Business Highlights: Eyes on Airlines, Wall Street Crash

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All eyes on the airlines as the 4th of July holiday weekend approaches

DALLAS (AP) — If you’re flying this holiday weekend, prepare for crowded airports, packed planes and higher-than-normal chances your flight will be delayed or even canceled. Airlines have stumbled badly over the past two holiday weekends, with the number of Americans flying over the Fourth of July weekend expected to set records for the pandemic era. Problems have already been showing up, with a high number of cancellations this week, some of them caused by thunderstorms that hampered air traffic. Tracking service FlightAware says American Airlines canceled 8% of its flights on Tuesday and Wednesday, and United Airlines cut 4% of its schedule on those same days.

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Stocks plunge and close worst quarter since early 2020

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell again on Wall Street Thursday, closing out the worst quarter for the market since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. The S&P 500 Index lost 0.9%. It is now down 21% from hitting an all-time high earlier in the year, having entered a bear market in early June. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.8% and the Nasdaq fell 1.3%. Tech stocks and retailers and other companies that rely directly on consumer spending posted some of the biggest losses, as they have done all year. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.01%.

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From stocks to cryptocurrencies, six months of punishment for investors

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans with stock portfolios or retirement investment plans would probably prefer to forget the last six months. The S&P 500, Wall Street’s broad benchmark for many stock funds, closed the first half of 2022 down more than 20% on Thursday after starting the year at an all-time high. It’s the worst start to the year since 1970, when Apple and Microsoft weren’t even founded. Bonds are on track for one of their worst performances in history, and cryptocurrencies have tumbled after soaring last year. Financial markets have been hit by the Federal Reserve’s sharp increase in interest rates to control rising inflation.

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Supreme Court decision may delay transition to cleaner energy

NEW YORK (AP) — The Supreme Court ruling that limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants could have far-reaching consequences for the energy sector and make it more difficult for the Biden administration meets its goal of having the U.S. electrical grid run on clean energy by 2035. The nation has gradually transitioned from coal to cleaner sources of electricity, such as natural gas, solar, and wind power, to often because they are less expensive. The ruling could delay the clean energy transition in the future because it places restrictions on what the EPA can do without exceeding its statutory authority.

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The key inflation gauge tracked by the Fed remains high at 6.3%

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of inflation closely watched by the Federal Reserve rose 6.3% in May from a year earlier, unchanged from its level in April. Thursday’s report from the Commerce Department provided the latest evidence that painfully high inflation is straining American households and inflicting particular damage on low-income families and people of color. The government report also said that consumer spending increased at a slow rate of 0.2% from April to May. On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.6% from April to May, compared to a 0.2% increase from March to April.

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OPEC+ oil push likely won’t help high gas prices much

NEW YORK (AP) — The OPEC oil cartel and allied producing nations have decided to increase crude output by an amount that will likely do little to ease soaring gas prices at pumps and energy-driven inflation. the worldwide economy. The group on Thursday agreed to a 648,000-barrel-per-day increase in August, leaving the world thirsty for oil as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. It also collides with the inability of the 23-member OPEC+ alliance to meet its production quotas. Biden, facing domestic political pressure, has been urging oil-producing countries to turn on taps and help lower gasoline prices for American drivers.

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Some medical debt is being removed from US credit reports.

NEW YORK (AP) — Help is coming for many struggling with medical debt on credit reports. Starting Friday, the three major US credit reporting companies will stop counting paid medical debt on their reports, which banks and others use to judge creditworthiness. The companies will also begin giving patients one year to resolve delinquent medical debt that has been sent to collection before reporting it. That is more than six months. Next year, companies will also stop counting unpaid medical debts under $500. Patient advocates applaud these moves, but want more. They wonder if medical debt should stay on credit reports.

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Spirit delay allows airline to make time for bidding war

NEW YORK (AP) — Spirit Airlines shares are rising after the budget airline postponed a vote on a merger with Frontier for the second time. Spirit announced hours before a shareholder meeting on Thursday that the merger vote will be delayed until July 8. That will give Spirit more time to talk with Frontier and JetBlue Airways, which is also bidding for Spirit. JetBlue’s CEO sees the latest delay as a sign that his airline will finally win the bidding war.

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The S&P 500 fell 33.45 points, or 0.9%, to 3,785.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 253.88 points, or 0.8%, to 30,775.43. The Nasdaq fell 149.16 points, or 1.3%, to 11,028.74. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 11.38 points, or 0.7%, to 1,707.99.

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