Business Highlights: US employers ease hiring; Wall Street closes its best week of the year
US employers pulled back on hiring in October, adding 150,000 jobs in face of higher borrowing rates
WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s employers slowed their hiring in October, adding a modest but still decent 150,000 jobs, a sign that the labor market may be cooling but remains resilient despite high interest rates that have made borrowing much costlier for companies and consumers. Last month’s job growth, though down sharply from a robust 297,000 gain in September, was solid enough to suggest that many companies still want to hire and that the economy remains sturdy. And job growth would have been higher in October if not for the now-settled United Auto Workers’ strikes against Detroit’s automakers. The strikes likely shrank last month’s job gain by at least 30,000, economists say.
Stock market today: Wall Street closes its best week of the year with even more gains
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street steamrolled even higher to add more gains to its best week in nearly a year. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% Friday. The Dow added 222 points, and the Nasdaq composite rose 1.4%. Stocks surged this week on rising hopes the Federal Reserve is finally done with its market-crunching hikes to interest rates, which are meant to get inflation under control. A report on Friday underscored that pressure is easing on inflation after it showed employers hired fewer workers last month than expected. Treasury yields tumbled, releasing more of the pressure that had built up on the stock market.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried convicted of defrauding cryptocurrency customers
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York jury has convicted FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried of fraud charges. The 31-year-old California man was convicted Thursday in Manhattan federal court by jurors who rejected his testimony that he didn’t defraud thousands of customers worldwide who counted on him to safeguard the billions of dollars they deposited in accounts. Bankman-Fried has been jailed since August, when a judge concluded he’d tried to influence prospective trial witnesses. He was extradited to the United States last December from the Bahamas, where he had operated the FTX cryptocurrency exchange and a hedge fund, among other businesses.
Biden pledges at Americas summit an alternative to Chinese-led infrastructure and development loans
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday welcomed leaders from countries across the Americas to an economic summit by pledging to increase U.S. investment in the region in part to counter China’s influence. The U.S. president did not specifically mention China in his opening remarks at the first Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity Leaders’ Summit. But Biden openly alluded to the country that has emerged as a chief geopolitical competitor to the United States that has offered development loans to countries in the Western Hemisphere. Along with Biden, officials from Barbados, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Panama attended summit events that included discussions about migration and supply chains.
China supported sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear program. It’s also behind their failure
WASHINGTON (AP) — International authorities say there’s growing evidence that shows Beijing is helping cash-strapped North Korea evade a range of international sanctions designed to hamper Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. China has long maintained it enforces the sanctions it has supported since North Korea started testing nuclear weapons and forcefully pushed back on any suggestions to the contrary. But there is evidence of China’s help from Chinese middlemen laundering the proceeds of North Korean hackers’ cyber heists while Chinese ships deliver sanctioned North Korean goods to Chinese ports. North Korea has said U.S.-led sanctions against it are stifling its economy.
Shipping company Maersk to slash 10,000 jobs, citing the difficult container trade environment
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Maersk, the world’s biggest shipping company, says it plans to eliminate 10,000 jobs due to what it described as a challenging environment for container trade and logistics services. The company said the move would result in savings of $600 million in 2024. The announcement was made on Friday as Copenhagen-based Maersk presented its quarterly report, which listed profits before taxes at $691 million, down from $9.1 billion for the same period last year. The report cited “challenging market conditions resulting in substantially lower freight rates compared to the abnormally high rates in 2022.” CEO Vincent Clerc said the company would continue to streamline its organization and operations.
Biden administration awards $653 million in grants for 41 projects to upgrade ports
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Transportation Department is awarding $653 million in grants to upgrade and improve 41 water-based ports across the United States. The grants awarded on Friday are part of the $1 trillion in infrastructure investments made possible by a bipartisan law signed by President Joe Biden in 2021. Biden administration officials say the projects being supported will allow ports to meet greater shipping demands as well as lowering costs for consumers and improving worker safety.
John Oliver’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ censored by UAE broadcaster over references to Khashoggi’s killing
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Dubai-based television network broadcasting across the Middle East cut substantial portions of an episode of the satiric news program “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” over references to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince being implicated in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The decision by OSN highlights the limits on speech in both the United Arab Emirates as well as neighboring Saudi Arabia. It also highlights how sensitive Khashoggi’s killing remains more than five years since he was slain inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The “Last Week Tonight” episode, which aired on Oct. 22, focused primarily on the New York-based management consulting firm McKinsey and Co., which has worked with Saudi Arabia in recent years.
Jeff Bezos, after founding Amazon in a Seattle garage three decades ago, packs his bags for Miami
NEW YORK (AP) — After nearly three decades, Jeff Bezos is leaving Seattle. In a Instagram post, the Amazon founder announced plans to return to Miami — where he spent his high school years — to be closer to his parents and his partner, Lauren Sánchez. Bezos, 59, added that operations for his rocket company, Blue Origin, are increasingly shifting to Cape Canaveral. While sharing excitement about the move, Bezos said it was also an emotional decision. Seattle has been Bezos’ home since 1994, when he started Amazon out of his garage. The now-billionaire already has lavish properties in Miami. Last month, Bloomberg News reported that Bezos had purchased a mansion in South Florida for $79 million, just two months after buying a neighboring estate for $68 million.
The S&P 500 rose 40.56 points, or 0.9%, to 4,358.34. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 222.24 points, or 0.7%, to 34,061.32. The Nasdaq composite added 184.09 points, or 1.4%, to 13,478.28. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies advanced 46.49 points, or 2.7% to 1,760.70.