Update on the latest cases:



Stocks collapse after gloomy jobs report, as markets hover

NEW YORK (AP) – Wall Street is collapsing after a mixed reading on jobs in the United States, a reading investors said was difficult to parse, in the latest episode of market dizzying trading.

The S&P 500 was down 1% after erasing an early gain. It is coming out of a turbulent period where it has deviated by at least 1.2% in five consecutive days, pounded by uncertainty over how the latest variant of the coronavirus and when the Federal Reserve will end its market support.

Treasury yields fell, rose and then fell again as investors struggled to determine what the jobs report means the Fed will do on interest rates.


US unemployment rate drops to 4.2% as more people find jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) – US employers slowed the pace of their hiring in November, creating 210,000 still strong jobs, the least in nearly a year.

The report from the Ministry of Labor also showed that the unemployment rate fell sharply to 4.2% from 4.6%. This is a historically low level but still higher than the pre-pandemic unemployment rate of 3.5%.


US service sector growth hits new highs in November

WASHINGTON (AP) – Growth in the service sector, where most Americans work, hit an all-time high in November, surpassing the previous record set in October.

The Institute for Supply Management reports that its monthly survey of service industries rose 2.4 percentage points in November from the October record high at a reading of 69.1%. Part of the strength of the service sector comes from supply chain issues that make it more difficult to meet growing demand.


No U.S. and China Currency Handler Tags Under Watch

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration will not name any country as currency manipulator, but it has named China, Vietnam and Taiwan among nations that have broken global agreements not to use their currencies to gain unfair trade advantages.

In a report to Congress released today, the Treasury Department cited China for a number of failures that prevent trading partners from having full knowledge of how it manages its currency.

Vietnam and Taiwan have violated a number of criteria that would justify designating them as currency manipulators and both will be placed on a watch list, according to the report.


Sanders to Biden: Reduce Looming Medicare Premium Hike

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senator Bernie Sanders calls on the White House to cut a large increase in health insurance premiums set to take effect in a few weeks and linked to an expensive Alzheimer’s drug whose benefits have been widely questioned.

In a letter to President Joe Biden, the Vermont Independent called on the president to prevent part of a “scandalous increase” in health insurance premiums attributable to Aduhelm, a newly approved Alzheimer’s drug from the maker of Biogen drugs cost $ 56,000 per year.

A planned increase of $ 21.60 per month in January in Medicare’s “Part B” premium for outpatient care would be reduced to nearly $ 10.


Chinese developer warns he could run out of money

BEIJING (AP) – A struggling Chinese developer struggling with debt of less than $ 310 billion has warned he may run out of money to “meet financial obligations.”

Regulators have rushed to reassure investors that China’s financial markets can be shielded from a possible impact.

The Evergrande group’s struggle to comply with official pressure to reduce debt has fueled concerns that a possible default could trigger a financial crisis. Economists say global markets are unlikely to be affected, but banks and bondholders could take losses because Beijing wants to avoid a bailout.

The central bank and banking and securities regulators have said China’s financial system is strong and Beijing will keep credit markets functioning.


Shell withdraws from controversial Cambo project in Scotland

LONDON (AP) – Royal Dutch Shell has pulled out of a controversial oil project off the coast of Scotland’s Shetland Islands, saying the project no longer makes economic sense for the company.

Shell had a 30% stake in the Cambo project, which is opposed by environmental groups who say Britain should stop developing new oil and gas fields as part of its efforts to tackle global warming .

Shell says that after careful consideration of Cambo’s proposed development, it concluded that the economic case for investing in this project was not strong enough at this time.


Honda recalls SUVs and pickup trucks because hoods can open

DETROIT (AP) – Honda is recalling nearly 725,000 SUVs and pickup trucks because the hoods can open while the vehicles are moving.

The recall affects certain 2019 passports, 2016 thru 2019 riders and 2017 thru 2020 Ridgeline pickups. Honda said in documents released Friday by U.S. safety regulators that the hood latch striker may be damaged and separate from the hood.

Dealers will repair the firing pin or replace the hood as necessary, at no cost to owners. Honda will notify owners by letter starting January 17.

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