Business Highlights: Powell opposition, Holmes trial – Associated Press

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Two Democratic senators oppose Powell as Fed chair

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Senate Democrats will oppose the reappointment of Jerome Powell as chair of the Federal Reserve, as President Joe Biden is expected to announce within days who he will pick for the nation’s most powerful economic position. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island and Jeff Merkley from Oregon said Friday that Powell has been insufficiently committed to combatting climate change, an issue that central banks around the world are increasingly confronting. Whitehouse and Merkley join Sen. Elizabeth Warren in opposition. Warren has called Powell “a dangerous man” to lead the Fed because of his support for loosening some bank regulations.

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Stocks end mostly lower, but tech gains push Nasdaq higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed mostly lower on Wall Street Friday, though gains for several tech companies pushed the Nasdaq composite to another record high and its first close over 16,000 points. The S&P 500 index gave up 0.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8%. A choppy several days of trading left the S&P 500 and Nasdaq higher for the week and the Dow lower. TurboTax maker Intuit jumped 10.1% after raising its profit forecast. Moderna jumped 4.9% after U.S. regulators opened up coronavirus booster shots to all adults. Crude oil prices fell 3.7%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.54%.

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Biden to nominate 2 for US Postal board, oust DeJoy allies

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to nominate two new members to the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors. It’s a potential first step in removing Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. A Trump-era appointee, DeJoy became a political lightning rod during the 2020 elections as changes he made to the postal service slowed delivery times during a key period when voters were trying to mail in their ballots. Biden is replacing two of DeJoy’s backers on the board, chair Ron Bloom and John Barger. The president is nominating Daniel Tangherlini and Derek Kan to the board.

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US rests its case against fallen tech star Elizabeth Holmes

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The government has rested its case in the trial of fallen Silicon Valley star Elizabeth Holmes. The move came after prosecutors spent more than two months trying to prove Holmes bamboozled investors, patients and business partners into believing that her startup, Theranos, was about to reshape health care. The pivot point opens the door for Holmes and her team of lawyers to counter evidence that cast her as a greedy, fame-obsessed swindler. Holmes could take the stand to tell her side of the story and avoid a potential 20-year prison sentence, if convicted.

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California man gets prison for Bitcoin money laundering

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SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California man has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for operating an unlicensed business that exchanged at least $13 million in Bitcoin and cash. Federal prosecutors say 50-year-old Hugo Mejia of the city of Ontario structured his business to establish an anonymous conduit for money laundering of drug trafficking proceeds. Prosecutors say that Mejia exchanged Bitcoin for cash and vice versa from from May 2018 to September 2020. They say he charged commissions for the transactions. Mejia was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in July to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and money laundering.

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Europe’s central banker: Not adding to pinch with rate hike

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The head of the European Central Bank is doubling down on the message that it’s no time to raise interest rates. Christine Lagarde says the bank won’t add to the squeeze on consumers who are facing rising prices driven by high energy costs. Higher inflation is making other central banks look at reining in support for the economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. Lagarde says higher inflation is caused by temporary factors such as costlier oil and gas and by supply shortages. She said the bank would “recalibrate” some stimulus efforts going into next year but it’s “highly unlikely” that rates would rise from current record lows.

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Google reaches content deals with German publishers

BERLIN (AP) — Google said Friday it has signed agreements with several large German publishers to avoid copyright disputes over the use of their material. The Internet giant said it reached deals with publishers including news weeklies Der Spiegel and Die Zeit, technology portals Golem and Netzwelt, as well as the business publications WirtschaftsWoche and Manager Magazin. “Numerous conversations with various publishers are at an advanced stage,” Google added in a statement.

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Japan Cabinet OKs record stimulus package to fix economy

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Cabinet approved on Friday a record 56 trillion yen ($490 billion) stimulus package, including cash handouts and aid to ailing businesses, to help the economy out of the doldrums worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. “The package has more than enough content and scale to deliver a sense of security and hope to the people,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters in announcing the plan earlier in the day. The proposal won Cabinet approval in the evening, according to the prime minister’s office. It still needs parliamentary approval. Kishida has promised speedy action, and parliament will convene next month, he said.

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The S&P 500 lost 6.58 points, or 0.1%, to 4,697.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 268.97 points, or 0.7%, to 35,601.98. The Nasdaq rose 63.73 points, or 0.4%, to 16,057.44. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dropped 20.43 points, or 0.9%, to 2,343.16.

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