Business Highlights: Fox settlement, smaller tax refunds


Fox, Dominion reach $787M settlement over election claims

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Fox and Dominion Voting Systems have reached a $787 million settlement in the voting machine company’s defamation lawsuit. The agreement averts a trial in a case that exposed how the top-rated network chased viewers by promoting lies about the 2020 presidential election. Dominion lawyer Justin Nelson said the deal shows that truth matters and lies have consequences. Dominion had asked for $1.6 billion in arguing that Fox had damaged its reputation by helping peddle phony conspiracy theories about its equipment switching votes from former President Donald Trump to Democrat Joe Biden.


Your tax refund could be smaller than last year. Here’s why

NEW YORK (AP) — If you’re expecting a tax refund, it could be smaller than last year. And with inflation still high, that money won’t go as far as it did a year ago. The more than 101 million taxpayers who had filed as of April 7 got refunds that were an average of 9.3% less than last year. That’s in part due to pandemic relief programs expiring. The filing deadline for most taxpayers is Tuesday, though it has been extended for eight states that were hard hit by severe weather. According to the most recent IRS data, the average refund is $2,878, down from $3,175. That’s a difference of more than $300.


Stock market today: S&P 500 posts slight gain, Dow flat

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes are closing little changed on Wall Street following a mixed set of earnings results from big companies. The S&P 500 rose 0.1% Tuesday after drifting between small gains and losses throughout the day. The Dow and Nasdaq barely moved. Lockheed Martin rose after reporting a bigger profit than expected. On the opposite end was Goldman Sachs, which dropped after its revenue fell short of forecasts. A report also showed China’s economic growth accelerated. That raised hopes for the global economy when investors are bracing for at least one more rate hike from the Federal Reserve.


Biden pans McCarthy’s debt plan as ‘huge cuts’ to Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is working furiously to build support for a Republican proposal that would raise the nation’s debt limit. President Joe Biden wants that legal borrowing limit raised, too, but he doesn’t want the other part of McCarthy’s demands — a limit on much future federal spending increases to 1% a year, among other changes. McCarthy is looking for negotiations with the White House, but Biden quickly batted down his bid as “huge cuts” to programs hitting million of Americans. The Republican leader’s proposal has almost no chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate. And he still has to unite fractured House GOP factions to pass the legislation in the House that they control.


Netflix to bring down the curtain on its DVD-by-mail service

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix is poised to shut down the DVD-by-mail rental service that set the stage for its trailblazing video streaming service. The move will end an era that began a quarter century ago when delivering discs through the mail was considered a revolutionary concept. The DVD service still delivers films and TV shows in the red-and-white envelopes that once served as Netflix’s emblem. But the California company says it plans to mail its final discs on September 29. Netflix ended last year with nearly 231 million worldwide subscribers to its video streaming service. It stopped disclosing how many people still pay for DVD-by-mail delivery years ago as that part its business steadily shrank.


Netflix reports a first-quarter burst in subscriber growth

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix began the year with another burst in subscriber growth that eclipsed analysts’ projections for the third consecutive quarter. The results provides further evidence the video streaming service has regained its momentum after a jarring downturn in customers prompted a shake up. The 1.75 million gain in Netflix subscribers reported Tuesday for the January-March period was nearly 550,000 more than the average analyst estimate. Although the subscriber increase was smaller than Netflix has historically reported for the first quarter, it was a stark contrast to the loss of 200,000 subscribers that the company sustained at the same time last year.


Southwest passengers face delays after nationwide grounding

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines says planes are taking off again after departures were held up because of what the airline calls an intermittent technical problem. The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that Southwest requested that the agency pause the airline’s flights. The ground stop was brief, but it caused nearly half of all Southwest flights to be delayed. Southwest says a firewall supplied by a vendor went down early Tuesday, and the connection to some operational data was lost. The airline went on Twitter to apologize to travelers whose flights were delayed.


United Airlines loses $194 million but sees 2Q turnaround

United Airlines has reported a loss for the first quarter. But it says travel demand is strong and that it expects much better results for the second quarter. United said Tuesday that it lost $194 million in the three-month period that ended March 31. But revenue was up 51% over this time last year. CEO Scott Kirby says United is watching the economy carefully, but demand for travel is still strong, especially for international flights. United’s loss was much smaller than the $1.38 billion loss it reported in last year’s first quarter, and it was narrower than Wall Street was expecting. Revenue soared to more than $11 billion, about what analysts expected.


China’s economic growth accelerates with consumption boost

BEIJING (AP) — China’s economic growth accelerated in the latest quarter as consumer flocked back to shops and restaurants following the abrupt end of anti-virus controls. The 4.5% growth in gross domestic product from January to March compared to the same period in 2022 was the fastest in the past year. The government data released Tuesday showed the quarter outpaced the 2.9% growth in the previous quarter. But authorities cautioned that China will likely face import and export pressures in coming months and warned of inadequate domestic market demand in the world’s No. 2 economy. The government earlier set this year’s economic growth target at “around 5%,” a goal that will only be met if GDP grows faster in the months ahead.


The S&P 500 gained 3.55 points, or 0.1%, to 4,154.87. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 10.55 points, or less than 0.1%, to 33,976.63. The Nasdaq composite slipped 4.31 points, or less than 0.1% to 12,153.41. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 7.29 points, or 0.4%, to 1,795.55.

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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