Business Highlights: Musk's Twitter plans, Wall Street surge

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk has taken control of Twitter after a protracted legal battle and months of uncertainty. The question now is what the billionaire Tesla CEO will actually do with the social media platform that he bought for $44 billion. Musk gave one indication of where he’s headed in a tweet Friday. He wrote that no decisions on content or reinstating of suspended accounts will be made until a “content moderation council” is put in place. He wrote that the council would have diverse viewpoints. Major personnel shakeups are widely expected, with Musk ousting several top Twitter executives on Thursday. A fourth confirmed his departure, in a tweet.


Wall Street rally marks first weekly win streak since summer

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street closed sharply higher, capping another strong week with gains led by Apple and other companies that made even bigger profits during the summer than expected. The S&P 500 rose 2.5% Friday and marked its first back-to-back weekly gain since August. Stocks have revived recently partly on hopes for a dialing down later this year of the big interest-rate hikes that have been shaking the market. More recently, many big U.S. companies have been reporting stronger earnings than expected, though the bag remains decidedly mixed. Apple, Intel, and Gilead Sciences jumped following strong reports, which helped offset a discouraging forecast from Amazon.


A key US inflation gauge stayed at a high 6.2% in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of inflation that is closely monitored by the Federal Reserve remained painfully high last month, the latest sign that prices for most goods and services in the United States are still rising steadily. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 6.2% in September from 12 months earlier, the same year-over-year rate as in August. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, so-called core prices rose 5.1% last month from a year earlier. The report also showed that consumers spent more last month, even after adjusting for inflation, a sign of Americans’ willingness to keep spending in the face of high prices.


EU approves ban on new combustion-engine cars from 2035

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union lawmakers and member countries have reached a deal to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars and vans by 2035. The deal EU negotiators sealed Thursday night is the first agreement of the bloc’s “Fit for 55” package, which the bloc’s executive commission set up to achieve the goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 55% over this decade. Under the deal, carmakers will be required to reduce the emissions of new cars sold by 55% in 2030 before reaching a 100% cut five years later. According to EU data, transportation is the only sector in which greenhouse gas emissions have increased in the past three decades.


Germany sees unexpected growth in 3rd quarter; inflation up

BERLIN (AP) — The German economy grew in the third quarter, an unexpectedly positive performance powered largely by private spending. But the immediate outlook for Europe’s biggest economy remained gloomy, with inflation rising again in October. The Federal Statistical Office said Friday that gross domestic product in Europe’s biggest economy expanded 0.3% in the July-September period compared with the previous quarter. That followed a slight increase of 0.1% in the second quarter. The government said earlier that GDP was believed to have shrunk in the third quarter and was expected to decline again in the last three months of the year as well as in early 2023. Germany’s annual inflation rate rose again in October, climbing to 10.4% from 10% the previous month.


Oil giants rake in steep profits amid high energy prices

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil companies brought in staggering profits once again as consumers worldwide struggled with high gasoline and energy prices. Exxon Mobil broke records with $19.66 billion in profits in the third quarter. Chevron earned a record $11.23 billion in profits. Oil and natural gas prices were high globally, as demand grew faster than supply. The high cost of energy has hit consumers in multiple ways. Americans have struggled with painfully high gasoline prices in recent months. And high energy prices also hit manufacturers and retailers, who pass on those costs to customers in the form of high prices for food, clothing and other goods.


IRS: Growing gap between US income taxes owed and paid

WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS says the amount of income tax money owed but not paid to the government is projected to grow. For tax years 2014 through 2016, the estimated gross “tax gap” rose to $496 billion a year. That’s an increase of more than $58 billion from prior estimates. IRS data released Friday projects that for 2017 to 2019, the estimated average gross tax gap will be $540 billion per year. Ensuring that people actually pay their taxes is one of the tax collection agency’s biggest challenges. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last month that the tax gap is estimated to be $7 trillion in full over the next decade.


The S&P 500 jumped 93.76 points, or 2.5%, to 3,901.06. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 828.52 points, or 2.6%, to 32,861.80 The Nasdaq surged 309.78 points, or 2.9%, to 11,102.45. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 40.60 points, or 2.2%, to 1,846.92.

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