an exchange-traded fund called VanEck Vectors Social Sentiment ETF under the ticker symbol “BUZZ.” The fund will track an index of stocks getting mentioned often on social media, news articles and online discussion forums. But the fund doesn’t include GameStop, the poster child of the social-media investing phenomenon.

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Biden faces steep challenges to reach renewable energy goals

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The Biden administration has an ambitious agenda for expanding renewable energy, but challenges stand in the way, including rebuilding jobs and navigating the coronavirus pandemic. Biden’s presidency could be a boon to a renewable energy industry that is already growing, despite the Trump administration’s focus on fossil fuels and challenges posed to new installations by the pandemic. Last year was a record year for wind and solar power installations. Members of the industry also believe Biden’s expected focus on new environmental regulations will make wind and solar power more competitive against old stalwarts such as coal.

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UK extends job support, tax breaks for pandemic-hit economy

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s treasury chief has announced an additional 65 billion pounds ($91 billion) of support for an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. In his annual budget statement on Wednesday he extended job support programs and temporary tax cuts to help workers and businesses. Rishi Sunak said his plans would “protect the jobs and livelihoods of the British people” through September as the government slowly lifts lockdown restrictions that have shut businesses across the U.K. While the pandemic has pushed public borrowing to levels not seen since World War II, Sunak said it is too soon to cut government spending. The British economy has shrunk by 10% over the past year and more than 700,000 people have lost their jobs.

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The S&P 500 dropped 50.57 points, or 1.3%, to 3,819.72. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 121.43 points, or 0.4%, to 31,270.09. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 361.04 points, or 2.7%, to 12,997.75. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slipped 23.72 points, or 1.1%, to 2,207.79.

The Associated Press

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