Business Highlights

Business Highlights

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Luxury fashion challenged to confront racist attitudes

MILAN (AP) — Luxury fashion got a whole lot of blowback when the brands lined up social media posts to show solidarity with Black Lives Matters protests. U.S. actor Tommy Dorfman has called Salvatore Ferragamo out for a “homophobic and racist work environment” and transgender model and actress Munroe Bergdorf accused L’Oreal of hypocrisy for firing her three years ago when she used strong language to complain about racism. Global fashion brands have been challenged in the past to become more racially inclusive. But the U.S protests against systemic racism are increasingly targeting the fashion world and its role as a cultural beacon. Influencers and brand ambassadors now feel emboldened to speak out about behind-the-scenes bad behavior.

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Wirecard scandal: Missing billions likely don’t exist

BERLIN (AP) — German payment service provider Wirecard says it has concluded that 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) which were supposed to be held in two accounts probably don’t exist, deepening troubles that last week prompted the resignation of its chief executive. Wirecard was once regarded as a star of the growing financial technology sector, but its shares have fallen sharply after the company became the subject of reports about accounting irregularities. ___

Stocks end with solid gains after shaking off a choppy start

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street Monday after shaking off a choppy start. The S&P 500 added 0.6% after sliding as much as 0.6% in the early going. The initial drop followed weakness overseas as the global tally of infections approaches 9 million. Technology companies led the way, outweighing losses in health care and other sectors. Many market watchers think the market’s recent surge is out of whack with the weak state of the economy. The price of oil rose, settling above $40 a barrel for the first time since early March, before the economy all but shut down due to the outbreak.

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Existing home sale plunge 9.7% in 3rd straight monthly drop

WASHINGTON (AP) — US existing home sales plunged 9.7% in May. It was the third straight monthly decline and further evidence of the harm the virus pandemic has done to the housing market. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that the May decline pushed sales down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.91 million, the slowest pace since a home buyers tax credit expired in October 2010. Sales were down in all parts of the country with the biggest decline coming in the Northeast.

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Supreme Court rules SEC can recoup money in fraud cases

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has preserved an important tool used by securities regulators to recoup ill-gotten gains in fraud cases. The justices said by an 8-1 vote Monday that the Securities and Exchange Commission can seek to recover the money through a process called disgorgement. Last year, the SEC obtained $3.2 billion in repayment of profits from people who have been found to violate securities law. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court that the award must be limited to no more than “a wrongdoer’s net profits.” Justice Clarence Thomas dissented.

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Tariffs hit American whiskey producers hard in Europe

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A new report says American whiskey distillers have watched more than $300 million in export revenues evaporate since a trade dispute broke out between the U.S. and European Union. Exports of American whiskey to the EU have fallen 33% since the EU started a retaliatory tariff on those products two years ago. That’s according to a report issued Monday by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. American whiskeys include bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and rye whiskey. The EU targeted American whiskey and other U.S. products in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum.

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Apple previews new iPhone software, changes to Mac chips

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple has provided a glimpse at upcoming software changes designed to make the iPhone even easier to use and has also announced a long-anticipated shift to a new type of chip to power its line of Mac computers. The preview of the next version of the iPhone’s operating system, known as iOS 14, highlighted Apple’s annual conference for computer programmers and mobile app makers. The event was delayed for three weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. It took place in virtual form via a webcast from the company’s Cupertino, California, headquarters. The next iOS includes several features to make it easier to find and use popular apps, as well as new messaging features and privacy protections.

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Watchdogs: Treasury too secretive on small business loans

NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump administration has relented to public pressure and pledged to provide more details about which small businesses received loans from a $600 billion-plus coronavirus aid program. But government watchdogs say even more transparency is needed to get an accurate picture of who was helped, and who was left out. Under pressure from Democratic lawmakers and government watchdogs, the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration said Friday they would disclose the names of small business owners who received $150,000 or more in forgivable loans.

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The S&P 500 gained 20.12 points, or 0.6%, to 3,117.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 153.50 points, or 0.6%, to 26,024.96. The Nasdaq composite climbed 110.35 points, or 1.1%, to 10,056.47. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 14.89 points, or 1.1%, to 1,433.53.

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