Business

U.S. Steel Acquisition Proposal Tests Biden’s Industrial Policy
Business

U.S. Steel Acquisition Proposal Tests Biden’s Industrial Policy

U.S. Steel is an iconic example of the lost manufacturing muscle that President Biden says his economic policies will bring back to the United States.But last month, the storied-but-diminished company announced plans to be acquired by a Japanese competitor. That development has put Mr. Biden in an awkward bind as he tries to balance attempts to revitalize the nation’s industrial sector with his efforts to rebuild international alliances.Mr. Biden’s administration has expressed some discomfort with the deal and is reviewing the proposed $14.1 billion takeover bid by Japan’s Nippon Steel. The company is offering a hefty premium for U.S. Steel, which has struggled to compete against a flood of cheap foreign metal and has been weighing takeover offers for several months.The proposal has quickl...
Alaska Airlines Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Losing Window
Business

Alaska Airlines Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Losing Window

Alaska Airlines grounded its fleet of Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft on Friday after a flight operated by the airline made an emergency landing at Portland International Airport in Oregon that evening because of a midair pressure problem that passengers said blew out a chunk of the fuselage.The airline said that Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 had made a safe emergency landing carrying 171 passengers and six crew members at the Portland airport shortly after takeoff for Ontario, Calif. Within hours, the company said that it was grounding all 65 of its Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft until it could inspect each plane. Those planes make up about a fifth of its fleet. It said in a statement that it expected to complete the inspections within a few days.Boeing’s Max aircraft have a troubled history. After tw...
U.S. Awards Chip Supplier $162 Million to Bolster Critical Industries
Business

U.S. Awards Chip Supplier $162 Million to Bolster Critical Industries

The Biden administration on Thursday announced plans to provide $162 million in federal grants to Microchip Technology, an Arizona-based semiconductor company that supplies the automotive, defense and other industries.The agreement is the second award announced under a new program intended to help ensure that American companies that rely on semiconductors have a stable supply. Last month, the Biden administration announced a $35 million grant for BAE Systems, a defense contractor.The investment will enable Microchip to increase its production of semiconductors that are used in cars, airplanes, appliances, medical devices and military products. The administration said it expected the award to create more than 700 jobs in construction and manufacturing.“Today’s announcement with Microchip is...
Cheddar, the ‘CNBC for Millennials,’ Furloughs Workers
Business

Cheddar, the ‘CNBC for Millennials,’ Furloughs Workers

The financial news network Cheddar placed at least some of its employees on unpaid leave on Tuesday, the latest development for the start-up that bills itself as a destination for younger viewers.The news network put the affected workers on furlough, effective immediately, and barred employees from further work, according to an email sent to the employees.“We would like to have given you more notice of this action, but the decision was necessitated by unforeseen internal and external factors that required rapid adjustments in our business strategy,” said the email, which was seen by The New York Times.Altice USA, the cable company that owned Cheddar, announced last week that it had sold the network to Archetype, a media company owned by the California investment firm Regent. Archetype’s ho...
Under Argentina’s New President, Fuel Is Up 60%, and Diaper Prices Have Doubled
Business

Under Argentina’s New President, Fuel Is Up 60%, and Diaper Prices Have Doubled

Over the past two weeks, the owner of a hip wine bar in Buenos Aires saw the price of beef soar 73 percent, while the zucchini he puts in salads rose 140 percent. An Uber driver paid 60 percent more to fill her tank. And a father said he spent twice as much on diapers for his toddler than he did last month.In Argentina, a country synonymous with galloping inflation, people are used to paying more for just about everything. But under the country’s new president, life is quickly becoming even more painful.When Javier Milei was elected president on Nov. 19, the country was already suffering under the world’s third-highest rate of inflation, with prices up 160 percent from a year before.But since Mr. Milei took office on Dec. 10 and quickly devalued the Argentine currency, prices have soared a...
Boom in A.I. Prompts a Test of Copyright Law
Business

Boom in A.I. Prompts a Test of Copyright Law

The boom in artificial intelligence tools that draw on troves of content from across the internet has begun to test the bounds of copyright law.Authors and a leading photo agency have brought suit over the past year, contending that their intellectual property was illegally used to train A.I. systems, which can produce humanlike prose and power applications like chatbots.Now they have been joined in the spotlight by the news industry. The New York Times filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing OpenAI and Microsoft of copyright infringement, the first such challenge by a major American news organization over the use of artificial intelligence.The lawsuit contends that OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing Chat can produce content nearly identical to Times articles, allowing the companies to “f...
Holiday Spending Increased, Defying Fears of a Decline
Business

Holiday Spending Increased, Defying Fears of a Decline

Despite lingering inflation, Americans increased their spending this holiday season, early data shows. That comes as a big relief for retailers that had spent much of the year fearing the economy would soon weaken and consumer spending would fall.Retail sales from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 increased 3.1 percent from a year earlier, according to data from Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. The numbers, released Tuesday, are not adjusted for inflation.Spending increased across many categories, with restaurants experiencing one of the largest jumps, 7.8 percent. Apparel increased 2.4 percent, and groceries also had gains.The holiday sales figures, driven by a healthy labor market and wage gains, suggest that the economy remains stron...
Downturn or Not? At Year’s End, Wall St. Is Split on What’s Ahead.
Business

Downturn or Not? At Year’s End, Wall St. Is Split on What’s Ahead.

Twelve months ago, Tom Lee bet that 2023 was going to turn out just fine.While many of his peers on Wall Street were sounding the alarm over an impending economic downturn, Mr. Lee, a stock market strategist who spent more than a decade running J.P. Morgan’s equity research before setting up his own firm, forecast in December 2022 that falling inflation and economic resilience would buck the broadly bearish mood.Mr. Lee was right. Despite political brinkmanship over the nation’s debt ceiling, a banking crisis in March, fears over the cost of funding the government’s fiscal deficit, a continuing war in Ukraine and fresh conflict in Israel, the core of Mr. Lee’s prediction came to fruition in 2023. Inflation has fallen, unemployment remains low, and the S&P 500 has risen 25 percent.Most ...
Red Sea Shipping Halt Is Latest Risk to Global Economy
Business

Red Sea Shipping Halt Is Latest Risk to Global Economy

The attacks on crucial shipping traffic in the Red Sea straits by a determined band of militants in Yemen — a spillover from the Israeli-Hamas war in Gaza — are injecting a new dose of instability into a world economy already struggling with mounting geopolitical tensions.The risk of escalating conflict in the Middle East is the latest in a string of unpredictable crises, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, that have landed like swipes of a bear claw on the global economy, smacking it off course and leaving scars.As if that weren’t enough, more volatility lies ahead in the form of a wave of national elections whose repercussions could be deep and long. More than two billion people in roughly 50 countries, including India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, the United Stat...
Raymond Dirks, Whose Tipster Case Redefined Insider Trading, Dies at 89
Business

Raymond Dirks, Whose Tipster Case Redefined Insider Trading, Dies at 89

Raymond L. Dirks, a maverick Wall Street analyst who was accused of insider trading by securities regulators but then vindicated by the U.S. Supreme Court as a whistle-blower in a major fraud, died on Dec. 9 in Manhattan. He was 89.His death was confirmed by his brother, Lee. He died in a nursing home, where he had lived since being diagnosed with dementia in 2018.Mr. Dirks, whom Bloomberg News once called “arguably Wall Street’s most famous securities analyst,” figured in exposing one of the largest corporate frauds in American history.He was a 39-year-old senior vice president of Delafield Childs, a research-oriented New York brokerage firm, when, in 1973, he received a tip from a former executive of Equity Funding Corporation of America that the firm had sold bogus policies to reinsuran...