Business Highlights: Dangerous airbags and false claims on Twitter

___ More than 30 million US drivers don’t know if they’re at risk from a rare but dangerous airbag blast

DETROIT (AP) — More than 33 million people in the United States are driving vehicles that contain a potentially deadly threat: Airbag inflators that in rare cases can explode in a collision and spew shrapnel. Few of them know it. And because of a dispute between federal safety regulators and an airbag parts manufacturer, they aren’t likely to find out anytime soon. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is demanding that the manufacturer, ARC Automotive of Knoxville, Tennessee, recall 67 million inflators that could explode with such force as to blow apart a metal canister and expel shrapnel. But ARC is refusing to do so, setting up a possible court fight with the agency.


False claims of a stolen election thrive unchecked on Twitter even as Musk promises otherwise

NEW YORK (AP) — Election falsehoods are thriving on Twitter after former President Donald Trump dug in on those claims during a recent CNN town hall. That’s going on despite Twitter owner Elon Musk insisting that stolen-election claims on the platform “will be corrected.” An analysis for The Associated Press shows the 10 most widely shared tweets promoting a “rigged election” narrative in the five days after the town hall have not been labeled or removed. Tech accountability experts say monitoring content on such a large scale is difficult. But they say Musk has reinstated notorious election deniers, overhauled the site’s verification system and gutted much of the staff that had moderated such posts.


Hike again? Take a pause? Fed officials are split about what to do next to fight inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The stubbornness of high inflation is dividing the Federal Reserve over how to manage interest rates in the coming months, leaving the outlook for the Fed’s policies cloudier than at any time since it unleashed a streak of 10 straight rate hikes in March 2022. Many Fed watchers have expected the officials to forgo another increase in their benchmark rate when they next meet in mid-June. Yet recent warnings from several of them about the continuing inflation threat suggest that that outcome is far from certain. On Thursday, Lorie Logan of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said she believes that the economic data so far doesn’t support a pause in the central bank’s rate hikes next month.


Debt ceiling negotiators rushing for weekend deal, but much work remains

WASHINGTON (AP) — Negotiators from the White House met over the debt limit with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s emissaries at the Capitol. They were grinding through a second day of head-to-head talks trying to strike a budget deal. President Joe Biden and McCarthy both tapped their top representatives to work more furiously ahead of a deadline as soon as June 1. That’s when the U.S. could run out of funds to pay its obligations, sparking an economic crisis. Upbeat, McCarthy said it was important to have an “agreement in principle” this weekend to get to a House vote next week. Biden is expected to be updated while he is at the Group of Seven summit in Japan.


Stock market today: Wall Street rises, adding to a winning week

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose again after more companies reported better profits than expected. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% and added to its rally from the day before as hopes rise further that the U.S. government can avoid a potentially disastrous default on its debt. The Nasdaq led the market with a 1.5% gain, while the Dow rose 115 points. Walmart was one of the companies helping to lift the market after reporting stronger results for the start of the year than expected. Bond yields rose after a Federal Reserve official cautioned the end to its interest-rate hikes may not come as soon as investors hoped.


Deutsche Bank to pay $75 million to settle lawsuit from Epstein victims, lawyers say

LONDON (AP) — Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit claiming the German lender should have seen evidence of sex trafficking by Jeffrey Epstein when he was a client. That’s according to lawyers for women who say they were abused by the financier who killed himself in prison awaiting criminal charges. A woman only identified as Jane Doe sued the bank in federal district court in New York and sought class-action status to represent other victims of Epstein. Two law firms representing victims are calling it a “groundbreaking settlement” following a decadelong investigation. acknowledging its mistake in taking on Epstein as a client.


ChatGPT makes its debut as a smartphone app on iPhones

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — ChatGPT is now a smartphone app. That could be good news for people who like to use the artificial intelligence chatbot. But it might be bad news for all the clone apps that have tried to profit off the technology. The free app became available on iPhones and iPads in the U.S. on Thursday and will later be coming to Android phones. Unlike the web version, you can also ask it questions using your voice with the app. The company that makes it, OpenAI, said it will remain ad-free but “syncs your history across devices.” It will start rolling out in the U.S. on Thursday and expanding to other countries in coming weeks.


Disney scraps plans for new Florida campus as fight with Gov. Ron DeSantis continues

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The Walt Disney Co. says it’s scrapping plans to build a new campus in central Florida and relocate 2,000 employees from Southern California to work in digital technology, finance and product development. Thursday’s announcement follows a year of attacks from Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature, with Disney filing a First Amendment lawsuit against him and other officials last month. Disney had planned to build the campus about 20 miles from the giant Walt Disney World theme park resort. But a company official says in a memo employees that “new leadership and changing business conditions” prompted Disney to abandon those plans.


Walmart shines in rough retail environment, ratchets up outlook after strong first quarter

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart reported strong first-quarter sales results as the nation’s largest retailer’s low-prices continue to draw budget conscious consumers in a challenging economic environment of stubbornly high inflation. The company beat Wall Street expectations Thursday and boosted its annual profit and sales outlook. Comparable store sales — those from established stores and online operating over the past 12 months — rose 7.4% in the quarter ended April. Global online sales surged 26%.Other major retailers posted quarterly results this week, and there was a marked slowdown in spending, an environment in which Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, can thrive due to its focus on low prices and a focus on necessities like groceries.


The S&P 500 gained 39.28 points, or 0.9%, to 4,198.05. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 115.14 points, or 0.3%, to 33,535.91. The Nasdaq composite tacked on 188.27 points, or 1.5% to 12,688.84. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies added 10.36 points, or 0.6%, to 1,784.86.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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