Business Highlights: Wall Street slide, China trade – The Associated Press – en Español

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Biggest stock slide on Wall Street since ’20 as oil surges

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell sharply on Wall Street Monday after another big leap for oil prices threatened to squeeze inflation’s grip on the global economy. The S&P 500 fell 3%, its biggest drop in 16 months, after a barrel of U.S. crude surged to nearly $120 on the possibility that Washington could bar imports from Russia. Overseas markets also fell, taking their cue from oil’s movements. Oil prices had gone as high as $130 a barrel. Gold and a measure of nervousness on Wall Street also rose. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.4% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gave up 3.6%.

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Gas tops $4 per gallon average, 1st time since 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — The average price of regular gasoline across the U.S. has risen above $4 per gallon for the first time since 2008. The AAA motor club said the price of regular gas went up by almost 41 cents during the past week. That comes in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and represents the second largest jump in average national prices in a week. The head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy said the Russian invasion and seasonal price changes mean Americans should prepare to pay more for gas than ever before. The all-time high for average gasoline prices was set in July 17, 2008 at $4.10 per gallon.

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China’s trade up in Jan-Feb, before Russia invaded Ukraine

BEIJING (AP) — China’s exports rose by double digits in January and February before Russia’s attack on Ukraine roiled the global economy. Customs data show exports grew by 16.3% over a year earlier in a sign global demand was recovering before President Vladimir Putin’s Feb. 24 invasion. Imports advanced 15.5% despite a Chinese economic slowdown that the war threatens to worsen. Forecasters say China and other Asian oil importers will be hurt by surging prices caused by Putin’s war. China’s No. 2 leader, Premier Li Keqiang, warned Saturday global conditions are “volatile, grave and uncertain” and achieving Beijing’s economic goals will require “arduous efforts.”

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Russian banks mull China UnionPay; big accounting firms exit

LONDON (AP) — Leading Russian banks are looking into using a Chinese payment rival after Visa and Mastercard suspended operations over the invasion of Ukraine. All the big global accounting firms also said they would pull out of Russia in the latest corporate fallout. Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank say they’re considering the possibility of payment cards powered by China’s UnionPay system. They told users that Visa and Mastercard will work within Russia but will stop working for payments outside the country after Wednesday. Meanwhile, Ernst & Young and Deloitte cut ties with their operations in Russia on Monday, a day after KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers did so.

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EPA rule would make heavy trucks cut smog, soot pollution

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DETROIT (AP) — The Biden administration is proposing stronger pollution regulations for new tractor-trailer rigs that would clean up smoky diesel engines and encourage new technologies during the next two decades. The proposal released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency would require the industry to cut smog-and-soot-forming nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90% per truck over current standards by 2031. Although truck manufacturers are working on battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, the EPA says the proposal is not a zero-emissions truck requirement. Rather, the agency says there are pollution control devices in development that can keep diesels in use and still clean the air.

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Food or power: Energy bill late fees force tough choices

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Americans paid a combined $561 million in late payment fees to electrical utilities in 2019. But how much you pay depends on where you live. An AP analysis of federal regulatory data found that several major utility companies in states like Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Florida and Maryland are charging late fees that are much higher than the national average. Late fees typically punish customers who are least able to afford their utility bill to begin with. The fees account for a small part of major energy companies’ overall revenue. But for the people who must pay them, they can be crushing.

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Kohl’s to open 100 small-format stores, expand Sephora shops

NEW YORK (AP) — Department store chain Kohl’s said it aims to increase sales by a low-single-digit percentage annually. The retailer plans to open 100 new small-format stores in the next four years and expand its partnership with Sephora to be a $2 billion business, among other moves. Kohl’s announced its long-term goals on Monday ahead of the company’s annual investor meeting. The chain faces increasing pressure from activist investors. Kohl’s is on track to have Sephora shops in 850 of its stores by next year.

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Bed Bath & Beyond shares soar as Ryan Cohen takes huge stake

NEW YORK (AP) — The investment firm of billionaire Ryan Cohen has taken a large stake in Bed Bath & Beyond and is recommending that the struggling retailer sell all or part of its business. RC Ventures LLC has acquired a nearly 10% stake in Bed Bath & Beyond, according to a regulatory filing. RC stands for Ryan Cohen, a co-founder at Chewy, who was at heart of the GameStop meme saga last year. Cohen built a huge following on Reddit and on social media in 2021 as smaller investors gobbled up GameStop and other meme stocks. News of his possible involvement at Bed Bath & Beyond sent shares of the company up 34% Monday.

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The S&P 500 tumbled 127.78 points, or 3%, to 4,201.09. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 797.42 points, or 2.4%, to 32,817.38. The Nasdaq shed 482.48 points, or 3.6%, to 12,830.96. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 49.57 points, or 2.5%, to 1,951.33.

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