Stock Market News: Live Updates – The New York Times

  • The S&P 500 rose about 0.8 percent on Monday, a second consecutive day of gains, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite was lower.

  • Apple was among the worst-performing stocks in the S&P 500, with a decline of about 2 percent. Shares of energy producers were also lower, as crude oil prices dipped.

  • Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes rose as high as 1.60 percent, the highest level in more than a year.

  • Most European stocks were higher, with the Stoxx Europe 600 rising more than 2 percent.

  • On Friday, the S&P 500 had jumped 2 percent after Labor Department data showed U.S. employers added 379,000 to their payrolls in February, nearly double the number economists’ forecast. But in recent weeks, good economic data has rattled markets, sending bond yields sharply higher, amid concerns that it will fuel higher inflation and central banks will have to pull back on easy-money policies.

  • Many central bank policymakers, including from the Federal Reserve, have pushed against those concerns and tried to reassure markets that there will be plenty of warning before any chance in policy.

  • On Monday, Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, said there was growing economic optimism in markets and consumer and business confidence. But he added “a note of realism” that the recovery was from a low starting point. Low interest rates and the central bank’s bond-buying program were “amply” justified.

  • Oil futures were lower. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, was below $66 a barrel. The price was higher overnight at nearly $68 after an attack on oil sites in Saudi Arabia. The attack was intercepted and production was unaffected, according to reports.

  • On Thursday, the European Central Bank will announced its latest policy decision. Most economists expect the low and negative interest rates to stay the same. On Monday, the euro was down 0.3 percent against the U.S. dollar.

  • Deliveroo, a British food delivery company, announced some details of its plans to go public on the London Stock Exchange. It will be one of the biggest initial public offerings in Britain for years, but its dual-class share structure will keep it out of the main indexes, including the FTSE 100. That said, the British government is reviewing its rules around shares listings. Deliveroo also said it would give some of its longstanding drivers up to £10,000 after I.P.O.

The American Rescue Plan that was passed by the Senate and is now back before the House of Representatives would put pump $1.9 trillion into the economy.

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The New York Times’s personal finance experts, Ron Lieber and Tara Siegel Bernard, combed through the bill to explain what it means in real terms to real people. Here are some of the questions they answer:

Apollo Global Management announced a deal to take over the insurance and lending firm Athene Holding, as the private equity giant prepares for a future without Leon Black.

The deal, which values Athene at $11 billion, will give Apollo majority control of the insurer it helped establish more than a decade ago. The merged company will be led by Marc Rowan, an Apollo co-founder who will replace Mr. Black as the private equity firm’s chief executive officer by July.

Mr. Rowan was the driving force behind the creation of Athene, which has emerged as a major provider of retirement and insurance services. Apollo owned about 28 percent of Athene’s outstanding shares before the merger.

In January, Apollo announced that Mr. Rowan would succeed Mr. Black as chairman following the release of details about Mr. Black’s extensive business dealings with Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier and registered sex offender who killed himself in August 2019 while facing federal sex trafficking charges. Mr. Black paid $158 million in fees to Mr. Epstein for tax and estate planning services and also loaned him nearly $30 million.

Apollo also announced an additional step it would take to improve its corporate governance in response to the controversy over Mr. Black’s dealings with Mr. Epstein. By early next year, it will move to simplify its share classes to effectively allow all shareholders to have equal voting status — a change that will somewhat reduce the voting power of firm’s founders, Mr. Black, Mr. Rowan and Joshua Harris.

A protester at a gathering outside the Georgia State Capitol. Two bills moving through the Republican-controlled Legislature would place new restrictions on voting access.
Credit…Dustin Chambers/Reuters

As Georgia Republicans push through measures that critics say will restrict Black citizens’ voting rights, opponents of the effort are calling on big companies based in the state to step up their defense of civil liberties. One of those bills has already passed the House, while another could go to a vote in the State Senate as soon as this week.

Here’s what corporate giants told DealBook about the proposed voting restrictions:

  • Coke described voting as “a foundational right” and said it supported efforts by the Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce to “help facilitate a balanced approach to the elections bills.”

  • Home Depot said that “elections should be accessible, fair and secure and support broad voter participation.” It referred to an internal get-out-the-vote initiative and a donation of 9,200 plexiglass dividers across the state to bolster poll station safety.

  • UPS said it “believes in the importance of the democratic process and supports facilitating the ability of all eligible voters to exercise their civic duty.” It added that it was working with the Atlanta and Georgia chambers of commerce “to ensure equitable access to the polls and the integrity of the election process across the state.”

  • Delta Air Lines called voting “a vital part” of the company’s values. “Ensuring an election system that promotes broad voter participation, equal access to the polls, and fair, secure elections processes are critical to voter confidence and creates an environment that ensures everyone’s vote is counted.”

  • Inspire Brands, the owner of Dunkin’ Donuts and Arby’s and one of the biggest restaurant companies in the United States, did not have a comment.

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These statements aren’t enough, activists say. “Just simply saying we support elections — free, fair and accessible elections — without actually addressing the issues currently underway has no teeth,” the Rev. James Woodall, the president of the Georgia N.A.A.C.P., told DealBook.

Companies have played a role in Georgia civil rights battles before. In 2015, businesses like Coca-Cola, Delta, Home Depot and UPS opposed “religious liberty” legislation meant to give companies legal cover to avoid hiring L.G.B.T.Q. workers, citing not only company values but also potential harm to Georgia’s business reputation. Many big companies also publicly pledged to work toward racial equity after the killing of George Floyd and others this past summer.

Mr. Woodall said that it was harder now for Georgia-based companies to both promote moderate social policies and cater to local politicians pushing the voting restrictions bills. “Georgia celebrates being the best state to do business,” he said “But that will change if people feel that businesses don’t support them or their lives are literally at stake.”

The Port of Los Angeles, the main port of entry for goods from Asia, has seen significant congestion in the pandemic.
Credit…Coley Brown for The New York Times

Since they were first deployed in 1956, the boxy shipping containers that get stacked on top of one another aboard giant vessels have revolutionized global trade. They allow goods to be packed into standard receptacles and hoisted off the boats by cranes onto rail cars and trucks.

Containers are how flat-panel displays made in South Korea are moved to plants in China that assemble smartphones and laptops, and how those finished devices are shipped across the Pacific to the United States.

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Over the past year, the pandemic has disrupted every part of those journeys and disrupted international trade to an extraordinary degree, driving up the cost of shipping goods and adding a fresh challenge to the global economic recovery. The coronavirus has thrown off the choreography of moving cargo from one continent to another.

No one knows how long the upheaval will last, though some experts assume containers will remain scarce through the end of the year, as the factories that make them — nearly all of them in China — scramble to catch up with demand.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Lars Mikael Jensen, head of Global Ocean Network at A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company. “All the links in the supply chain are stretched. The ships, the trucks, the warehouses.”

“We’re not just competing with the gym down the street. Titans like Peloton and SoulCycle, they are true beneficiaries of this pandemic,” said Amina Daniels, owner of a cycling and yoga studio.
Credit…Nick Hagen for The New York Times

E-commerce saved many retail companies over the past year, as online shopping provided a lifeline after stores were shut, city centers went vacant and customers stayed home.

But for small businesses, the benefit was wildly uneven, Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst with eMarketer, tells Amy Haimerl of The New York Times. There were winner sectors, such as grocery, health and fitness, and direct-to-consumer brands, but apparel boutiques and other specialty retailers — especially those without existing e-commerce platforms — struggled.

The experience of Amina Daniels, the owner of Live Cycle Delight fitness studio in Detroit, underscores the logistical challenges small businesses faced building and competing online.

To produce on-demand video classes, she built a mini production studio inside her spin room, investing thousands in microphones, lights and a film crew. Still, it’s hard to go up against Peloton, which has entire teams producing its digital classes.

About 30 customers left Live Cycle Delight for Peloton, Ms. Daniels said, but she found support in other ways. With the movement to support Black-owned businesses, people donated to her, and there was healthy demand for the studio’s branded merchandise, such as Pilates balls, T-shirts and booty bands, the stretchy bands that add resistance to a workout.

Between the products, outdoor classes in the summer and memberships, she has been able to keep the three-year-old business open. The shift to e-commerce hasn’t been perfect, she said, but it’s been worth it. She reminds herself why she started the studio: to make fitness more accessible and inclusive.

“Peloton is just one kind of experience,” she said. “We’re still here providing clients with an option to join us on the quest of better.”



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