December 4, 2023

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Swing Your Furniture Bank

High diesel prices, Tesla profits

NEW YORK (AP) — High diesel prices are driving up the cost of everything, from groceries to Amazon orders and furniture. That’s because nearly everything that’s delivered, whether by truck, rail or ship, uses diesel fuel. Truckers are turning down hauling jobs in the states with the most expensive diesel. They’re choosing lighter loads and in some cases working longer hours to make up for the money lost on fuel. Farmers harvesting hay and planting corn with diesel-fired tractors are taking a hit of thousands of dollars per week. And many of these high costs are passed down to consumers.


Wall Street closes higher, adding to gains after big rally

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street tacked more onto its big gains from a day earlier Wednesday, as more profit reports rolled in from U.S. companies. The S&P 500 rose 0.6%, a day after soaring 2.8% for its best day in weeks. The Nasdaq led the market with a 1.6% gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added a more modest 0.2%. Profit reporting season is ramping up for big companies, with more types of industries offering details about how high inflation and a possible recession are affecting their customers. A lot is riding on whether they can continue to deliver healthy profits.


Can green hydrogen save a coal town and slow climate change?

DELTA, Utah (AP) — Developers in rural Utah who want to create big underground caverns to store hydrogen fuel won approval for a $504 million federal loan this spring. They plan to convert the site of a 40-year-old coal plant to cleanly made hydrogen by 2045. The seasonal storage project is one of of several undertakings that could help determine how big a role hydrogen will play in providing reliable, carbon-free energy in the future. In Utah, it’s won support across the political spectrum. Officials hope efforts to transition the power plant to cleanly-made hydrogen could offset job loss in the declining coal industry.


Tesla 2Q profit drops from 1Q, but company beats estimates

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla’s second-quarter profit fell 32% from record levels in the first quarter. That’s because supply chain issues and pandemic lockdowns in China slowed production of its electric vehicles. But the Austin, Texas, company still surprised Wall Street with a $2.26 billion net profit for the quarter. Tesla stuck with a prediction of 50% annual vehicle sales growth over the next few years, but said that depends on the supply chain, equipment capacity and other issues. Tesla’s sales from April through June fell to 254,000 vehicles, their lowest quarterly level since last fall. But the company predicted record-breaking production in the second half and said that in June it had the highest production month in its history.


US home sales fell in June as prices reach new heights

NEW YORK (AP) — Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes slowed for the fifth consecutive month in June as higher mortgage rates and rising prices kept many home hunters on the sidelines. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that existing home sales fell 5.4% last month from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.12 million. That’s lower than what economists were expecting, according to FactSet. Sales fell 14.2% from June last year. Sales have now fallen to the slowest pace since June 2020, near the start of the pandemic. Excluding the pandemic slowdown, sales in June were running at the slowest pace since January 2019. The national median home price jumped 13.4% in June from a year earlier to $416,000.


United Airlines 2Q profit of $329M misses Wall Street target

CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines says its latest quarterly profit is $329 million, thanks to summer vacationers who are packing airplanes. But United’s second-quarter profit fell short of Wall Street expectations. The airline is blaming the miss on jet fuel prices, which were higher than it was expecting. United says strong revenue trends are carrying over into the third quarter, with figures indicating higher average fares. United says it earned $1.43 per share in the second quarter. Analysts were looking for $1.85 per share.


CSX profit grows 5% even with ongoing delivery delays

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX delivered slightly better profit in the second quarter. That’s even though volume was flat and the railroad still struggled to handle all the goods companies wanted to ship because it is having a hard time hiring. The Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad said its profits grew 5% to $1.18 billion, or 54 cents per share. That’s up from $1.17 billion, or 52 cents per share, a year ago. Without a one-time gain, the railroad earned 50 cents per share. The results beat Wall Street expectations. CEO Jim Foote said CSX hasn’t been able to keep up with all the demand for shipments because it needs more employees, but hiring is difficult.


UK inflation surges to new 40-year high of 9.4%

LONDON (AP) — Inflation in the United Kingdom has accelerated to a new 40-year high, driven by rising food and fuel prices that are contributing to a cost-of-living crisis. The Office of National Statistics said Wednesday that consumer prices rose 9.4% in the year through June, up from 9.1% the previous month. The new figure is the highest since 1982, when inflation peaked at 11%. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said Tuesday that the bank is likely to consider raising interest rates by half a percentage point at its next meeting to help control inflation. The bank last month raised its key rate by a quarter-point to 1.25%.


The S&P 500 rose 23.21 points, or 0.6%, to 3,959.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 47.79 points, or 0.2%, to 31,874.84. The Nasdaq added 184.50 points, or 1.6%, to 11,897.65. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies ended up 28.62 points, or 1.6%, to 1,827.95.