Lower US job gain in August could aid Fed’s inflation fight
WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s employers added a healthy number of jobs last month, yet slowed their hiring enough to potentially help the Federal Reserve in its fight to reduce raging inflation. The economy gained 315,000 jobs in August, a still-solid figure that pointed to an economy that remains resilient despite rising interest rates, high inflation and sluggish consumer spending. Friday’s report from the government also showed that the unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, up from a half-century low of 3.5%. Yet that increase was also an encouraging sign: It reflected a long-awaited rise in the number of Americans who came off the sidelines and started looking for work.
Stocks shed early gains, end lower for 3rd straight week
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks gave up an early rally and ended lower on Wall Street, marking their third losing week in a row. Indexes had opened higher following a report on the job market that showed a moderate slowdown in hiring. That stoked cautious optimism that the Federal Reserve may not need to be as aggressive with high interest rates in its fight against inflation. Indexes turned lower in the afternoon after Russian energy giant Gazprom said it wouldn’t reopen a natural gas pipeline to Germany for now, a bad sign for Europe’s ongoing struggle with higher energy prices. The S&P 500 fell about 1%.
Russia’s Gazprom keeps gas pipeline to Germany switched off
BERLIN (AP) — Russian energy giant Gazprom says it can’t resume the supply of natural gas through a key pipeline to Germany for now because of what it said was a need for urgent maintenance work. Friday’s announcement came just hours before Gazprom was due to resume deliveries. The Russian state-run energy company had shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline on Wednesday for what it said would be three days of work. It said in a social media post Friday evening that it had identified “malfunctions” of a turbine and said the pipeline would not work unless those were eliminated.
$1 billion in federal economic grants headed coast to coast
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo are announcing $1 billion in federal grants for manufacturing, clean energy, farming, biotech and more. The grants announced Friday go to 21 regional partnerships across the nation. The government chose the winners from 529 applicants that vied for grants that were part of the already-approved $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The grants include $65 million in California to improve farm production and $25 million for a robotics cluster in Nebraska. Georgia gets $65 million for artificial intelligence. There’s $64 million for lithium-based battery development in New York. West Virginia coal counties receive $63 million to help with the shift to solar power and find new uses for abandoned mines.
G-7 pledges to move forward with Russia oil price cap system
BERLIN (AP) — Finance ministers from the Group of Seven industrial powers have pledged to put in place a system designed to cap Russia’s income from oil sales, an idea the nations’ leaders had promised to explore in June. The aim is to reduce Russia’s revenues and, by doing so, its ability to fund its war in Ukraine, while also limiting the impact of the war on global energy prices. In a statement Friday, the ministers said they “confirm our joint political intention to finalize and implement a comprehensive prohibition of services which enable maritime transportation of Russian-origin crude oil and petroleum products globally.” Providing those services would only be allowed if oil is purchased at or below a fixed price.
US seeks more info on Chinese company’s North Dakota project
BISMARCK, ND (AP) — Federal authorities reviewing a Chinese company’s purchase of land in North Dakota for a wet corn milling plant say more information is needed before they can decide whether project is detrimental to national security. Fufeng Group’s planned $700 million project in Grand Forks is near a US Air Force base, prompting opponents to raise the concerns about potential for espionage. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States told Fufeng this week that the information it’s provided is “insufficient.” The company says it will comply with the government’s request for more information. The Grand Forks city administrator said Friday that infrastructure work being done for the project will be halted until the review is done.
Nissan eager to leverage US tax credit on electric vehicles
TOKYO (AP) — Nissan says it’s aggressively pushing electric vehicles to take advantage of a new US law that gives up to $7,500 in tax credits. President Joe Biden signed the landmark law last month. The tax credit can be used to defray the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle that’s made in the US The Nissan Leaf electric car is among the models that qualifies. Vehicles must contain a battery built in North America with minerals mined or recycled on the continent to be eligible. Chief Sustainability Officer Joji Tagawa says an analysis is underway at Nissan, though specifics are still undecided.
The S&P 500 shed 42.59 points, or 1.1%, to 3,924.26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 337.98 points, or 1.1%, to 31,318.44. The Nasdaq lost 154.26 points, or 1.3%, to 11,630.86. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dropped 13.07 points, or 0.7%, to 1,809.75.